Thursday, July 8, 2010

When life backs you against a wall

So I finally finished nursing school and have a great job that I love and life is great.  But as soon as life becomes easy or comfortable you get slammed up against a wall.
My dad is a very intelligent man and has been my go to guy when I need advice on life.  We never really saw eye to eye when I was a teenager cause back then I knew everything.  Now that I am older and realize that my dad wasn’t so crazy and actually knew a thing or two life throws a curve ball.  First this economy sucks and my dad lost his computer programmer job.  The company said they could hire 2 new grads for the price of him.  They would be more experienced in the new technology and be cheaper to have.  Problem is alot of the newbies don’t want to really work.  My dad always came into work early and left late and work on salary.  It took my dad 8 months of searching for a job to finally get one.  He was never picky applying for every job including Wal-Mart.  Where is he working?  A gas station in his local town.  What pisses me off is that has to make him feel degraded to have all that education but is now a gas station attendant.  Also having your neighbors ask you why are you working here daily probably doesn’t help.  No one will hire him because he is over qualified.  What the hell? over qualified? I would think getting a guy for half price would be like a great deal?

Next we thought my dad had a stroke with having right sided weakness.  He did some therapy and everything was working out.  Till he had a relapse and really lost alot of mobility.  His cognitive function has decreased also.  My father never said “I don’t know,” till now.  My brother said he stopped at a blinking red light waiting for it to change.  Alot of weird things that wouldn’t add up. He didn’t want to go to a doctor. He said he didn’t want to be poked and prodded.  I tried to respect his wishes. I live so many states away i was getting all this second hand from my mom and my brother. I kept telling myself it can’t be that bad.  I really didn’t have a clue just how bad it was till they came in for my graduation.  He wasn’t my dad.  He can’t walk up and down stairs, or keep up with anyone while walking in Wal-Mart, not to mention some of our conversations seemed like pieces of a puzzle were missing.  I finally broke down in tears begging him to please get check out.  Maybe it was another stroke or just a pinched nerve.  He could no longer ride his motorcycle, play the organ at church, drive the car, find a job, or other things he loves to do.  He was depressed…hell who wouldn’t be.  If you had everything you loved to do taken away wouldn’t you?  I finally got through to him.  “what if this was reversible and you could have a normal life?  Don’t you want to ride your bike again?  So he did his tests….and its not reversible its progressive. He has MS.  So here I am 600 hundred miles away and unable to help my family.  If I lived close I could help do the things he can’t.  Of all the people in the world why dad?  Not that I wish it on anyone but my mom could handle this better than him.  I want to go home and help. Just spend time with him before he can’t do the stuff he use to be able to.  I started a new job and can’t get up and leave right now.  Mom is devastated and my brother well lets just say he has his own issues right now.  I just want to cry.  If I could just be closer…to spend time with him before i can’t…i would go to the doctors with him.  They don’t ask the questions i would since I am a nurse.  What is the prognosis?  How long are we looking at?  Is the damage reversible?  I know my dad he would rather just live the fullest without meds and die before it gets too bad.  I want to respect his decision, but i want my dad alive too.  Is this selfish of me?  I worked in LTC and saw how the families would try to make their parents drag out their life.  Is this his depression or really a decision?  I feel like i have my hands tied.  I don’t want to lose the job i love, the money I need to sustain my family but I don’t want to lose my dad either…life can be soo unfair!

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