Two years ago I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance because of an allergic reaction. I was put on a ventilator, feeding tube, multiple tubes and wires, and sedated for 8 days, before being transferred to a regular ward.
Shortly after I got out the ICU my Dad was admitted to hospital. Thus began a year or so of him getting progressively sicker and sicker. A few months ago he was told he dying and there was nothing else the doctor’s could do.
When my Dad was told he was dying, I still wasn’t completely better. I was still in physiotherapy designed to regain the muscle mass and strength I lost when I was in the ICU, I was keeping this blog about being sick, and I was writing my thoughts and feelings in a diary (that I kept since I was 11 almost 12).
When Dad got sick, I thought he’d get better. I let Mom go to his appointments. I stayed home and worked on my blog, because those were my only times to be alone.
I didn’t know that he’d get sicker, nor did I know that his eventual diagnosis would be fatal, but it was.
And then the guilt set in. How could I focus on my own physical and emotional health (that was already suffering), when Dad was dying? He wasn’t going to get better. I wasn’t going to die? Shouldn’t all my attention, thoughts, worries, and focus be on Dad?
I stopped going to physiotherapy appointments and stopped doing my exercises, I stopped writing the “My storey in Chapters” part of this blog, and I stopped writing in my diary, because all of those things were for me. They didn’t help Dad nor focus on Dad.
And in a way, I think I started a death wait. I waited for him to call my name and ask for something. I was afraid to do much of anything with my free time, in case he needed me to do something for him.
Yesterday somebody asked me what my Dad would want me to do. Would he want me to quit everything? I said I didn’t know.
Today I asked. I sat down and told him why I quit all those things and asked him, what he wanted me to do.
He looked me in the eye and asked “What is it you think I want most?”
The look in his eye told me the answer “What’s best for your children?” I responded hesitantly.
“Yes. I want what’s best for you and your brother and that means you getting better, physically and emotionally. I want you to focus on you, do your physiotherapy, see a counsellor, work on your writing and do your blog. From what I’ve read on your blog, it’s very good and you’re a very good writer. Take care of you. And if you do that, you’ll be more able to take care of me when the time comes, and you’ll be more able to deal with my death when the time comes.”
Thinking about his death makes me cry. You know all your life, that people die, and that someday you’re parents will die, but you don’t really know it until it happens.
His illness doesn’t suddenly make mine disappear. I am still struggling to regain what I lost. I still get exhausted doing things I used to find easy. I’m still emotionally wounded. I’m still thinking about my possible death, and questioning why I didn’t die. And what purpose my life has.
I still want good to come out of my almost dying. I thought of many things, but then last week I thought… Maybe those things aren’t my thing? Maybe I can make good come out my ICU experience by writing about it, because writing is my thing.
I can tell the story. My story. And maybe that’s enough, because maybe that’s what I’m meant to do.
I started writing about my ICU experience to help others, but through it I’ve helped myself, because telling the storey, is making me emotionally work through and deal with the pain.
And it’s not really taking away from Dad anyway. And it’s helping me. And I hope it’s helping you the reader.
So…. This blog is back. Please help this blog, by sharing, tweeting, retweeting, and commenting and by following the blog itself and or following me on twitter.