An Ugly Confession

insanityRemember when I said barring anything weird, Dad should be fine?

Well, guess what. I forgot, Weird is our familial middle name. Dad is even sicker now than when he originally was when he had his heart attack. If it could go wrong, it has. I’m trying to remain optimistic, but it’s getting pretty hard. He’s still sedated; still on a breathing machine; still unable to follow commands; and still very confused and agitated from something called ICU psychosis. It’s painful to watch day after day.

It’s been a couple of rotten weeks all the way around. Besides my father being at death’s door, my mother fell and fractured her hip.  We lost our beloved dog Suzie, and both of my cats are gone now too. Chef kept Jake when I came to Texas. In the time I’ve been gone, Jake formed a bond with him, and Chef has no one else in his life now. I couldn’t take Jake back with a clear conscience. This week, Chef and my anniversary would have been Saturday, and he’s feeling sentimental while I’m avoiding the subject completely. I won’t lie to him, and I can’t say what he wants to hear. These days, I ignore his telephone calls.

In one giant sweep, the landscape of my life looks completely different, and it has made me a little weirded out. Normally, I wouldn’t have noticed it all at once, instead easing into my reflections when life gave me a minute to breath before beginning again. This time, life just stopped like it hit a brick wall. It all looks so different now as opposed to a year ago. The thing is, I have had so much time to think, I have grieved, accepted, and put behind me, all those changes, and in record time. All because I’m bored.

OMG!!

I have had entirely too much time on my hands to think. I’m sick of thinking. I’m sick of waiting. I’m sick of thinking while I’m waiting. The voice in my head is starting to answer itself, and sometimes I can’t follow the conversation.

Hell is a hospital waiting room. I’m sure of it. I think you get there by admitting that while your father is lying in the bed fighting for his life, you are bored out of your gourd.

That’s right. I’m a horrible daughter. I’m bored out of my mind waiting for my dad to get well.

The upside is, I’m right where I need to be when I finally lose my sanity completely.

I’m not a terribly patient person even when things are going smoothly. This kind of situation is just like the fifth ring of hell in my existence. I’ve read several books while at the hospital; even one aloud to my dad. I’ve written some stories, delving into the new trend called flash fiction. I’ve played all the computer games that come installed in my laptop and a few weirdo ones I found on the internet. I’ve answered 4000 questions on Quora, joined Match.com, cleaned out my friend list on Facebook, organized my Google bookmarks (there were hundreds of links I never bothered to return to), and watched every morning talk show I can stomach. I’ve reflected on not only my marriage, my hopes, my dreams, my regrets, but my whole life since conception. I’ve mentally inventoried my entire existence while waiting for my dad to wake up, and I’ve summed it all up and tied it with a depressing pink bow.  The meaning of life?…I figured it out. My brain is bleeding from the constant litany of crap flowing through it, all to the beat of Dad’s heart monitors.

I’m officially bored out of my freakin’ mind!

I know it sounds disrespectful…I mean, Dad is very, very sick, and I should be in constant prayer and worry, right?  Yet, my prayers for Dad don’t take very long. worry just makes things worse, and I’m finding that time has slowed down to turtle-like proportions no matter what I’m doing. The doctors struggle for ways to say the same thing…we don’t know… and still sound in control of the situation. I want them to lie to me enough to make me believe they have a clue. They aren’t very good liars. All we can do is wait. There’s just no way around it. So, I wait. And I develop this encyclopedia of useless knowledge that won’t be any good once this is all over.

I now know how long people stay interested in tragedy. For the most part, my billions of relatives have stopped coming up to the hospital, settling instead for an update every two to three days. I am getting to know some of the hospital staff pretty well. One nurse and I ranked the attractiveness of some of the doctors on a scale from one to ten. Another nurse, a guy, bought me a coke out of the clear blue. and I spent the next several hours trying to figure out what his motivations were. He was hot, but something about him being a male nurse kind of made me think of him as gay even though he clearly wasn’t, and I was conflicted. I rescued a cat out of a nurse’s car engine in the parking lot. The woman was so thankful, and even let me keep the kitten…even though I clearly stated I did not want it. I know where to park my car so security won’t catch me smoking on hospital grounds. I know what the hospital cafeteria specials are for each day of the week and whether they are any good or not, and the guy at the convenience store next to the hospital knows me by name, and gives me a free lighter every time I stop in there…even when I’m not buying cigarettes. I actually look forward to our brief interaction each morning; it’s the closest thing I have to a relationship these days. I question the condition of my soul.  I saw a little girl in pigtails coloring in her Sesame Street coloring book in the room next door, and I actually felt like tackling her and taking the book and giant crayons for myself. Envy is ugly, people.  I thought about buying a coloring book for myself, but then I remembered, I hate coloring….always have, even when I was a kid. After the mental drama, I reflected on the demise of my soul given the envy I had just experienced. It wasn’t even real, but it kept me busy for about three minutes. That’s how bored I am.

I tell you all of this so that you might have pity on me and step up the prayers for Dad, and throw a little one in there for me. I’m losing my cookies over here. :-)

- Bird

 

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19 Comments

  1. I didn’t want to *like* but you know..
    I hope your dad gets better soon.. I’ll keep him in my prayers x

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  2. These kinds of situations are a merry-go-round of emotions and thoughts. So you are going through just about what is to be expected. And, yes, being bored is part of it. But it’s not bored in a “bad” way…it’s just not the sort of time management you’re used to. Hang in there, kid. Bring a good book with you for your bored times.

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  3. You are not a terrible daughter – I was in that “waiting room” with my mom for 3 months. For me it was jigsaw puzzles, I was like a mad woman finishing them while I waited for mom to come back from tests and what nots…I would often go to visit while she slept and did needlpoint/read or just sit and remember. Hang in there – your feelings right now are real and I think you are doing great holding up and being there for your dad. You are not alone – we are also all here for you. {{Hugs}}

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  4. Hi Bird ;) This is the first I am visiting your blog. It sounds like you are really going through a hard time. I can’t imagine. I have to say though I love your straightforward approach to blogging. I like people that don’t pull any punches. I read something this morning, I think you will appreciate it. Here goes:
    There is Hope~ Even though your world feels turned upside down right now. Between your father, your marriage, the condition of your soul as you stated in your blog, there is still Hope.
    Christ gives us Hope, and He doesn’t just give it to us for the hereafter, it is also for now. He has set you up, exactly where you are right now for a reason. It seems unfathomable to you, but our mess, is his design.

    But, I understand you need the real deal of hope right now.
    Fortunately, God’s brand of hope is up for the task. His hope isn’t a halfway deal, partial hope, a smidgen of hope, or even mostly hope doesn’t cut it. All that partial hope can make hope seem hopeless.
    But, Romans 8:20-21 says: With EAGER hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom.

    The emphasis on “eager”. The eager part shows present action. Hope involves enthusiasm that transforms how we live today while we wait for all that we are hoping for all that will happen in the future.

    ~ There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.~ G.K. Chesterton

    This is from God’s lips to your ears~ God Bless You~ Bird~

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  5. While I continue to pray for you and your dad and now your mother, I need to remind you things we want don’t always happen in the time frame we want. God does do miracles, but only in His time frame and in the way He needs them done to give us blessings we don’t really deserve.

    So while you are having this pity party, turn it over to God and let Him handle it, take a step back and let Him work, He is pretty good at these things. Then remember, you are not alone and you are loved! Then smile and thank God for your blessings!

    From the back woods of East Texas know I love you also.

    Ed

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  6. I don’t think you’re disrespectful at all… it is really hard when a loved one is in a hospital in a non-responsive way… You try to think how things will change and what you should do until it does… I went for the last few years to visit my Mom in a nursing home …she had lost the ability to talk and then walk and I never knew what she could understand and what she couldn’t… I loved her immensely but it does wear you out…. So don’t be hard on yourself. Maybe you could take a break once in a while and do something nice for yourself… maybe get your hair done… a manicure of pedicure.. or just go an visit a Mall and lose yourself in window shopping… go ‘somewhere’ and rejuvenate yourself…. I will pray for you and your Dad Catherine…. take care … Diane

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  7. Grace

     /  October 29, 2013

    I’m sorry to hear things aren’t going well. Very sad all round…
    Still praying for you…

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  8. I don’t know why you’re bored because, hello, hopscotch! Grab a black sharpie and color those floor tiles. Bonus points if you get a doctor with a gray mustache to participate in at least one round over the course of your hospital visit with your dad.

    Just trying to lighten the mood. Be well.

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    • You’re brilliant! I love games!

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      • Pro-tip: playing marbles is not conducive to a hospital environment. I may or may not have personal experience with that, depending on how you interpret “permanently banned from all hospitals in the tri-county region”…
        :)

        * Disclaimer: the above comment is clearly a work of humorous fiction and should not be interpreted in any way as to a real event of which I was ever involved.

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        • I appreciate the warning. I will not play marbles in ICU.
          :-)

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          • My Struggles, His Story

             /  October 31, 2013

            I’m sorry you are struggling. This feels an awful lot like my home life, just slightly different. Stuck waiting to get unstuck. Thankfullness is the answer. An “attitude of gratitude”. Sometimes that’s easier said than done though. Here’s to faking it till we make it and break the cycle. I honestly believe it’s a way of God trying to humble us and show us how ungrateful for His sacrifice we truly are. It’s just another sign of our brokenness I suppose. Good luck!

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