Monday, April 5, 2010
** I'm posting this on Monday, April 5th, but I wrote it originally on Saturday, April 3rd. I wanted to post it because it was an important post to me, and I didn't want to omit it. **
Yesterday was one of those days that one prays to never have.
It's nearing the end for my uncle, which is bittersweet as I know he will find relief in passing, but am worried about how my Mom will take it - she's been there for 36 hours straight now.
My Dad came to pick me up yesterday in the morning to go and be with her for the day at the hospital. I was super anxious getting ready and waiting for him to come. I do not deal well at all with watching someone I care about in the state that my uncle is in. But I knew I needed to be there for my Mom, despite any feelings I had about the situation.
But when I saw my Dad as he drove up, something was not right.
He's been having fainting spells for about a year - unexplained despite a zillion tests and doctor's appointments. It worries me incredibly - I am super close to my Dad.
He drove off from the building, but I made him pull over as soon as we got to the road because I could see in his face that he wasn't feeling well.
I drove the rest of the way to Baycrest, and he kind of got some of his colour back.
When we got to Baycrest, the situation was dismal. My uncle is gasping with every breath he takes, and is so drugged up that he will never speak to us again. My Mom, like a rock, stays strong through all this - but my Dad, despite his strength and determination to be a rock like my Mom, is more severely affected.
My Dad started getting all sweaty again, while we were sitting by my uncles bed. He confessed to me that his arm/fingers and jaw were tingling. I knew something bad was coming. My mom asked him to get some paperwork regarding the funeral that's being planned out of his briefcase. He stood up, and his eyes rolled back in his head. My Mom and I both caught him before he hit the ground. He's a heavy man. I couldn't support him, so I slid down to the ground with him and held him from behind.
We got him seated in a chair and his eyes started rolling back in his head again.
Someone called the nurse, and 911.
A stupid bitch of a nurse came in and started monitoring his pulse, and took his blood pressure, all whilst mouthing to me, over my parent's heads, that my father had just had a heart attack. They gave him a spray of nitro (which the ER doctor was appalled by - nitro should never be administered if there is a history of fainting with no heart symptons/blood pressure symptoms. It lowered my Dad's already low blood pressure). It seemed like forever until the paramedics came.
By the time they came, my Dad was feeling better. This is what has happened in the past when he's fainted. This time I put my foot down - he was not talking us out of going to the hospital with the ambulance. Normally he will not go. But as his G.P. did not seem to have a clue as to why this was happening, I was not about to let him off that easy.
So off we went to the hospital, me making dumb jokes with the paramedic & my Dad to try and get him to smile some. These last 9 months with my Mom and uncle have taken an enormous toll on my normally jovial, hilarious Daddy. I managed to get a few smiles out of him.
We waited about 3 hours at emergency, and when we finally saw a doctor I felt that the wait was worth it. He finally gave my dad a diagnosis to chew on - Vasovagal syncope. It's not life threatening, and the triggers are very much like an anxiety attack trigger. I googled it last night when I got home, and it fits his symptoms to a 't'. I'm just wondering why it took a year to diagnose something which the ER doctor said was fairly common.
All in all, spending the day at the emergancy with my Dad was probably far less traumatic for me than spending the day watching my uncle die. I really truly don't understand how my mom can stomach it for such extended periods of time. Especially for a woman with MS. I don't know how she does it.
And today? Today is a new day, have to pick up my Dad (he left his car at Baycrest yesterday) and go down to spend some time there with my Mom.
All the outpouring of support and love from my Tweeties is amazing. Despite my brief pity party last night (about how Twitter is not the same as having friends in real life) you all keep me going. I think part of my problem last night is that there are a few of you who I really would have loved to have close to me right now, you are such great supports, and such fabulous people. Being connected through cyberspace doesn't seem like enough for me at the moment. But I'll take all I can get! <3
** Just as I finished writing this, my Mom called my cell to tell me to hurry and pick up my Dad and get down there. I didn't save it, but my laptop is miraculous and when I resumed windows (had left laptop unplugged for the whole time so it died), here was the post. I thought it fortuitous, and decided to post it now. **