Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Living Horror

The past few days have been hell on an epic scale. Dad's in ICU. He went in for a routine surgery. A knee reconstruction. He's had one before, with no complications. This time he had epic complications. At 5am yesterday, he was found not breathing, with a blood pressure so low it could barely register. Doctors took 45 minutes to resuscitate him. During that time he vomited and inhaled quite a lot of it. When they managed to stabilise him they called his partner and told her to bring all of the family in.

I got a call on my way to work. Not knowing how bad it was, I waited to hear an assessment from my sister. She rang at 9.20 and told me to come straight away. They didn't know if he'd survive the day. I literally dropped what I was doing and left. I said goodbye to my direct superior, got changed and literally ran out the door. I rang the head of my department as I headed towards the train station.

11 hours of solid, gut wrenching travel ensued. With short breaks to pack, pee and eat a sandwich. I lost it packing my black dress. Absolutely chucked a foot stamping crying tanty. My Dad's only 60. He had his birthday last September. He didn't have grandkids. I'm 25. Too young to bury my dad.

I lost it driving to Canberra to meet my uncle. Remembering how I'd thought to call him on Sunday after the gym, but decided to do it later. Then remembering how I'd received a text from him on Monday telling me he was having surgery, and deciding to call him that night. Now it was Tuesday and I didn't know if I'd ever get to talk to him again. I was crying so hard that I could barely keep my eyes open, but I kept driving. I could not stop. I was well over the speed limit, but I didn't care. If I got a fine, but got home quicker, it would have been worth it. But even if I got pulled over I was reasonably sure I could cry my way out of it.

I lost it when I met my uncle. First family hug since hearing the news. My first words were 'I can't believe this is happening. It was all so fast. We drove down together.

He was still with us when we got to the hospital. I lost it when the doc explained what had happened. It seemed the immediate threat to his life had passed. But they didn't know how long he'd been without oxygen. And because it took so long to stabilise him, there was a 'possibility, more likely a probability' that he'd have brain impairment. They had no idea as to the extent. And his lungs weren't working properly, so his blood oxygen levels weren't high enough to support repair of any areas that had been affected.

This morning he was pretty much the same. But they did lighten his sedation enough to do some quick neuro checks. He can nod 'yes' and shake head 'no'. He can twitch his toes and squeeze hands when asked. We don't know if he can speak. He is still intubated. He remains on maximum life support, heavily sedated. They won't know about his brain function until they can take him to do brain scans, and right now he's too unstable to attempt to put him on a portable ventilator to take him to the scan.

We've been at the hospital all day. The past 2 days feel like a lifetime. Mum's tiny 3 bedroom house is housing 5 people. I'm sharing a bed with Mum and she's a snoring bed/blanket hog. Tonight I'm going to sleep on the floor. I'm tired. Emotionally drained and in need of a good cry and a very long sleep. I don't know if I can update here, but Kez can update in comments.

Do me a favour guys. If your parents are still around, give them a big hug for me. If they're too far away, please call them. They won't be here forever.

33 comments:

sparsely kate said...

I've never wanted to reach out and give a blogger a hug as much as I do to you right now.

Bless your family and you. xxxxx

DamienNZ said...

Thoughts and prayers mate.

Jen said...

Hugs, little Phishy.

xl said...

Best wishes to your dad, you, and your family.

UBERMOUTH said...

Truly sorry to hear this Phish. Have faith miracles do happen.

Fusion said...

Wishing the best for your dad and peace for you and your family Phish. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

Tracy said...

I am sorry to hear about your Dad, I hope he is fine. Take care of yourself.

Josh said...

Thinking of you and yours and sending love and luck your way...off to do that hug run right now too.

unique_stephen said...

Love girl, lots of it. All the best for you and your family.

suze2000 said...

*hugs*

What a difficult time, and your story reminds me of when my mother had a heart attack on the other side of the country (at 54). She was dead for ten minutes, but is fine and kicking now. Still, until I saw her, they were the worst 10hours! (and I took the first plane out of Perth)

I really hope your dad pulls through without too much damage. Because you are right. 60 is far too young.

Kitty said...

jesus phish, i am thinking of you and i hope everything is ok with your father xx

Obesio said...

Also sending my love and hugs.

Ben said...

Big hugs.

kimba said...

heya phishy.. hoping when you get these comments your dad has started to pick up some more.. xx

Ms Smack said...

oh honey.. I'm sending all my best wishes and warmth to you and your family, especially Dad during this troublesome time.

If you want someone to listen while you have a cry, or something, anything - please let me know.

lots of love
Cath
xxxxx

MissE said...

Sending you so much love right now and all the positive thoughts and hopes I can give.

I wish I could give them in person.

HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS HUGS

Jenny said...

Thinking of you and your family. My Dad is going strong at 79 and I know each day's a blessing - we somehow think they're going to be with us forever. I pray that your Dad recuperates and has retained all functions.

fingers said...

Oh Phishy, I just saw this.
Nothing to say except the obvious...

xxx

Cazzie!!! said...

Huggs to you and yours Phishy, I see this awful predicament at work alot.. all I can do is offer my most sincere thoughts..and take everything one moment at a time.

FoxyMoron said...

You don't know me but our mutual blogging friend Cazzie mentioned your plight. I am so, so sorry. He's way too young for this. My mum who is 82 just had a knee replacement last week and thankfully came through okay, and it made me realize how much she means to me.

I am thinking of you and your Dad, and sending positive thoughts your way.

Clyde said...

Phish
Hugs---what more can I say
I've lost both of my parents---but I did keep telling them that I loved them.
You know that you do---but tell them

phishez said...

Thanks for the support guys. Dad's still with us. He's still on life support, in an induced coma. But they've reduced the amount of oxygen he's on, he's able to breathe by himself, and maintain good levels of O2 in his blood. When they lightened sedation he was able to squeeze hands, twitch toes and nod/shake yes/no.

But he had low blood O2 levels for an unknown period of time. He will have some degree of brain injury, but we will not know until he is more functional.

I'm heading home tomorrow, and am expecting to make a road trip back next weekend.

*~Dani~* said...

Phish - just saw this and your update. So very sorry. I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and hope things improve.

Cazzie!!! said...

That is all good news Steph... I am pleased. One day at a time.

Ms Smack said...

It is very positive news, I agree.

Rest as soon as you can Phish. Try to find some time for self-care, honey.. rest, talk, cry, sleep xxx

Ginnie said...

I'm here because Cazzie alerted me to your plight. I pray that he improves steadily and you will all be in my thoughts.

Allison said...

My thoughts are with you and yours. I hope your Dad continues to improve.

mutleythedog said...

I only just read this, sorry. Take care of yourself

Spiky Zora Jones said...

I hope all is well sweetie.

I've lost both parents. I know how you feel honey...I do.

My prayers have been with you and my best wishes too.

bye

Effortlessly Average said...

I'm sorry hon. So sorry.

Lad Litter said...

Thinking of you and your dad and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Ms Smack said...

xxxx

Cazzie!!! said...

Any news honey? When you are ready we are all here to read/listen/hugg ya :)