it has been 3 weeks and 4 days now since I found my dad, Gordon, nearly dead. Every day he speaks more and more. I am so thankful that he knows who I am. He understands everything happening he is just in this world of confusion since he has no recollection of what happened to him. He thinks he laid down to go to sleep because he wasn’t feeling well, and woke up in the hospital, unable to breathe, tubes in every hole of his body, unable to speak, unable to move. Over the weeks I think he understands almost everything. The neurologist says that the part of the brain that is severely damaged is the part that makes the body function.
He is still unable to swallow; so he now has a feeding tube in his stomach. I try not to mention food around him, because anyone that knows my dad, knows that he fucking loves food more than anything. That’s one of the main reason’s he is in the hospital…because he said he wanted to live his life eating what he wanted to eat; regardless of his Type 1 Diabetes or his blood sugar.
Gordon: “Well at least I’ll die happy. I’d rather die eating what I want to eat and be happy, than watching every bite I take and being miserable.” < I don’t think he realized how selfish he was being at the time. And if he would at least check his blood sugar and take his medicine accordingly, it would be better than nothing. Yeah I know I’m stuck in the past, talking about what he COULD or SHOULD have done…
He can lift his head now and most of his chest. Apparently last night he tried to get out of the bed, lifted up his head and chest, raised his left leg up, bent his knee over the side of his bed and the next thing you know my Oma heard: “Mom, Help me!” -sure enough, my dad was laying on his right side on the wood floor. So now they have moved him directly in front of the main nurses station some minor restraints.
So yesterday I walked through the Lancaster Building @ about 12:11 pm on my lunch break, then I headed up the elevator, past the nurses station and into my dads new room. He was dripping with sweat, I cleaned him up, got a cold rag and put it on his forehead. I asked him if I could brush his teeth and he said yes, so I brushed them really well, put moisturizer in his mouth and chapstick on his lips.
The entire time he just stared at me with this look on his face that brought a tear to my eye. His expression was screaming: “why is this happening to me?! What have I done to deserve this?” I put my hand on his cheek and asked him what was wrong.
He replied: “I don’t want to do this anymore” < those were the clearest words I have heard come out of his mouth in the last 3 weeks.
Me: “I know daddy, but you can’t give up okay? I love you so much”
Gordon: “Take them out”
Me: “Take what out?”
Gordon: (pause…)he looked up confused and started shaking with frustration like he couldn’t think of a word…
then he said ” THE STRAWS”
(wait, what was he saying…I had to think, then I looked down at his hand and he had it on his IV. I guess by ‘straw’ he meant ‘tubes’.)
then he said again: ” I don’t want to do this anymore, take them out”
Me: “But I can’t daddy, I wish I could, because you know I’d do it in a heartbeat if it meant you were happy”
Then he closed his eyes. But I wasn’t going to act like we didn’t just have the conversation that we had. No way. This was a big deal.
Gordon: (he opened his eyes) “What?”
Me: “Recovery is going to be a long and slow process, but I need you to be strong dad, please, don’t leave me here like this! I want to have grandchildren and for you to see them. You’re too young daddy. I need you please be strong ” He closed his eyes again and I asked him:
“daddy, you’re going to come home with me right?…….right?!”
Me: “Promise me!”
Me: “no daddy, tell me you promise you won’t give up and that you’re going to come home…”
Me: “Oh daddy, I love you, smile please!”
At that moment, I saw the dad I had 3 weeks ago, happy. That was the first time I have seen him smile since he’s been in there.
It’s just like my favorite quote:
“Everything will be okay in the end,
if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end…”