Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thursday December 31 – When Will the Real Chris Cashen Step Up?

You were lonely last night at the hospital by yourself. Quinn woke up is morning, he said the he wished that he was in the hospital instead of you when he heard of your sense of loneliness. I suggested that you would feel differently because no parent wants to see his or her child in the hospital. Quinn replied, twisting your words, “Daddy says that I’m such a good boy that I should get what I want. I want to be in the hospital instead of Daddy.”

Parents want their children to have as good or better life then they had as a child. Your parents are sick with worry over these past few months. Their sense of helplessness would be horrible. I have a small sense of how they feel, but I can help you and will continue to do so … that is what keeps me sane. To be far away from you and worry must be a thousand times worse.

Fran and the boys are off to Newfoundland again. I feel a sense of relief for Fran, She needs to have a taste of normal life too. It’s been a long Fall with multiple trips to Nova Scotia to help with our ailing Father and you.

Your New Year resolution is to enjoy each and every day. You also added that you also want to prepare for our retirement life on the Bas D’or Lakes in Cape Breton. You feel it’s our destiny to live out our days there. You say that you have to believe. If you don’t believe, nothing is possible. Being the practical one in our relationship, I point out that, we have a few things to do before we get to that point. Finish frowing up the children, retire and raise the funds, not to mention get you better. Thanks to the children, we still have ten to fifteen years.

Dreams are important. I still want you to hold the dream. The dream is the destination not the path. Dreams are the beginning of all things great.

Physio has been trying a new trick with you. Transferring you from the edge of the bed to your chair. A flat broad board is used to span the gap between bed and chair. The board is very smooth. Once you wiggle your butt onto it, you can then slide down the board to your chair. This system worked fairly well. This is the next ‘step’ for you to take back your independence. (Pun is intended).

The physio team wants to show us the correct way to allow you to practice standing. She said she’d come back a little later to show me how to assist you safely while doing this.

Our time at home with you was busy. There was no hibernation. Busy with Christmas celebrations and family, busy with visits to Dad and Dad’s death, busy with visits to the hospital … just busy with life in general. I have grown used to a busy life over the last few months ... so I plowed through it.

The distractions that the busy life threw at me, took me away from writing in your journal. I did write about a few days one night when I couldn’t sleep. The next morning I read it to you, you thought it was great. Later that day when I went to put the laptop away, the writing was gone… I forgot to save it and could not recover it. After that I just made brief notes to keep things straight in my mind but I didn’t write anything. Maybe this weekend, there will be some down time when I can empty out my head and heart into the keyboard.

Joe is very interested in signing onto the Cabot Trail Relay. He said that he would even push you if he had too. This is quite the undertaking, since Joe has an artificial knee among a few other body parts. Running and pushing a wheelchair in the highlands of Cape Breton is quite an undertaking. You are touched and inspired by his enthusiasm.

I started thinking about my work and being on-call. I have not contributed much to the on-call time at all since your stroke. My colleagues have been carrying the torch for me. Even the other practices in town have done a little extra on-call to help out. It’s time I get back into the game.

I enjoy being on-call. The work is usually interesting and often rewarding. As a young vet, I cut my teeth in an emergency practice. I liked the pressure and variety of cases. My challenge is doing the on-call hours while caring for the children. Weekends are easy, they would love to spend the nights doing sleepovers at Juanita’s.

Weekday nights are the challenge. So far, I have a couple of friends (Marsha and Valerie) who have offered to spend a night and baby-sit at our house. Just in case I get called in to the hospital in the middle of the night. Since I’m on call one evening a week, That isn’t too much of a commitment from an adult and not much of a change for the children.

Once February comes, Melissa will be off, growing a lovely set of twins in her belly. I will be working again fulltime. Hopefully you’ll be in rehab and be kept very busy. We can visit you on weekends but during the week, I will work. I imagine there will be lots of phone calls to Halifax at that time.

Your physio team had heard all about your fall from the wheel chair. Thankfully, they are happy with the results. No obvious damage to you and yet a much more cautious patient who now believes that he has to be very careful has resulted. You give a late Christmas present and card to your physio person. “To the Sensitive Slave Driver” you write. She likes her title.

You still have your PEG tube. Hopefully it will be removed next week

When I picked you up from the hospital, I had a brief talk with the stroke coordinator. She is going to see if she can get information about a date for you to start the rehab at the NSRC in Halifax. I’m glad. Although, it was nice to have you home over the holidays, I think you are very ready for rehab and I want to see you start the next phase of your journey. The stroke coordinator feels a sense of urgency, but for different reasons. “Chris needs to learn how to live with his disabilities.”

Disabilities – I think she said it in the plural. I don’t want to think about disabilities yet. I want to think about your abilities. I may be in denial but I don’t think enough time has past to take inventory of your losses.

The statement about ‘living with your disabilities’ bothered me most of the rest of the day. You sensed something was on my mind. I told you what she had said. You were a little more practical then me. You are wonder about being able to run again. You suggest that you may even need help to walk again. “A brace or something. I definitely have brain damage. But when I am told that I can’t do something – that is when you will see the real Chris Cashen step up and work hard. Just like when I was a kid and had to work extra hard to keep up and beat the other guy in sports.”

Now, after the last few months of me pep-talking you, the roles have switched. You are pep-talking me. You are starting to believe in yourself.

At night, our New Year’s dinner is Chinese food. After dinner Bill, Juanita and I reminisce about our best Dad memories. People fade fast long before midnight. My Mum fell asleep, and Tara had a headache. At my suggestion, she lay down for a short rest. Only you, Bill, Quinn and I saw in the New Year. Quinn proudly counted down the time on the watch that Santa gave him in his stocking.

At 12:30 am, Tara woke up, completely pissed that she slept through the New Year. She was vivid that I didn’t wake her. I had tried at 11:00pm but she was out. She didn’t believe me. “2010 only happens once and I missed it!” She complained for about 1 ½ hours. It was 2 am when we finally got to sleep.

She is upset that she lost a few hours, you lost a few months.

No comments:

Post a Comment