Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I became a Quadriplegic Too

Japanese clock melted by WWII nuclear bomb
I became a Quad too. My dad was not the only one that was now a quadriplegic.

The minute I got the news that my father was in the hospital, my life changed as much as his was about to. There at the hospital, late into the night, I sat and watched as my father began to lose his bodily functions. First, it was his feet. Then it was his legs. Then it was his hips and the loss of sensation in his abdomen. It continued like this hour after hour, until at least 12 hours had gone by and he stopped breathing. I was next to him. His panic-stricken eyes, searching in me for help, and then frantically dashing around the room, trying to find help. The nurses ran in, threw me aside, and began the intubation process. Once he was on the machine, they put him on medicines that kept him asleep and caused him to forget the event all together. It would be over 30 days before I would see him open his eyes again.

When he awoke, it set in; my dad was a quadriplegic now. I would go on to work day and night in all my free time trying to figure out how to save him, how to bring him back to the super dad that I grew up with, to keep him from this vegetable state. Many people surrounded him and me through these years, but no one really stopped to look at what I was doing, including myself. I became a quadriplegic too, not in the physical sense, but mentally. I stopped in many regards, figuring out my life. I did a lot to work on my emotions, to attempt to battle the pain I was going through, developing my spiritual senses. I worked very hard to become the best employee I knew how in my career, but the inner me, my true voice, was being thrown aside.

I blame no one; it is what we call life. It was very uncomfortable for me to talk about my feelings of anger and hurt. How is it fair I tell anyone of how bad I am feeling when my father is now a human pillow. The guilt I would create (me and me alone, my father was never one to apply guilt onto me) surrounding this cyclical thought path, became a destructive part of me I have told no one about: feeling bad for my father, then for me, then mad at myself for feeling sorry for myself, when I was the able bodied, and he was the quadriplegic. On the surface, it would be impossible at best to tell this was my inner demon. I have arguably done well professionally, I was married almost 5 years ago, to which we purchased a home and are on our second child. However, it is just today that I am realizing how paralyzed I truly was through all of this and to some extent still am.
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