Friday, September 24, 2010

Why I was away from my Blog for SOOO long....(warning this isn't pretty)

Last year was one of the roughest years of my life. My Dad died. My Dad passed away on November  9, 2009. So it hasn't been a full year yet. I am dreading the year anniversary of his passing because it means he has been gone for a year and the further time has gone since I have seen him.

Here is what happened last year:
June 1, 2009 - My Dad had his heart attack, which no heart attack is a good one but we were led to believe it could have been MUCH MUCH worse.  That his wasn't a bad heart attack. He recovered for a week in the Hospital, actually Rochester General Hospital which happens to be a top 100 Heart Health Hospital and is associated with the Cleveland Clinic.

June 8, 2009 - Dad comes home from the hospital to recover. He was told that within the next two years he will need bypass surgery. (He also needed his heart valve replaced but not sure if we knew that then.)

July and August - We had a normal summer, we had lots of BBQs Mom and Dad came out to my land, we went out to dinner, breakfast, we had our garagae sale together, Mom and Dad came to Dee Dee's dance recital (the last GREAT pic of my Dad came from there) I didn't know at the time that this would be my last summer with my Dad. But I am grateful that I had that time. The night before his bypass we all went out for ice cream together. My Dad and my husband got along REALLY well.

Mid August - Dad failed a stress test miserably!!!! So they moved up the bypass/heart valve replacement surgery to August 24th 2009, so much for TWO YEARS, try two months! In the meantime, I was hired on as a New Teacher (even tho. I am not new - a new district means you still need to attend New Teacher Training, which is what I did full time the week before his surgery - I started a new job in a new school district!)

End August/ Beg Sept. - Dad made it through his surgery and got to come home on my birthday August 31, 2009, he had to stay a touch longer than expected but approximately a week. I have Open House for my Kinder kids and prepare for the start of a new school year with a new grade level and a new school for me.

Mid Sept. - I hold my curriculum night. My Dad is readmitted to the Hospital right from the Cardiologists office, they are not happy that he is retaining fluid in his mid section. One of the parents of one of my students walks in with her nurse heart uniform, until then I hadn't mentioned to any of the parents what was going on, because we thought he was getting better, but this was a uniform I was getting to know all too well. She even had the heart, while she wasn't on my Dad's floor directly, she said she would visit him and she did.

Mid Sept to Mid Oct - Dad will spend a TON of time on the 5th floor at RGH, the heart floor, the nurses there got to know him and REALLY like him! My mom would go from sun up to sun down and sit with him all day long everyday, dealing with drs. and nurses and I would try to relieve her after I got done working I would go to the hospital to sit with my Dad. The good part is I was working part time in the afternoons, so I still had mornings with DD. I became very familiar with the hospital, parking, food etc. etc.

Dad is discharged but wasn't well, next morning I had to rush him with DD in her PJs back to the ER, I was the "ambulance" driver that day. Long storty short, many tests later, he has a STAPH infection. Which his attending so kindly told us that the HOSPITAL gave it to him!!!!! So tons of blood bags given, tons of antibiotics, three different chest tubes to drain fluid off of his lungs, kidney drs. and the mess. Soooooo,,,,,,,,let's take a sick guy and make him even sicker, oh and lets not forget the atrial fib he was still in. Oh AND lets operate!!!! That is sure to help!!! So ...

Oct. 24th - Dad goes back into surgery to get the staph rind - pulled off of his lungs!! To be honest with you we weren't sure if he was going to make it through this one and he did. The surgeon said it went well and recovery wouldn't be as bad as the first heart surgery, so we have HOPE.

Oct. 30 - Dad comes home - AGAIN from the hospital and I brought DD over on Halloween so he could see her in her outfit. He is getting BETTER and mom is giving him antibiotics to continue to kill the staph infection. He was in some pain from the surgery. I didn't visit much since I was relieved, he was home, getting better and I thought now I can get back to a more normal family life etc. My husband, allowed me to be at the hospital as much as possible and I will be forever grateful for that.

Nov. 8 - Dad called me and asked me when I was coming over, like I said I hadn't visited much since Halloween as I thought he was getting better. So DD and I went over with Apple Dippers from McDonalds for everyone as a treat. We all sat at the kitchen table and ate and talked and laughed. We joked about my Dad snowblowing driveways in the upcoming winter, obviously he wouldn't be able to do that but we laughed about how he would explain that to the surgeon, I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, he said his standard "A new truck." So thankful for this day and that I went to Dad's house and not to school to work, yes I was going to go to work on a Sunday! My Dad was walking around, he put his sneakers on and went outside on the back patio and said "this would have been a good day for a wine tour" something he loved to do with my mom, john and I on occasion.

Monday Nov. 9, 2009 - 5:50am - the phone rings, my husband answers, its my mom, my dad passed away in his sleep in the early am hours. How life can change in the blink of an eye! One day you are talking to someone whom is walking around, looking pretty good and the next they are gone. The hard part was we thought he was getting better, as did my mom who is a nurse!


Aly Schilling said...

I know that must have been a tough one to get through.... hang in there. It will get better... it will never go away... but it will get better. My grandfather passed away 6 years ago - November 2004 - from a Staph infection. He was diagnosed with Stage 2 Lung Cancer but still had some "time left"... a month later he couldn't speak and it was Sage 4... he was admitted to the hospital, contracted a Staph infection, and that was what killed him.... that was in November 2004.... then in May 2005 my brother got married.... we were all at his wedding reception, missing Grandpa and knowing he was there in spirit.... it was emotional for everyone not having him there. My grandma was there and having a ball - laughing and enjoying life. She went home after the reception and my parents were staying at her house - they left about 1/2 hour after she did. When they got to her house she was having a massive heart attack. They couldn't even get her stable enough to perform the surgeries they needed to and she passed in the hospital a week later.

It's so scary how life can take a drastic spin right before your very eyes with no warning. It's even scarier that we're at the hospital's mercy and that they don't always help the situation.

Just last weekend it was my cousin's birthday and we found an old photo of my grandfather and I burst into tears... 6 years later!

Knowing how deep the wounds are for my grandparents I can't even IMAGINE how deep the pain for a parent. It makes me shutter....

I know that we have an everlasting God who is watching over them - but it doesn't make it any easier for us down here.

I feel your pain, and prayers are with you.

Laura said...

Aly, Thank you! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am sorry for the loss of your grandparents. I never knew my grandfathers as they both passed when I was around 4 or 5 years old. You are lucky to have known a grandfather's love! Ironically DD is about the same age as I was when my grandpas passed. I loved my grandmothers dearly and they both passed one in 1998 and the other in 2001. Too much loss! But I guess that is part of life. Regarding the Staph, at one point I was thinking about suing the hospital! I've since let go of that idea.

Anonymous said...

Laura, it had to be such a hard deal for you and your mom to go thru all this..It leaves you feeling so helpless when they are so sick and nothing you can do to relieve the pain..
But you had a good quality time with him during the period of time he was healing, and that is to be remembered for sure forever..
Pray each night for him, and hope each day that goes by, you will be able to accept what has happened...

Anonymous said...

Hey there- Thanks for sharing your story. I visited my dad in the hospital for 30 days straight before he was released. He suffered from heart disease for 25 years and passed three days after coming home. I miss him each and every day. Often wondering how he might be a grandfather to my child. I know we are his legacy just as your family is to your father. May god bless you and bring you peace during this time and always.


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