Monday, April 6, 2009

When the Tables are Turned

I'm a mom. So I know what it's like to worry about a sick child. And while I lost my mom 11 years ago, I wasn't there for the hospital part. Now, I know what it's like, seeing a parent down...I mean really down. I was there with my step-mom when they brought Dad out of recovery into ICU. I was there when they turned down the ventilator...from 12 breaths/min, to 8 breaths/min, encouraging Dad to make up those 4 breath difference on his own. Then down to 4. Then when they turned off the ventilator, to do it all on his own. Then when they had to test how deep he was breathing, encouraging him to take that deep breath so that they could get the breathing tube out. I held his hand as they pulled out the breathing tube and told him he HAD to cough. Deep cough. With a chest that was just sawed open and now wired shut.

The tables are slowly turning and I don't like it. To see the one who has always been my calm in the storm so... vulnerable. It's heartbreaking. I'd change places with him in a heartbeat (no pun intended), knowing I could withstand the pain better than him. But I can't. So, I need to do the next best thing. I need to need to figure out a way of controlling the water works, and stiffen up my spine because tomorrow they're getting him on his feet. They're going to make him take deep breaths when he wants to do shallow ones, cough when he wants to stifle. He'll do everything they ask of him because he is determined. So, it's my turn to be his rock, his cheerleader, his calm in the storm.

Heck...knowing Dad he'll probably be two-stepping by the weekend. We can only hope.

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