Saturday, 19 October 2013
Long day at the ICU -- and it's not over yet
Right now I'm really hoping our relatives and friends of the family doesn't know about my blog because what I'm about to tell you is nothing they've yet been told. Why? Well, frankly because at the moment we can't cope with the questions and worries they will have. But having no close friends, I just have to talk to someone, even if it means just writing it down.
Yesterday, my dad had to go to the ER after a night of vomiting, which also finally resulted in a fall from the bed as he tried to get up, way too weakened by the sickness (and a background of weak muscles after his last bout of illness). At the ER, they discovered a severe case of ileus -- something he's had issues with before but never this bad -- that required emergency surgery or he would not survive it. Very bad, but still it seemed ok as it was discovered and he was in surgury.
At 4:30 (AM) we got a call. Never a good sign. I was a sleep, but my sis had heard the phone and I woke seeing here in the lit doorway saying "they say it's much worse than initially thought" and that we had to go to the hospital immediately. A lot of thoughts race through your head in such a time, especially the one obsessive thought I often have about people undergoing more or less complicated surgery in general: he's going to d** (I can think that word, but never say it and writing is saying). You can think that quite a lot of time on the hour drive to the hospital, an hour that felt like seven.
At arrival, the man at the ICU told us that about half an hour before our arrival dad was showing signs of improvement, but at the time they called us the honestly feared they were losing him. However, all is not over. On the time we spent there, some things improved slightly, but it's still very, very critical. The next 24 hours will determine if he'll make it through. They said that at 6 this morning so there's still time left.
After discussing with our mom, my sis and I got home to feed the cats (trapped indoors, but with some dry foods and water) and generally just try to calm down. Still critical so one one hand the exhaustion of the long day makes my body and brain scream for bed and telling me sitting in a "next of kin room" isn't helping my dad (he's heavily sedated) -- and on the other I feel awful for not being their in case -- every fibre in the universe forbid -- he gets worse again.
Just got home perhaps and hour ago and the head is buzzing, the stomach turning upside down and my legs shaking as it has since 4:30. Mom will call if something happens and I doubt I'll be sleeping for another 16 hours unless from pure exhaustion.
Asking for positive thoughts and prayers feel strange, partly because I'm not religious and don't believe in it in that way, but who am I to say directing positive energy towards a person isn't useful. I'll try anything for family members in need of it. If you could find it in your heart to do this for my dad I'd be ever so thankful.
This is all so unreal. And so unlike previous visits to the ER because even at its worst when it was very close, it was just close and never felt like it could end really, really bad as this can. This can't be the end! I can't allow it to be the end! Dad is very, very critical but surely being stable at that level is a good-ish sign, right? It might sound odd as I can constantly think about the result being the worst and think about practical things it would involve, but at the same time it's kind of not sunk in. It wasn't until writing those last sentences that I shed my first tears over this. It's all just so awful, so terrible wrong and unreal. I want to sleep it off, I think that's what my head is trying to say rather than I need sleep due to exhaustion, but the thing is... I also know that when I wake up tomorrow it won't just have been a bad dream. It's happening here and now, whether I'm down in Helsingborg seeing it or not.
If you excuse, I'm going to go hid in my bed now, hugging as many cats as I can find.