I feel like I’m in one of those television episodes where the day keeps starting over, and each character gives you a different perspective of what occurred that day. Except, in this case, it’s the last twenty hours. I took one of my uncles and my father to urgent care last night. And I thought once I got home, that would be it. I thought my drama for the next couple of days was done. No more. Boy, was I fucking wrong. It’s like life essentially laughed in my face and yelled, “HOLD MY BEER,” while proceeding to wonder just how much I could take the next twelve hours. Let me tell you. I don’t know if that is much more, and that’s the damn truth. Insert your trigger warning here cause it’s been a hell of a day folks.
I woke up this morning to a loud thud. The older I get, the more I sympathize with my mother that just about any sound could wake her from her slumber. But in this case, I thought, okay, who fell? And I assumed my father for some reason, and I called out to him. He confirmed for me that yes, he did fall. He tells me he is not getting up from the bathroom floor. Since he was in there using the bathroom and no daughter wants to see her dad’s privates, I had my uncle check on him. My uncle that just last night got x-rayed and had a broken arm. So if anything, all he could have done was cover him up, and I would have had to help in whatever way I could afterward.
Once he got up the first time, he dropped once more. He said it was like he couldn’t feel his legs, and I kinda poked at his feet and asked if he could feel it, to which he told me yes. I took his blood sugar, which was high but normal by his accounts in the morning. I was so overwhelmed all I could think to do was call 911 when I couldn’t find the blood pressure cuff, and let me tell you that when you call 911, all logic goes out the window. I forgot my father’s age today. Just forgot. I could tell you his birthday and the year he was born, but his actual age was a mystery. It was like someone came in and plucked it right from my brain and decided I no longer needed the information.
I do not remember the name of the 911 operator, but I have to thank her cause I went through a moment on the phone with her where I could not believe I didn’t remember his age. She assured me that in times like that, the only thing on our mind is getting our loved one help, and she was right. He could have been 587 years old, and I would not have cared as long as I knew someone was making their way to our house to help him. But to know his blood pressure was 73/58 this morning was terrifying. To hear him cough the way he did and his eyes glaze over and not speak to me was traumatizing. At that moment, I thought I watched him take his last breath. I thought he fucking died. Not remembering his birthday, considering I thought the man died, is NOTHING in comparison.
The fire department got here first, which has always been par for the course. The only other time I had to call 911 on him, his blood sugar level was 36, and he was barely responsive. Once my uncle helped get him back to the bed, he was responsive but wanted to go back to sleep. Inevitably they had to put him on a chair to roll him through the house and then put him on the stretcher to take to the hospital. We are all lucky that I had the mindset to ask what damn hospital at that point. And all of this occurred because my father was severely dehydrated. DRINK ALL THE WATER FOLKS. I mean, I was relieved to hear he didn’t have a heart attack or a stroke, but I also wanted to throw full water bottles at him and yell, DRINK THESE ASSHOLE! Normal things to want to yell at your father, I know. Okay, fine, I wouldn’t do that, but the temptation is there.
And somehow, miraculously, I got my uncle to see an orthopedic surgeon today to find out to set his arm and get him in a cast; they have to do so via surgery. That’s how bad the break is, so that’s tomorrow—surgery and hopefully getting to bring my dad home from the hospital. And I know what you’re thinking. Her dad couldn’t get much worse. Insert maniacal laughter here from the universe! I went to Walmart to get my medicine after waiting forever, and I do me forever, and to the point, I had to walk across the street to IHOP to pee, to get COVID test results for my uncle so he can, of course, have the surgery tomorrow. Once I got back out to my car, my uncle realized that my check gages light was coming on because my alternator died.
At that point, I started laughing cause what else can you do, right? I mean, today has tested me in ways I don’t feel like I’ve been tested in a while. I’m drained. This might be the last I talk to people tonight about this issue. If not, it’s going to be SUPER sparse because I think my body has been running on adrenaline all day. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me. And honestly, not a whole lot of things make fucking sense right now. I’m just tired. Mentally and physically. The one thing I do know is that caregiving for people is no joke, and if you are a caregiver of anyone in your family, you’re not alone, and I know it’s hard. I also know that at the end of the day, we fucking got this. We’re stronger than most people think.
I also am here to remind you to drink your water, take your pills, and that people love and care for you. Hell, I had to be reminded of that myself today by my book club, and they have no idea how much it helped, and it meant SO much that typing that right now made me teary-eyed. All the immediate help this morning, just, thank you. Thank
And for those of you going through the wringer on the same level of worse, hang in there.