Monday, January 08, 2007

Plus Ca Change, Plus C'est La Meme Chose*

La traduction: The more things change, the more they stay the same

Time passes, people age, lifestyles change, families grow, storms are weathered...again...and again...and again.

That is how I view life in my family. We've encountered and dealt with major health shake-ups that may have affected one person, but in turn have always affected the family.

We've been handed another shake-up... My father is still in hospital, free of seizures, but so heavily medicated, he sleeps most of the time, and is only a shell of his former self. Because the meds are in his bloodstream, we don't know yet his full mental and physical capabilities and/or if they will be retrieved. Doctors ask about what kind of home my parents live in, if he could return home to the life they knew, if we would get medical care, if my mother could handle things.

So many questions... No real answers.

Medical care itself is a shell of its former self. Over the years that my father has been hospitalized for various ailments, we've seen the decline of the Canadian health service. It's sad -- new hospitals are being built, and yet, there are not enough doctors, nurses and staff to meet the needs of hospitals already in practice.

I gave birth to two of my children in the hospital where my father is right now. Even with the three year gap between those two kids, I could see the cutbacks that the hospital was experiencing during my stay.

It's sad. We worry about our loved ones. We worry that their needs are being met by hospital staff. And yet I feel sad for the staff themselves, who are so overworked in these demanding jobs.

My father is a model patient. He doesn't complain. He is so polite and friendly, when he's awake and less groggy. He addresses the doctors and nurses by name, through each shift. He makes small talk with the several languages. He is not needy.... YET WE NEED HIM. So I'm hoping that these doctors and nurses will set him on the road to a wonderful recovery...yet again. He's been on such a road many a time.

As Bob Dylan penned, "How many roads must a man walk down/before you call him a man?" My father had to become a man while he was still a little boy. I'm hoping he's still got a few good years left in him to be the wonderful man that he's known to be.


This post is rather disjointed, isn't it? It's like my poetry -- I intend to carry my words one way, and they take a path all their own. Yes, this post was going to be about my father, but I was more inclined to write how I want people to ask about how he's feeling and progressing medically, yet I also almost resent having to repeat the same stories and explanations to people. It's sort of a push me-pull me tactic. It isn't that I'm lazy to tell the stories, but primarily it always come down to the same base idea: the truth hurts; hearing or seeing the truth hurts; vocalizing the truth hurts even more. I already felt this when he had a brain tumor 25 years ago and people would ask, and ask, and ask, and I'd have to answer, answer, answer. Yes, I appreciated the concern but sometimes just felt I wanted to shut my ears and eyes to it all.
I don't know if other people have encountered these feelings when in similar circumstances, whether family, health or job related issues come up and questions are continually asked. Maybe it's just my personal quirks...?

Thanks for "listening."