A few hours later my older sister texted me that she got a job which she interviewed for before the holidays! I was so happy for her and her little family. Just more good news! I love you 2011! I was running errands and had Bruiser at Petsmart for his monthly grooming when I got a text from my mom saying she was taking my dad to the ER as he has lost a huge amount of vision in his left eye and it looks like his retina is detaching. And of course she threw in a little "don't want to worry you." Oh parents. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency; if the retina fully detaches you are left blind with no treatment options because the blood vessels that oxygenate your retina will be torn and the tissue dies.
Needless to say, I dropped what I was doing and drove straight to the hospital. As strange as it is, hospitals are my second home. I can't let someone I love be in a hospital setting without me being there. It's hard to know what questions to ask, what to expect, to know how you should be treated when you've never been in a hospital before. I have very high expectations and luckily do know what to expect, so obviously I stuck by my dad's side and did my best to be the daughter who happens to be a nurse. Not the nurse who is a daughter. I think I did a pretty good job of letting go of control and being there for him, while advocating, educating and asking questions in a totally appropriate manner. Who knows though, I may have been a nightmare ;)
Well, my poor dad sat in the ER and didn't see an ophthalmologist until about 11pm, and the decision to admit him and do surgery didn't come until about 1am. Then comes the waiting game of getting a bed on the surgical floor. He slept in the ER until something like 9 or 10 in the morning then got transferred. That night (Friday) he was supposed to go into surgery at 8pm, but as it always goes, he got pushed back and I think didn't really go until something like 1130pm. He was hungry, tired, nauseous and nervous but he did a great job of holding it together. I asked the anesthesiologist a bunch of questions, the surgeon a bunch of questions and of course the nurse a bunch of questions. I don't think they were used to actually having to continue a conversation after asking "do you guys have any questions?" The surgery itself took nearly 3 hours. Can you believe that?! He had to have his retina banded, a portion of the tissue frozen and an air bubble inserted in hopes of keeping it from fully detaching in the future. He got back to his room around 130am and I got back to Orange County around 3am. He is now home and is on bed rest for TWO WEEKS! Seriously, as trivial as it may sound, it's serious stuff.
Did I mention he had to patch both of his eyes for the whole night and day before surgery? I think out of everything, that got to him the most.
We won't know about vision recovery until the healing process is done. He also is unable to move/open his eyelid right now and we're hoping that is just from swelling. I love my dad so much and it is hard to sit and watch him at the hands of a healthcare team and feel like I can't help him in the way that comes naturally to me. I wanted to start his IV, put his eye drops in, push his morphine, versed and zofran, check his vital signs and do an eye exam but alas, I couldn't! Instead I held his hand, sat by his side, massaged him when his headache was getting unbearable, helped him to the bathroom and asked every question I could think of. I think that's a daughter's duty. Besides when I helped push his gurney to surgery, maybe that was a little out of the realm for every day visitors but at least I felt useful!
So anyways people, what else will come from 2011? If the year is anything like this week then I better fasten my seat belt and put on my preventative covering* because seriously, this shit could hurt.