It’s been an unbelievable two days and this post has had many a titles. But with the chaos that comes with family stuff it means I haven’t had moment to process let alone write…Please excuse the jumbled-upness of this post but stress tends to do that to me, amongst other things.
Let go back 3 days.
Hang on let’s go back two weeks for a little history… We buried our Uncle (my dad’s brother) last week and a few days prior to that my dad presented with a shortness of breath. I thought stress and possibly a kind of anxiety?!? Any way they (Parentals) cut a trip short under advisement of a GP in Port Elizabeth and headed home and ended up at my sister (the B.E.S.T life practitioner) who also tested Daniel three weeks prior (see the post about clutching at straws) .Anyway so she tested him and found the Epstein Barr Virus in his body. Nasty virus and really the only thing you can do to get rid of it is rest. In the meantime though my Dad had an appointment with Dr Gilmer a cardiologist and went to see him. He did an ECG and said to my dad he’s not happy and would like to do an angiogram…..which takes us up to Monday……
Monday 20th August: Dad goes in for angiogram with a view to possibly putting in a stent (routine procedure nothing to worry about) Mom calls Monday afternoon and says: ‘it’s not a stent dad is going to have a double bypass….. CUE Stomach sinking to bottom of toes….
Tuesday 21st August: I CRIED……A LOT! Turned out my dad needed a triple bypass and I spent most of the day on the phone to family members and my poor hubby trying to decide whether I should fly to Durban for the surgery or not. I had my mom who said not to come because I wouldn’t be allowed to see him. Then at about midday I had my dad on the fone who said the same thing. He however ended the call with ‘ now you take care of that boy and your hubby and remember no matter what happens I love you Pumpkin’ CUE uncontrollable crying from said Pumpkin!!
So I took FOREVER to decide whether I should come down and I had both my mom and dad saying no and then I spoke to my sis and she said to me: ‘ you need to do what you are convicted to do’ To which I responded: ‘I know I’m not thinking he’ll die, but I ask you this, what happen if dad dies tomorrow? I don’t think I will ever be able to live with myself if I’m not there and that decided it….I was off to Durban.
And I sent my dad the following sms: ‘I have taken your suggestion under advisement and as your stubborn daughter decided to ignore you. I will see you tomorrow for a kiss and a hug. Love you old man xxx’
So I booked a flight and headed to Lanseria. (and by the way who says a women can get ready in 20min!!)
Wednesday 22nd August: I got to bed late last night, a little wired from the day’s events. I slept like a dream though and woke at 7:50pm (a luxury for a mom to a 11 month old) Got dressed and headed to the Ethekwini hospital. Weird location in the middle of Ballito and town, but what an amazing facility. As we walked into the hospital I read a tag line on their golf cart that said something along the lines of a “hands on approach to health care” And that is exactly what it was. The whole experience has been amazing and from the nurses to the Dr’s I have never once doubted my dad’s care was anything less but exemplary.
I got to see my dad which was Objective no1. It was exactly what I needed and as always my dad was in high spirits. My dad is a glass half full kinda guy and retold the stories of how they shaved/Veet’d him from head to toe.
I laughed because being a man he is not subjected to the hair removal process like us women (does he have any frikking idea how much that hair is gonna itch when in three days time, it grows back??!?!?!!?!)
It’s funny how in times of stress or when you possibly think you may lose someone you revert to old stories. We told stories like my brother and the cat we bought him. My brother had this cat called ‘Kitler’ named Hitler (the name is a whole nother story!!) Anyway we lived on a busy road, Cape Road, In PE and one day Kitler got hit by a car. My brother was devastated and as a quick ‘soothe- the- pain” mechanism my folks headed off to the local SPCA to find a replacement. That was where they met Mrs Naidoo who arrived with 4 kittens whom she was giving up for adoption. My dad by chance intercepted her and kindly offered to take one of the kittens, for a donation of course. It was a gorgeous sandy coloured cat, who was then named Sandy Naidoo!!
And so we told stories like this until the theatre staff arrived to take my dad…….
I kissed him goodbye and he said to me: ‘Take care of Dor (Mom)’
I was a crappy few hours but far fewer than I thought. Of course it was filled with kak coffee and a really horrible sesame chicken wrap with enough oil in it to give me a coronary!!! (why is hospital food SO bad??!)
Then at 1:30pm we headed up to the couches outside the theatre for the long wait (expecting only to see my dad by 4pm) My mom got a call at 1:55pm, way too early for my dad to be out of theatre…..’Hello Dr’ she said and my heart sank……except it was good news!!! He was out of theatre and in recovery.
It is only now, 6hrs post and 4 glasses of wine down that I’m able to really comprehend that. My dad is OK and he actually gonna see my Ginger grow up. He will possible even see my second baby one day and yes we’ll be able to sing a few more songs together…. and I can only but drop to my knees in thanks to God for giving us a few more years with him. Cos goodness knows I was nowhere near ready to say goodbye…..
We saw him before we left. He was heavily sedated and intubated (but not like in Grey’s Anatomy…it was through his nose) He was peaceful and hasn’t woken because of the sedation. The nurse said he was stable and that he would not even know we were there so we should go home and get some sleep.
At 8pm I called the ICU and they said they had stopped the sedation at 6pm and would take out the breathing tube at 9pm.
We will see him tomorrow at 11am and then I will possibly spend some time with him tomorrow evening before heading back to Johannesburg on the red eye on Friday.
This has been a long post but much needed one as I have need to download somewhat . There is also a whole different story with Daniel but I’m blogging that one separately here….but before I go some things I have learnt over the past few days and have once again been reminded of during this hard time:
1. I have married the most incredible man! – We do not always get along, in fact we fight a lot but shoeh in times of need and when this really strong independent i-can-do-everything-women needs him, he is THERE and he just takes over. He is amazing. I love you Richard!
2. Whether you like it or not. Your work colleagues are your second family. Hell you spend more time with them than you do your own family. And my second family has been amazing!!! I have only been with my new company 4 months and they have been so incredibly supportive. My boss is letting me work from the comfort of this laptop tomorrow so that I was able to be here for my mom today and for that I will always be grateful
3. During hard times I am a pathetic decision maker! It took me at least 5 hours on Tuesday to make the decision whether to come down to Durban or not. Thanks to my hubby (point 1) that decision was largely made for me.
4. Always follow your gut. It was totally the right thing to be here.
5. I love running! And I miss it! I went for a run this afternoon along the boardwalk in Ballito, just to clear the cobwebs. Yes it was interrupted by Daniels GP but it was so good to get my heart pumping (it was funny I was a little more appreciative of my beautiful pumping heart today, for some reason)
6. I love red wine – I’ve had a few glasses, in fact after today the poor bottle stood no chance!!! And whilst i will probably feel really horrid tomorrow, it’s been a really rough day and the few glasses have helped to spill the beans and off load… (Its been tough holding it together for mom)
7. My mom is the most incredible lady. She is such a strong cookie and I am a carbon copy of her!!! But I realised today the old lady is taking strain and she needed me today. I’m taking a page out of this scenario and learning to lean on people and maybe not be too independent.
7. I miss my boys terribly. This is a known fact. I am totally besotted with Daniel and I have missed him so much. It was totally the right thing to be here but my life has changed so much and its not so easy to just get up and go. And I miss my hubby. I miss the quiet strength that he gives me.
So we’re on the other side and dad is OK. Shoeh! Another chapter to add to this exciting journey we call LIFE!!