Monday, December 21, 2009

Not Me Monday - Dad Concerns

It was the fabulous (and famous) MckMama that started the idea of Not Me! Monday and here I’ll share my “Not Me Monday” with you.

I am doing the best I can. That is what I’m telling myself, but sometimes ... sometimes I just don’t know. I’m not sure how to explain this or where to start. I guess the only thing to do is to tell it as things happened for me...

After a usual Monday actually, it was a GREAT Monday – I accomplished so much that day I didn’t even write a “Not Me Monday” post! Anyway, my time alone was ending when my mom pulled into the driveway returning from work and with my dad in the car who she had picked up at his brother’s house. He goes there every Monday night for dinner and I get some wonderful alone time to watch whatever I want on TV without my dad standing over my shoulder or browse blogs & photos of friends on the net without my dad leaning in and asking “What’s that?” or actually EAT without my dad also thinking he needs 3 more meals. Sorry, minor rant...

As my mom walks in the door that night with my dad, she asks if I knew he sprained his ankle. I looked at her a bit surprised, felt a twinge of guilt I’d been with him all day and not known this and said "No" - he'd never mentioned a thing to be about hurting himself.

Who didn't think twice about the sprained ankle? Not me
Who only thought of herself and how bad it must look to my aunt the nurse that my dad hurt himself and I didn't know? Not me. Ok, maybe I was a bit more focused on that...

My dad proceeded to wander around a little bit, irk me some and then ask for his ice cream dish. When my mom said he’d already eaten a lot and she was sure he’d had something at my aunt and uncle’s, my dad said “No.” It was only after her insisting that she knew he ate that he came to sit down in the recliner and went to put his feet up. I told him not to since I knew he had laid around a lot that day, but then my mom asked about his ankle – my twinge of guilt was about to spiral out of control...

My dad really fought both my mom and I verbally about showing us his ankle. He kept saying "no" when he asked him to show it to us and that he “didn't want to” show us. My dad also wouldn't answer how he sprained his ankle, even when we asked him yes or no questions (which sometimes he’s better with answering): Did you do it working outside? In the horse pen? When you were feeding the animals? No answers! Just stubborn “No”s. In the end, the only reason I think we ever saw his foot was because my mom told him to put the recliner up (put his feet up) to show us his ankle.

Who held back from cursing in frustration with her dad's stubbornness while we're just trying to help him? Oh no, not me. I probably "sounded like a sailor"!

As he took off his sock, my mom was between his foot and where I was. I heard her make some comment, something along the lines of, “You taped your foot?” He said, “Yea” and as my mom stepped back, I saw that his foot, not his ankle, was wrapped in blue painter’s tape (like the kind you line your windows and door frames with to not get paint on them). He took the tape off and went to throw it out in the bathroom - that's when I heard more: "Oh my god" from my mom and then her asking if he dropped something on it, “How did you hurt it?”, “That needs to be cleaned up”, etc. My mom came out of the bathroom as I was trying to wrangle the dogs outside - they kept going into the bathroom and all I could see happening was someone going to lick the cut (ew!) or getting in the way and my dad kicking them or something). My mom told me to call my aunt (she's a school nurse), but I actually had my mom talk to her as I cleaned up this HUGE cut on my dad's foot (like where my tattoo is) because he just dumped peroxide on it and was going to put a band-aid on it like that would make it all better.

It’s then that he says, plain as day (as if stating, “It’s dark out”) that he dropped the grinder (think mini hand held saw) on his foot. “Where are your shoes?” my mom asked and he tells her he didn’t have any on – he was in the basement. Ugh!! He almost chopped his foot off! I could have found my dad dead! I never even knew he hurt himself while I was home with him!

So, I’m down on my hands and knees with my dad’s foot suspended in air in our one shower so I can wash the peroxide out and the thing was just gross. I dabbed at it a little with some gauze and then poured more peroxide on it. I’m dabbing it and, friends, I believe he cut it down to the muscle! I wanted to vomit as I cleaned it and told my mom he had to go to the ER (as my aunt was pretty much telling her the same). I was sick. Sick from seeing that cut, sick about hurting my dad (as I cleaned it up so he could go to the ER) and sick that he hurt himself WHILE I WAS HOME and I never even knew. After cleaning up the peroxide enough that a band-aid will stick, he puts on a new sock and heads out with my mom to the ER nearby.

I called my aunt about the whole thing letting her know my mom was at the hospital and the plan was some stitches, a tetanus shot and antibiotics for my dad. She was kicking herself too, I think, since she’s a nurse and did not insist on seeing his “ankle” when he said he sprained it. She said my uncle noticed him limping and asked if his back was bothering him. My dad said no, that he sprained his ankle. My aunt said they asked how and when, but he just kept saying, “Yea, I sprained it.”

My mom and I text back and forth while she was with my dad at the hospital and I told her that there was wiped up blood all over the bathroom – barely noticeable, but I was in there putting the first aid stuff away and saw it. She told me there was a lot of blood and to check the trash. Then, she texted me again to check the trash because he said there was a lot of blood and he threw everything away (yes, she mentioned the trash and blood twice because she’s not too stellar with texting still).

It was then that I remembered that at around 11:30 I came out of my room from putting clothes away and my dad was looking for a trash bag. I thought it odd he’s taken the trash out since he normally only does that when told, but that thought left my mind quickly enough. So, that was it. Around 11:30 he’d already cut himself, cleaned everything up, taken the trash out and never said a thing to me.

Who didn't push about why he took the trash out? Not me. I considered it just a nice little blessing for him to be cleaning without being asked ... hindsight is making me kick myself. If I'd just asked, really got an answer, maybe I could have gotten that whole situation and cut handled a lot earlier.
Who's so above feeling awful for herself? Her dad? The situation. Not me. I just can't get there yet. I feel bad.

I shouldn’t feel bad. He didn’t tell me and went to a great extent to hide it from everyone. But, I still find myself slipping and feeling awful about the whole thing...

I am doing the best I can. I am doing the best I can.