Saturday, March 28, 2009


I don't know what the hell is wrong with my Dad.

He didn't have strokes. He should be better. His prognosis should be better. It's not. It's WORSE.

No one is telling me anything. I don't know if they are trying to protect me or are leaving me out or what is happening. Somedays he seems fine and on a road to recovery. Other days he is childlike and unrecognizable. Either way, not the Dad I thought I would have after this operation.

I have anger towards the surgeon. How could you let this happen? What is wrong with him? Why are the rehab people saying things to us like he may never work again???

Anger. That's where I'm at. I'm angry. I miss my Dad. I miss picking up my phone and calling him. I miss our inside jokes. I miss our snide remarks. I miss him loving on his grandkids. I miss his smile that I don't see often enough.

Even worse is I'm so angry to be alone through this. I was happy to be alone, and now it's worse than it was before. I have no one. I sleep alone. I wake up in cold sweats with nightmares about my Dad and I am alone.

I just don't know how to get through this anymore. I drink, and it makes me sad. I take medication, and it doesn't touch anything. I scream and yell and nothing changes. I hit my steering wheel and cry. I sleep and I have nightmares about his changed face, or I dream that he's better and wake up to reality. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET THROUGH THIS.

I'm angry that the friends I thought would be here for me aren't. That I have to constantly explain how hard this is to people. That people want to change my feelings and invalidate my anger ("Look at the bright side!!!"). That I even have to worry about that shit right now. That I feel like I'm annoying those around me with my feelings of sadness and hopelessness and loneliness.

The hole in my life just got bigger because my Dad isn't here to help me anymore. He was a big part of why I was doing so well, and he's not here. I am falling apart.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Hardest Part

I know I haven't been updating this blog much, I've been keeping everyone, including family and Dad's co-workers, informed through my business blog, and it's exhausting between that and facebook and twitter trying to remember what I have updated.

Basically physically he is getting better and mentally he is getting worse.

It turns out he did not have strokes. The MRI results came back. This is great news. But the recovery from such traumatic surgery is a long and difficult one.

This is a copy and paste from my other blog:

Dad is really alert now and really aware of his limitations. If you know him, you know he is a gentle man who never loses his temper and always has a smile on his face.He DOES continue to improve physically. I can understand everything he says now, and he was putting his glasses on and off on his own. His movements become more coordinated and less jerky everyday. He is ready to move to the rehab center.
However, the insurance company has not approved this move. Because they did not approve it by the end of the day today (Friday), he will have to be in ICU for the weekend. What does this mean for him???
It means sleepless nights because nurses in ICU come in every 30 minutes. It means tons of uncomfortable wires and monitors (he rips out his IV twice a day). It means listening to the sickest of the sick cry and cough and moan across the hall, all the time. It means not being able to hug and kiss his grandkids, only waving at them through the window. It means crappy food. It means his wife sleeping in a chair for almost two weeks now. It means no social worker or staff psychologist to come and talk to us or to him about the emotions he is going through. It means no moving from the bed he is in to stretch his atrophied muscles. THIS. IS. AWFUL.
I am so angry for my father. I have very rarely seen him upset, but I can only imagine how he is feeling and I understand his emotions. He just wants to be able to wear his pants for crying out loud. He is convinced that he will never be normal again. I just want the idiots who are holding up the insurance to come into my father's room for 20 minutes, and watch him beg and plead to just go home. To explain to him why his body isn't doing what his brain tells it to. To watch him toss and turn and try to sleep for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
I love my father, and this is torture on me, my brother, his wife, and all who love him. I honestly can't imagine anything worse than watching him suffer like this. It is quite literally my worst nightmare.

I have been able to get through the tough parts leaning on family and friends. But now that things have become really intense, everyone is turning to their spouses for support. Because really when you're this emotional and vulnerable, that is who you are supposed to go to and who you want to go to.

That's why I'm writing here tonight, because this issue is coming up for me in a big way. Not only is my estranged husband not being supportive, he's making things worse (accusing me of being mean to the kids and starting a screaming match with me today, after I asked him to come and pick them up because I couldn't handle them in this state of depression). The next person I would turn to at a time like this? My Dad.

And the thing is, friends are great--I do have the best friends in. the. world. Friends who buy me voodoo dolls in Mexico. Friends who chat with me until 1:30am, friends who call and ask if they can come clean my house, friends who organize meals for me, friends who come visit me at the hospital and let me snuggle their babies. Seriously, I couldn't do better.

Which is why it is so sad to me that I cannot stand being alone through this. I have no one to be completely and utterly vulnerable with. My nighttime sobbing is unheard. I have no one to hold me and reassure me that everything is going to be ok.

Not that that would be any different if I were still with my husband (obviously, from above).

I just need physical touch in the worst way right now. I need all-enveloping hugs, and kisses on the forehead.

Friends, family, even kids--these hugs and affection are all great and all part of the big picture of what I need. But yes, that- a supportive intimate partner- is missing right now.

I feel so alone in this.

Monday, March 16, 2009

quick update


-2 strokes, not one. One of the brainstem, one of the cerebellum.
-Breathing tube and Gtube taken out, he is now breathing on his own.
-He is alert and totally irritated and angry. He can't speak well and doesn't understand that or why his body isn't working like it's supposed to.
-he's not sleeping more than 15 minutes at a time.

I'm beyond exhausted. This has been such a traumatic experience. My Dad is so young, he's only 53, he plays guitar in a band, he plays raquette ball every week, to see him looking like an old man who has no control of his body is well, nightmarish. I keep hitting the wall, climbing over it, then hitting another one. I've exhausted all of my coping mechanisms.

I am in a very angry phase. My brother tonight put it best for me: "I've decided I don't care about being a good person anymore, because look what it gets you...a brain tumor and strokes." I agree with that except in my case it gets you divorce and the father you idolize with a brain tumor and two strokes all in 6 months.

The one good thing I can say is that people in general have been amazing. Dad's name has been added to prayer lists all over the country, I even heard today that monks in Washington added his name to their chants. Total strangers have offered to bring food. Friends are texting me off ledges in the middle of the night. Mostly I attribute this to my father. He is an amazing, amazing person, loves everyone, and he deserves this sort of treatment.

My kids are on spring break so I'm taking a little break from the hospital, going up at night only. I have been there 18 hours a day since last Tuesday. I am starting to look at my kids and worry that they won't talk or be able to look straight ahead. I'm delusional. Must recharge.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The short of it, while I'm briefly able to update

The surgery did not go as planned.

98% of the tumor was removed. However, instead of taking 5-7 hours as expected, it took almost 12 hours. It was excruciating.

During the surgery, Dad had a brain stem stroke (the tumor was at the brain stem).

He has been intubated and heavily sedated since the surgery. He is in ICU. At first we thought he had lost all function of his right side. Then he moved his right hand, then his right leg, all in response to my brother and I talking to him. The doctor practically called it a miracle.

CT scans have shown no major swelling. They are waiting for his brain to recover before they extubate him and wake him up. This may be tomorrow, or it may be 2-3 more days.

It has been one of the hardest things in my life, and my brother's life. I hate seeing him like this, not being able to talk to him or wake him up. It feels impossible.

If you are praying for us please pray that Dad will be able to wake up soon, and that there is no permanent damage from the stroke. Although things look promising, he is certainly not out of the woods.

That's all I've got in me right now as it has been an excruciating couple of days, and I'm home to try and get some sleep in my own bed. I'll update when I can.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The High and the Low

This weekend was...amazing. I hate that I use that word so much, because I feel like it takes away the effect of it...but I can't come up with a word strong enough to describe the weekend I had with my girls.

I seriously lost three pounds this weekend. I think it was from laughing.

We laughed, we cried (I cried.) We ate, we drank, we danced (two of us did, LOL), we did each other's hair, we shared clothes, we shopped, we supported, we cheered, we debated.

As I prepare for my father's surgery tomorrow, the timing of this weekend seems so perfect. Everytime I think of this weekend, it's like an instant shot of Happy. Like my own natural anti-depressant. Today when I started to panic? I pictured my friend Amy and I standing outside a bar, dancing with no inhibitions while our friends busted us with a picture. Tomorrow when I am in the waiting room, no doubt I will be remembering the four of us sitting on the stairs, trying to get our friend's six year old son to take our picture with her iphone, cracking up so much that we couldn't breathe in between takes. It takes the edge off.

Tomorrow AM my Dad goes in first thing, I will be there with him as will my brother and sister in law. The surgery begins around 7, and will last 6-7 hours. I think it will likely be one of the toughest things I have ever been through, just waiting there while my father's life is completely in someone else's hands. That requires a ton of faith and trust...not exactly my strong points here lately.

Friends and family are coming out in droves to the hospital to support us, and I am so incredibly grateful. I have never felt LESS alone before, which is something I never would have imagined during a divorce. I am surrounded by so much positivity, and I can feel it keeping me from flipping out.

If you are the praying kind please keep my Dad in your prayers and thoughts tomorrow. I love him so much and although I know in my heart he will be ok, tomorrow will be the longest day of my life. And very difficult to see someone I look up to so much put in such a vulnerable, scary place.

Will try to update as soon as I can.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Moment I Let Go of It

Don't have much time because I am heading out on the road for a girls' weekend, but I just HAD to write today.


This line from an Alanis Morrisette song keeps running through my head:

"The moment I let go of it, was the moment I got more than I could handle
The moment I jumped off of it, was the moment I touched down"

This week:

I saw a movie and had dinner with my best friend.

I shopped and lunched with another girlfriend.

I had yoga and lunch with one of my closest friends who loves and supports me steadfastly.

I attended a fabulous live auction for a charity that another friend of mine is co-founder of. My awesome sister-in-law attended with me, made me laugh all night. We had champagne, good food, met fabulous people, and I sat awestruck by my amazing friend who raises money for families of kids with cancer.

I had dinner with five other girlfriends. The restaurant was trendy yet comfortable, the food was out of this world, the conversation was utterly entertaining (my stomach hurts today from laughing) and the mood was happy.

Today I received an outpouring of love from an anonymous friend (who reads this blog...THANK YOU WHOEVER YOU ARE), who sent me sunflowers in preparation for my father's surgery Tuesday. Just when I thought things couldn't get any better.

Tonight I leave on a roadtrip with 3 other girlfriends for a weekend of shopping

If you had told me years ago that someday I would have more friends than I knew what to do with, I wouldn't have believed you. I have always been the girl who didn't trust other women. I had 2 or 3 close close friends (still have them) but the support system that I have now is just....I just don't have the words. It brings tears to my eyes.

I can't believe how happy I am right now. I honestly don't know that I've ever been happier. I AM SO GLAD I MADE THE DECISION TO SEPARATE. I am not blaming my husband for my years of unhappiness at all, but letting go of that unhealthy relationship opened up more doors than I could have ever imagined would be there.

I am so humbled to be so loved and to have the best friends on earth, the greatest kids on the planet, and a family who loves me.

Life is so good.

Monday, March 2, 2009

One more important thing...

As I told my friend this evening when she questioned me about why I had twittered "BOYS SUCK"...

I have dipped my big toe in the pool of dating, it was freezing, and I won't be going back in anytime soon.

After the last fiasco with Boy #1 not calling me, I had decided Saturday that I was going to have a fabulous night out with my best friend. I planned our evening out with great care...good movie, good food, good music, good wine. I had forgotten all about the week and was super excited to have our night out.

Earlier in the day, my bed frame split down the middle. I decided to go that afternoon and find a new bed ASAP. At one of the furniture stores, a sales guy was flirting with me. He was about my age, cute, and really funny. He got my info for a "contest" the store was having to win $1000 in furniture. I really truly didn't think anything of it, left, and didn't think about it again.

At dinner that night, I had a text from a number I didn't recognize. It was him. He had gotten my cel # off the contest entry. We had a fun, witty banter back and forth via text about me not buying a bed from him. The next day, more texting. And then today texting almost all day. Today's texting was less fun and teasing and more "What kinds of movies do you like?" and he asked about my divorce situation, and my kids. I totally thought he was about to ask me out, and I was trying to decide what to do. I had decided that he seemed really safe, interested in me as a person, and possibly one of the "good ones" that everyone keeps insisting are out there.

Then out of nowhere, he said "One more thing I have to tell you that's important" . You can guess what the next line was.

Girlfriend of 5 years. He asked if I thought it was wrong of him to flirt? I said "YES IT IS" and then "You're asking the wrong person anyways considering I just left a marriage of infidelity". He asked if this meant we had to quit texting. DUH

He then proceeded to try and convince me that he would never cheat and that he was an honest person. Riiiiiight.


Who are these men? Why does it seem like the guys I attract all REALLY enjoy that I like them, and REALLY want me to be attracted to them, but have no intention of honoring or respecting me (even in just respecting me enough to tell me right off the bat that you're not available instead of sending me flirtatious texts)??

Lesson learned I guess. I just don't trust men. Not yet. Maybe never. I hope that is not the case, but this is what keeps being thrown my way and ummm, no thanks!

No worries, I'm fine, I'm not letting it ruin my happiness, it just threw me for a big loop and opened my eyes. I'll admit to being shaken up about it when it happened, but only because it was like this tiny little version of my marriage...someone not being authentic about who they really are. This happened to me in my childhood too with someone very important in my life. It's a pattern.

One that has to be broken.