Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Where did the day go?

I haven't slept like this in ages! I got up around noon and then fell asleep again around 2pm until sometime after 8pm. Is it the Pamidronate? Or the emotional stress of the anniversary of my dad's death? Probably both.

In a way, today was easier to deal with, memory-wise. I sort of felt like I'd already dealt with so much that today was sort of anti-climactic. Not that I miss my dad any less, but the flood of memories I've been experiencing over the last few days has slowed to a trickle. Once I gave each memory attention it didn't need to come back this year, if that makes sense.

Of course this day was hugely stressful last year - I'd spent the night in the hospital with my sister, visiting my dad. He moved around a lot and was very wiggly. At some point they put him on Fentanyl and he stopped squirming around, which made me think that maybe he'd actually been in pain. In the morning we met with the doctor who told us that my dad was not getting better; he was on life support and four kinds of heart medications and his lungs and kidneys were just starting to fail. My dad had a do-not-resuscitate order in place and if he'd had the previous heart crisis during the day instead of the middle of the night. After consulting with the family we decided to "pull the plug" - take away the life support, except for the Fentanyl.

They told us that my dad would probably last about 15 minutes after everything was disconnected, but he actually hung on for 2 1/2 hours! My one sister, myself, and my mom stayed in there with him the entire time, telling him that we loved him and telling him that it was ok to go now.

It was so hard to watch my dad died but in some ways I felt very honoured to be there. Death is a profound experience and watching my dad go through it touched me very deeply. When he had died, I hugged him and told him I loved him and my sister and I got hair clippings from him. He'd gone and got his hair trimmed for the surgery - even now, that thought brings tears to my eyes.

I still miss my dad and wish he was here. I know that he had to have the surgery because he had no quality of life the way things were. The last months of my dad's life were the happiest he'd ever had and he went in knowing what the odds were. I'm grateful for the time I got to spend with him before the surgery and while he was in the hospital.

If only things had happened later... but nothing can be postponed forever.

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