Bounce Back Bob
Last week my dad had another series of seizures which landed him in the ICU, incubated and sedated. In the last three years there have been a half a dozen times when my dad has had seizures or fallen, and outcome is hospice placement. Afterwards he has very little memory, and I spend time slowly bringing him up to speed on life. This time, as I sat by his side and watched his chest expand and compress and listened to the beeps and clicks of the life sustaining machines, I felt mentally drained and physically exhausted from worry. Then a thought crossed my mind, an uplifting thought. As I said the words out loud “here we go again” the following thought replied: “You’ve done this before, you know what to do, let go and let god.” This thought was so kind, it gave me instant relief, and I understood that I shouldn’t dwell in doubt and worry.
When I arrived home, I chose to read through my journals for insights that might help me cope this time around. It was a helpful process as I found a journal entry that made me laugh and reminded me that my dad has often surprised me with great moments of clarity in these foggy times. In late October 2017, at Sea Cliff Health Care Center which is my dad’s long-term care facility, we had a tough yet sweet conversation where he recognized for the first time that Sea Cliff is where he would be living. Tears welling up in both our eyes I changed the conversation to a subject my dad used to revel in, Halloween. Curious if he would recall the days of him dressing up as a Werewolf and scaring the ladies in the neighborhood, I reminded him that Halloween was just around the corner and I asked if he wanted me to get him a costume. His eyes drew downward for a moment and he said slowly, “no…..” As I was thinking how to respond, he then looked at me with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, “I already have one!” Curious, I asked what it might be, to which he replied, “Well, I will just be naked, that’ll scare the hell out of everyone!” Oh, Mr. Gurney, here we go again.
Dad is now out of ICU and his recovery seems expedited in many ways. He is already communicating well and laughing a little.