seimaisin: (circle beth)
[personal profile] seimaisin
And some thoughts about recent family stress, partly for my own benefit, partly for those who only read here on DW/LJ.

Short version, for those who don't follow me on other social media - my dad had quadruple bypass heart surgery two weeks ago.

More rambling behind the cut.



Thankfully, it wasn't an emergent situation - he didn't have a major heart attack. (Though, apparently he might have had a minor heart attack in the recent past? The doctors said they found a small area of dead tissue on his heart that would indicate so.) He went to a routine 6-month checkup, and told the doctor he'd been having chest pains. One stress test later, and his doctor called and said "go to the hospital and see the cardiologist RIGHT NOW." Long story short, they transferred him to the hospital in St. Louis, and planned for bypass surgery.

I flew to STL a couple of days before the surgery. It was an odd trip, unsurprisingly. It felt weirdly isolated. I mean, I generally feel isolated in STL, but this time, staying alone at my dad's place, 50 miles away from the city, driving back and forth at least once a day ... I felt very alone. My aunt came with me to the hospital a couple of days, but otherwise, I was pretty much on my own the whole time.

However - I talked to my therapist last week, after I came home, and told her just how different (in a good way) this experience was from his last hospitalization, when he had his stroke in 2007. I was MUCH more emotionally prepared to deal with it. It's not a coincidence, I don't think, that 2007 was pre-mental health treatment. I freaked the fuck out last time. This time, while I freaked out a little, and I definitely felt lonely and scared and stressed, I didn't feel like I was going to fall apart at any time. Quite frankly, my worst moments came last week, after I was already home, talking to him on the phone and listening to him break all his promises to behave and listen to the rehab people.

But, in the end, he flipped out at rehab and talked them into letting him go home earlier than he really should have - which is exactly what happened after his stroke. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I wanted him to take advantage of having the physical therapists right there, to maybe get some mobility back in his left side. But he's clearly not interested. He doesn't want to do anything but sit in his chair and watch Glenn Beck and yell at the cat. It's his choice. The only thing I can do is try to deal with my ongoing anger with him in my own therapy.

He's 72 years old. If he wants to ignore his therapists and continue to eat the wrong things and believe that all medical providers are just trying to get more of his insurance money, there's not a damned thing I can do about it. So I'm trying to just let it go. But I'll tell you, the surprise reminder of how close I am to having no family left was not exactly what I wanted for my October.
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