It’s currently 1:00 a.m., I’m writing this from the E.R. mostly to keep awake, but also because I have some stuff to share and maybe in some way this could help someone else who has experienced or will experience a situation like my own. Just so no one freaks out.. currently everything is fine. I’m not here for the same reasons I have been in the past.. where my dad was not able to see and was hallucinating due to a mini stroke and with me having no clue at the time what was going on. This visit was mostly planned. However, I expected it to happen in the morning not at midnight.
I even have stuff prepared so I don’t use up too much of my phone battery. I got my Write The Story Book with me and a book to read. I’ve been here for over an hour already.
When you visit the E.R. enough times you learn a lot of compassion for other people. Because it is the great equalizer, you never know when your going to get sick or injured and need help like everyone else does every once in a while. The first couple of times I’ve been here with my dad it caused me quite the bit of grief and anxiety. It’s hard to see a parent wither away so quickly. It’s even harder when it’s expected of you to remain calm and collected about the whole thing when your mind is anything but.
This time though I don’t expect to hear anything I don’t already know. I’m just hoping my dad doesn’t get admitted again… especially when I know it’s not going to last because they are just going to say there isn’t much of anything they can do.
This blog and work has been my saving grace these past couple of weeks. On those levels things have been going well for me. Mentally I’m so much stronger then I was before and putting a concerted effort into something I have a passion for has done wonders for my mental health. When you have a loved one that has major health issues it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. To work at things that make you happy, because I know from experience that running over and over in your head all the pain and sadness only causes more of it.
Being in the hospital so often also solidified for me something I already knew, that life is short and we all need to enjoy what we can in this life we can, because what’s the point really if all we did was wallow in suffering? I’ve seen so many elderly people lying in hospital rooms just waiting to die alone (not all quite a few have families, but quite a few also, do not) and that’s not how I want to end. That’s not what I want my life to be period. Yes, we have to feel the sadness. I spent a lot of time doing just that, but when it starts to become you, that’s when things need to change.
The strokes affected my dad’s mind. He’s become so angry and bitter at everything. It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to see. He forgets things.. he has an unhealthy attachment to the news and whatever Trump is doing. He’s not the man I grew up looking up to. I’ve had to mourn that man even while he is still alive.
Sometimes living in an environment where the reality is that someone you love is truly losing their mind bit by bit can become toxic. I’ve learned to deal with it by realizing that my dad isn’t really my dad anymore and to not take anything he says or does personally, because it stems from hurt and sickness and him facing the reality that he is dying. I do my best not to let the truth of the situation make me bitter.. or to not let it make it so I loose my mind with the sadness as well.
So I watch films and post about them, I get back to writing about books I want to read, I hang out with friends when they ask. I choose to continue living. It’s so easy to shut down in a situation like this. To let it consume you. But another truth is that there is so much to live for. So I’m there for my family as much as I can be. I’m there for my dad. I hold myself together sitting in the very lightly cushioned hospital chairs. I try to think about good things. To smile at pictures of cats and puppies and watch stupid videos to distract myself.
It sucks sure, it sucks to have someone you love suffer. It’s even harder when it changes them and sometimes in a not so good way. But, I understand it. I really do. I’ve cried over it, I’ll probably cry over it more in the future, but It’s a balance between compassion for your loved one and compassion for yourself. It’s a fine line and there’s no rulebook for any of this.
I look at my mom and I see how tired she’s gotten. How angry because she’s the one that deals with all of dad’s pain and anger directly. So when she’s mad at me for something small I let it go even if it’s to tell me to do something I’ve already taken care of. Or something so small it doesn’t even matter. I let everything go. Because I’m not going to let this situation cause all of us to start yelling at each other all the time. Because arguments happen and they happen more often then I’d like them to. I’m trying to be someone that doesn’t add to escalating an already difficult situation. I’ve learned more patience and calmness from this situation then any other of my life. I’ve learned not to take things personally from this more then any other. But, I’m not perfect. Not even close. Sometimes I loose my cool and argue back. Sometimes, I sit and the emotions wash over me and I just let myself feel. Sometimes anger comes over me and I have to remove myself from a situation so I don’t say something I would regret. Sometimes I fail to remove myself. But, that’s all part of being human. We have emotions. We hurt. We deal with difficulty. We persevere.
This isn’t at all a pessimistic post. It’s just an honest look at something I’ve been dealing with for a long time now. It’s an honest telling of what I’ve learned from it. I don’t like hiding things. I don’t like pretending like things are better or worse then they are. For me going through this has been hard, but it is manageable and this is not at all a post for the sake of being pitied. Stuff like this happens all the time, but if I can help someone through my experience to deal with their own then I do want to candidly discuss it which is why i choose to write this in the first place.
There is always hope in every situation. There is always something to be learned. I love my family. I love my dad. I wish that none of this would have ever happened, but it’s something that can be handled in a healthy way. It is now 2:00am and I think I’m kinda losing the message I was trying to convey so I’m going to stop here.
To all those who are going through a difficult situation right now, you’ve got this! You are going to make it through. I’ll be praying and rooting for all of you. You deserve the best.
Thanks you all for reading! I send my love out to all of you.
-Till next time!