Dec 14, 2007

Long Day

Phone rings at 5:20am.

“You up?” asks my Dad.

“Yeah, just finished getting dressed. I’ll be there in a little bit.” I say.

“OK, just wanted to make sure you were up.”

In darkness of night... or I should say “morning” I arrive at my parent’s house and notice the entire driveway is covered with at least an inch of ice. *mental note to self*

It was disturbing to me to walk in and see my Dad snoozing in his chair... His skin seemed as white/gray as his hair. Then halfway down the stairs to the garage, he became winded. Along the way, he was complaining about how his legs, feet and stomach were swollen. Mom informed me that he hadn’t been sleeping well, or been able to eat much. My sister and I have always been able to tell how bad Dad is feeling by how grouchy he is. Boy, was he grouchy! I thought to myself: “This ought to be a fun 2 hour drive to Madison.”

We arrived in Madison just as rush hour traffic was starting. I offered to push Dad in the wheelchair up to the cardiac floor. He declined. So then I said: “OK then... How about I get in a chair and you push me up there?” LOL After labs were done, he was taken to start his procedures.

While in the waiting room, I text messaged my siblings asking them to pitch in for salt to put down on my parent’s driveway. My oldest brother offered to give 75lb of salt that was in the back of his truck. Since we were suppose to be back home by 2pm, I offered to drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction of my home... to where my brother works... to get the salt. Since my parents live in between there and my house, I’d stop back my Mom and Dad’s to sprinkle the salt. My sister wrote me a check so I could get more salt. Never heard a thing from my youngest brother.

After Dad’s first procedure was completed, we were told that he had fluid in his lungs and he had to be given medication to reduce it before they could shock his heart. Anesthesiologists wouldn’t be available until 2:30pm. Ack... When Dad asked for a ride, he said “We’ll be home by 2pm.”

Since it was 11:30am, Mom and I decided to walk to a sushi restaurant a couple blocks from the hospital. I told her I’d take her there for her birthday present. The meal was good and she enjoyed herself. We walked there and back, and I had to help her through the snow and ice (Think little old lady crossing the street. LOL).

Since we clearly weren’t going to be back home until after 5:30pm, I text messaged my brother asking him if he could drop the salt off at Dad’s. His response? “I don’t think I’m going that way.” Grrrr! (I didn’t happen to have plans to go to Madison either, but I did. I didn’t have plans to drive in the opposite way from MY home to pick up salt, but I was willing to do that, too.) It really irked me to get that text message. As if my day wasn’t stressful enough. Btw, neither of my brothers have taken my Dad to Madison (which is 2 hours from where my parents live) for any of his appointments… It’s always been my sister and I who have had to take vacation days from work to do it. So in the grand scheme of things, I did NOT think it was unreasonable to have my brother drop off a bag of salt. Especially when my Dad is clearly not feeling well.

I did get a bunch of stitching done while in the waiting room. I finished the gingerbread house that I started the last time I had to take Dad up there for surgery. When that was done, I worked on Victorian Pansies needlebook. Three-fourths of the lace border is done. In addition to stitching, I made myself useful by answering the waiting room telephone. It was the link to surgery... letting families know when loved ones could be seen.

Finally, it was Mom's and my turn to get the call.

We all sat in the recovery room for at least an hour more. By this time, Dad was getting quite irritable from sitting, waiting, and from being hungry. They gave him two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That’s all he ate all day.

8pm... I finally roll into town after dropping my parent’s off at their house. I was tired, hungry, and still brooding over the message I got from my brother. I ate, read some emails, and was in bed sleeping by 9:30pm.

What a LONG day!


Sweet Pea said...

Ugh. Stupid brothers! It's not right that you and your sister have to take vacation days and do all the driving back and forth to Madison. At the very least, your brothers can pitch in at home and do something as simple as taking the salt over and spreading it around. Considering you've given up a full day of your time, I don't think an hour of his time is too much to ask. Next time he balks at doing something, I'd say, "I'd be happy to do it. You'll need to be at Mom and Dad's at 5 to take them to Madison."

Chiloe said...

Poor you !!! I think those guys take advantage of you 2 girls ... Not fair. I never undrstand how kids can be raised by the same parents and become so different when they become adults ... Well, let's stop thinking about them ... I really hope your dad will be feeling better soon !!! YOu do a lot meari and you deserve someone really good ;-) Great you didn't answer to S !!! He just want to make sure you miss him ;-) don't do him this favor because .... they are a lot on the line !!! :-))

Jenn L. at Needleful Things said...

I like Sweet Pea's answer. "I"ll go deal with the salt, you get to deal with the parents. Gee, you don't like that? Then deal with the salt."

Good think you thought ahead far enough to grab multiple stitching projects. I'm rarely *that* organized, and I'd have gone bonkers after finishing the first piece with nothing else to do.

Lots of healing thoughts winging their way to your Dad and calming ones for you, your sister and your Mom.

Barbara said...

Sending lots of get well wishes for your dad. You are such a good daughter and deserve many good things to come your way. Your brothers will someday need someone to help them and that's when you can be too busy for them. What goes around comes around. Just rise above it and know that you're doing loving things for your parents - that's all that really matters.
Barb in TX

Kathy said...

I can identify with you. My sisters and I are dealing with the same type of thing. We mainly share the responsibilities. However, at times he only wants the one of us that is a nurse. I am the closest at 2 1/2 hours away from him.

You are earning more jewels in your crown. Not sure what your brothers are earning.

Hope things improve with your dad.

glenda said...

I am so sorry you have all this on your shoulders, especially this time of year. Your parents are very lucky to have such a caring daughter. Don't think that they don't notice who is helping out all the time - they may not say anything, but they know!!
take care