The Hard Stuff

I told my therapist this today that I feel like a different person than I was at the beginning of the year. “How could you not be after everything you’ve been through this year?” she said.

Sure, she’s right. But this doesn’t feel like me. I used to feel so optimistic and uplifting. I feel negative. I feel like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, always expecting the worst.

So, when I write in here about the difficult things going on, part of me feels guilty. Part of me feels like I need to put on a brave face, show up for people, act like nothing is wrong. I feel like a Negative Nancy.

And at the same time, this is my life right now. It’s NOT all sunshine and rainbows. Shit is hard right now. Shit is trying. Shit is testing me to my core.

With that being said, I want to get this off my chest.

Dad is “stable.” Stable in a sense of his vitals. But he’s not really getting anywhere. No better, no worse. No closer to getting out of there.

But we’ve noticed another problem lately. One I haven’t talked much about, and one that the facility doesn’t seem concerned about: Dad’s mental state. “Anesthesia fog” they called it. An unofficial diagnosis. A lack of mental clarity caused by the amount of time Dad was on a ventilator and the cocktail of medicines he’s been on for the last 5ish months.

“It will go away eventually,” they say. “This is normal,” they say, completely brushing it off.

Ya know, the first time Dad was hospitalized for a full year, this happened, complete with full on hallucinations. But that was after having BRAIN SURGERY. I mean, that made sense.

But Dad has been off the ventilator for close to 4 months and is still having confusion. Still asking if Dawn passed away. Telling me about a job opportunity he has in Tampa even though he hasn’t job hunted in a few years. Saying that he went out to his car and it wasn’t working when he’s been in the hospital the whole time. Not remembering what day of the week it is. And saddest of all, convinced that he can walk and not understanding why he can’t come home.

I feel so deeply for people who have had loved ones with dimensia or Alzheimer’s. Is this what it’s like? Could Dad have the start of dimensia onset from the repeated trauma to his body?

I hate that I’ve only been talking about the hard stuff here, but sometimes I think it’s the hard stuff we need to be talking about more.


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