Tuesday, November 1, 2011

too much on my plate

I feel like a bit of a stranger here on my own page. I haven't felt able to write lately, too many worries and too much to do.

Last Saturday night I received a call from one of my sisters. When I saw her name on the screen at 9.32 pm I knew something was wrong. She sounded distressed - Mum had called her telling her Dad couldn't breathe.

My heart sank, the show I had been watching on my laptop was left playing, I strapped on my sandals as she was talking to me, she was already heading there as we spoke. I kissed my husband goodbye telling him my Dad can't breathe I have to go. My husband has lost both his parents in the last two years,and he has lost an Aunt and Grandfather and more recently a dear cousin with a young family. We've grieved too much recently. He kissed me hard as I left.

I got into my car and drove there faster than I would've. I imagined that this drive was one I would never forget. I was mentally preparing myself, repeating out loud please don't die now. When I arrived he was gasping for air sitting in the chair he always sits at: To eat dinner, to watch TV, to read the paper.

Every Christmas my brothers and sisters complain how we cannot all fit in that tiny living room anymore. That night with two paramedics and all of their things the space seemed suffocating.

I watched as the paramedics tore open syringes, tapes, bottles, things I didn't recognise. Wrappings everywhere. Their impatient requests for his medication, for room to be made, for the cat to be taken out, it was all frightening to me. They seemed as panicked as I felt, Mum seemed calm but when I held her she really wasn't. I told her everything would be OK, even though I didn't believe it.

I could hear them on the radio, they were trying to get an intensive care ambulance there and they were preparing for him to go into cardiac arrest. They pushed the table to the wall, careless with it, desperate for more space. The next thirty minutes were awful, my whole body was shaking. We stood in the road as they moved him from the one ambulance to the other, just watching. Then they shut the doors, and we couldn't even do that.

Again all I could think was please don't die now, there is too much that hasn't been said, time you haven't had to enjoy your life. I thought you have worked too hard, you thought you were stronger than anything. But I see now that you are just as vulnerable as all of us, then and there I realised we are just like machines we break down we fall apart, none of us are indestructible.

At least twenty of us waited in the Emergency room, grand-kids and nieces and partners and new boyfriends, only allowed in to see him two at at time. Desperate calls were made to missing siblings: At a wedding, at a river cruise. We all came together to support each other and be there for Mum and to let Dad know he was loved and that we were there rallying him to get better.

A week and a bit later and he has pulled through. Six days in the hospital, and he went back to work the night he was discharged. Against medical advice. He looks the same to me on Friday and seems like himself. My sister today tells me he says he doesn't feel like himself, that he is scared. This is more than I have ever heard him admit. Everyday I am afraid that he will have another heart attack.

I promise to be a little more lighthearted next time (no pun intended!) and show you some of our other goings on.


  1. glad to hear that he pulled through=) sending love.... hope all's well xoxox

  2. You poor thing, it is so frightening. Take heart though that cardiology is so far advanced now and not the huge major scare it once was. Doctors are not so helpless these days and remedial action is so commonplace and routine now. I am sure he will be as right as rain. Some modifications and some drug therapy and he'll be good to go. You'll see. I bet you (the family) copped it worse from the experience :)

  3. What a beautiul and heart felt post. Thankyou for sharing what was a very personal and emotional time for you. You metioned that there were things to be said and done, and now you have been blessed with the tme to do it. I wish your dad good health and am sending warm supportive thoughts your way.

  4. I can't imagine how that must have been for you. I am happy that he is doing better now. I was actually popping by your blog anyway today to say "Hello". take care and look forward to catching up on some more posts soon. sending good health wishes and thoughts your way. xo.

  5. Oh gosh, I can just feel all the emotions of those moments through your post. I can't fathom losing my father, but a close friend did just this last weekend. Wishing all your family good health.

  6. Wow, how scary and gut wrenching. Events like these help us to appreciate life. I hope your dad gets the help he needs and listens to his doctors!!!

  7. I am happy your Dad pulled through. wishing you and your family good times together.

  8. Thank you everyone for your kind words. He is as well as he can be.
    We are a little in the wars, health wise, we were hit hard again this week some more bad news, I am a little up and down trying to stay positive.

  9. This must have been so scary for you. Thank goodness he has pulled through. My father in law suffered a heart attack about five years ago and received a rather grim, uncertain diagnosis. But he is doing well and perhaps enjoying life more than he would have otherwise. Hope all is okay xo