July 14, 2015

Bastille Day 2015

I doubt I have an audience now as it has been several years, and my last post was a goodbye into infinion (or rather, Oblivian). But my heart told me to write this. xx

On July 13th last year before dinner, my dad asked me what I was planning to do tomorrow.  And I went to the white board across from the dining room table and, with the red, white and blue erasable pens, I drew a French flag. Bastille Day! The white board was our new family command post. My dad had recently had a spinal chord injury that placed him in a wheel chair and intense physical therapy. Tomorrow (or today or even later by the time you get this) is Bastille Day.  And it will never be the same for me.

I used to love this French holiday. I don't know what it will mean from now on or how it will feel.  Now it is the day that I woke up in the morning to go to work and went to my dad's bedside to say good morning and found him not acting right, and said so to my mom. The minute I sat down at my work desk I got a call from her that he was going to the ER and to come home. We sat in the waiting room for an hour and then were told he had stopped breathing for several minutes and was intubated. I worried, instantly hating the knowledge I possess about the affect of lack of oxygen to the brain. How many minutes is "several minutes?" I wanted to know but I couldn't ask in the frenzy of immediate action to save him. My fucking dad. They put him in a "freeze" to slow his body function and minimize the impact. Of course I wondered: how is his brain function several minutes in? I can only ask it to myself. My family doesn't dare to ask this question. The doctor tells us he had a heart attack and needs a stent asap, he goes into surgery and survives that very well, in fact, he is coming out of the "freeze" before anticipated. I'm feeling promise of a great recovery. My dad is the fucking giant of "Yes I will!" After all, he grew his nose back, why wouldn't he have an early thaw from a deep freeze? Then they told us about the multiple emboli in his lungs. Those are what caused the heart attack, and for him to survive, they need aggressive and risky medicines to remove them. We met up with him in the ICU and took vigil, all of us, for 9 days. For many and most of them he was out, for a few minutes here and there he seemed there, biting at the tube wanting to say something, responding to "hello Jims" and commands to wiggle toes or blink his eyes.  All the time I was wondering "how many minutes was he unconscious? Is his brain ok? Can he overcome this AND the spinal cord injury AND be the man he wants to be - the man he was before he couldn't stand? Do I tell him it's a long battle and it's okay to let go? What will his recovery even look like if he gets through this new hurdle? How far will he go - walking? Will he be happy?  Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Deep breath.  Ugh. Ugh. Ugh and what the fuck?!  And so today is that day: full of a million what's and how's and why's. The day that I sat by his bedside and let him tell dictate the next move.  Fraternité, Liberté, Egalité. On July 23rd, after what I'm sure was a very difficult battle, he chose Liberté.I love you, Dad. 

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