Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What I've learned...

I have learned that my dad is not invincible. Not that I really believed that he was made of steel, or couldn't be injured...but he has always been my Dad. And with that title and role, came invincibility. He could unscrew any jar, open the high cupboards, lift heavy objects, have me and my sister walk on his back at the same time, he constructed big toys and club houses, and shingled roofs, built basements and garages, stepped on rusty nails (and didn't shed a tear) gave bear hugs, tucked me in mummy style, swung me in the air, walked me down the aisle, served in the Navy, fought fires, saved people and their homes and their pets...he is Dad.

This week my dad had a traichiotomy. Next week he will have a total laryngectomy. Following that he will undergo radiation. He should not smoke another cigarette again, so he will likely need a support group for that. He will need to learn how to talk w/o a voice box. He will need to make major lifestyle changes and adapt to life with a stoma that need constant care and awareness. There may be psychological challenges to this, so he will need to use the resources available to him to recover and adjust.

So what have I learned? I have learned that a patient with a traich in feels like he is drowning. I have learned that when it gets too dry to cough the gunk that needs to be coughed OUT of your lungs, you need to have it suctioned. I have learned that the suction "kills". I have learned what a total laryngectomy means now and what it will mean later. I have learned that the VA hospital has tasty cheap food in their cafeteria. I have learned that there is a very interesting hole in the wall booktrader store near the VA hospital that both Brian and I could spend a good deal of time in looking at books. I have learned that my dad is "pissed" that it got to this point. I have learned that so am I.

When I got the news, I didn't cry, I didn't panic, I didn't get emotional--which is unlike me. I have learned to put my trust in God. I have learned to put this in His hands. I have learned that no doctor, or surgeon, or nurse or family member can heal my dad. And that while God is working through all of these people, and He has given them the knowledge and tools to work on my dad's body, HE is healing my dad. I have learned that while we still as of now don't have all the answers... He does. He has known them all along. He is not taken off guard by this. I have prayed for peace over this. I am still scared. It is still very hard to watch my dad go through this. It is sad for me to watch him coughing, and it is difficult to see him in this pain, in this bed, with this traich, and with the sadness. However, I also see the light. God has given us a chance to do things differently. He has given my dad the opportunity to make changes to his life that will improve the quality. I pray that my dad will pray. I pray that God will heal not only my dad's body but his spirit and his mind as well.

I know my dad is sad, I know he is probably angry, he is hurting physically, mentally and emotionally. I pray that he is not hurting spiritually. I pray that he seeks God for comfort and that the comfort be given.
My dad is not invincible. He is human. He can break. He can hurt. But he will be healed.

Our Father though....that's a different story. He is invincible. And through Him, my dad will come home and live. I've learned that too. Thanks be to God.

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