Friday, December 23, 2011

The Day My Life Changed...

I didn't realize, that a year ago, my entire life would change. One year ago, my Dad got sick. My Mom called me that morning, and I rushed home. That 3 hour drive, seemed to take forever! Thank God, I had this guy with me.

I immediately knew, something was wrong. This wasn't the "usual" situation. And by that night, we were at the hospital. Unsure of what our future held. My Dad looked horrible. We became the priority case. And immediately, we were in ICU. We spent the next week or so, by my Daddy's bedside. Watching him. Praying for him. Taking care of him.

Christmas came and went. New Year's quickly followed. And soon we were home. My Dad was weak. But alive. And home. It took us days, to unwrap the few gifts that we had bought. Our family is totally a "Shopping Procrastination Family." My Mom and I quickly shopped the sales. Bought gifts for the kids. Bought food and essentials. And spent the next few weeks, hosting family. And taking care of my Daddy.

Over the last year, we've all adjusted. My Dad gets so frustrated with himself. With the fact that he can't do the things he used to do. My Mom and I, have become experts in Health Care. We now see our family doctor once a month. Take semi-monthly trips to the pharmacy. All of that stuff.

My Mom has adjusted the most. Other than my Dad. She had to learn lots of things. How to check my Dad's blood. How to give him a shot. My Dad had to learn how to eat differently. There were lot of changes to their daily life.

Nowadays, my Dad drives less. He naps more. His energy is maybe 1/2 of what it was a year ago. His balance is off, most days. There are more pills. Lots more insurance. And calls to companies. Lots of patients. Lots of time to get places.

There are also those weeks, when my Dad is just out of it. When he doesn't feel right. And just wants to sleep. When he is feeling horrible. When we need to really watch over him, and nurse him. When he feels depressed, and moody. The times when I try to be there. When I pray the most.

A year ago, my Dad would drop us off at the Mall. Walk around a few times, before sitting down, to wait for my Mom and I, to finish shopping. These days, he has a Handicap Parking Sticker. One of us has to walk him in. And find him a place to sit. On a good day, I can convince him, to walk around a store, once. Before he gets completely exhausted!

There have been falls. There have been prescription changes. New treatments. And lots and lots of patients! But things are looking up. My Dad's numbers are improving. At a much more rapid pace, than one would expect. Soon, he'll be off his shots. And his medication lowered.

But there have definitely been changes. I spend more time, with my parents. More time helping them. More time taking care of everyone. I don't mind. I'm glad to be able to do it. I also have this guy, who makes it all possible!

A year ago, I was pleading with God. Asking for one more year. I needed one more year. It wasn't his time yet. I vowed to take care of my Daddy. To do whatever needed to be done. I begged God. Every night, when everyone would leave, and my Mom would sleep, I'd sit there. Praying for my Daddy. Holding his hand. Encouraging him to fight.

The last year has been tough. My parents own a business. One that doesn't take a break. Ever! One that put more and more responsibilities, on my shoulders. I was more than ready to help out. I've learned much more about the business. Learned, done work, and honestly...just tried to keep up. My Dad was used to getting up and starting his work day at 3AM. These days, he naps from 6AM-8AM. Then again from 10AM-1PM.

But most of all, I've tried to bring my family together. Tried to remind my brothers, we need to be there for our Dad. I wish that I could find my sisters. And encourage them to come back. We need to pull together. Our Dad is not a young guy. He's nearly 80. And he needs us. Honestly, we're lucky to have him. And we should all appreciate, this second chance. We got our Dad back. To love. And make memories with. Thank you God. The last year has meant so much to me!

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