Tuesday, February 28, 2006

random emotional post

It's been one of those months....the kind where you work some insane hours, exhaust yourself mentally just to have life sneak up behind ya and shove ya down on the ground emotionally.

Late last week I got word that my dad was going in for another angioplasty. It's been a little over a year from his first heart attack and despite some drastic improvements in his lifestyle he's still having continual heart problems. So he went in for another operation.

The good news is the exercise and good eating has paid off, his heart itself is strong and in good condition.

The bad news is he happens to be among the 5% of the population whose body can't handle the stents. His body has extensive scar tissue in his arteries from the stents put in during previous operations. This scar tissue has caused some significant blockage, the biggest blockage apparently can't be operated on due to it's location, the other is at 50% blockage and in 6 months to a year he'll need a bi-pass operation. The inoperable blockage will cause him ongoing chest pains for the rest of his life. There is nothing they can do to treat that, only potentially manage some of the pain with medication. Aside from the pure annoyance of having to deal with the day-to-day pain the major concern is his ability to differentiate "normal" chest pain from another heart attack and getting appropriate treatment.

All of this has chipped away yet another piece off the pillar of strength that is my mother. The woman who just 10 years ago faced breast cancer with a "I'm gonna fight this fucker" attitude has emotionally fallen to pieces at the potential of losing her husband. She's had a year to dwell on what life will be like without him. She has nightmare flashbacks to the morning when she witnessed him passing out in church, certain he was dead. Conversations with her over the year have reoccurring themes of "life is short and we could die at any moment". While I'll admit some of her reaction has spawned some practical & healthy actions (buying of their burial plots, increasing their life insurance, etc) it's hard seeing her dwelling so much on death that she almost forgets their lives.

And aside from the usual emotional crap that comes when you're thinking about the mortality of your parents there's a good share of guilt. Being thousands of miles away just feels so useless. Not being able to be there for them is hard, especially when the entirety of that burden falls onto my sister's shoulders when she's already facing an incredibly rough year of her own.

It's also guilt inducing to think that in the year since his heart attack all attempts at creating a relationship with my father have just failed. We've both tried in our own ways to establish some sort of connection but I guess we didn't just try hard enough. I have no malice or anger at him - I had a good childhood, two parents that are still married to each other, and both accepted me when I came out to them. Sure they made some mistakes along the way, but honestly they always did the best they could. I can't point to a single reason why I don't have a relationship with this man, I just never have as long as I can remember. It's never really bothered me until moments like these where I question what I should be feeling for someone that I love but don't really know. It's so confusing to even get my head around it all....


At 2:14 PM, Blogger TOS said...

I can empathize - I went through a similar situation with my Dad who passed away 3.5 years ago. I'm struggling to try to express what I want to say but there is a lot and probably best outside of the "comment" format.

If I could offer just one thing it would be, I understand, I really do. Finding someone who offered empathy vs. sympathy in those days really did help. I talked to a close friend about this last night - he is going through the same thing with his Dad that we did with my Dad... it was like looking at myself 3.5 years ago - same emotions, problems etc. But knowing someone else out there has been through it is very comforting, so if you are able - find someone like that.

If you ever want to talk let me know - but you're doing the right thing by sharing your feelings and not letting it bottle up. Take it easy bud - you will get through it - trust me ;-)


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