Friday, December 16, 2005

feeling helpless

Last night I got a very worrying e mail from my mother in Vancouver and this morning's news from her was even worse.

Yesterday morning she was getting ready for a hair appointment that my dad was supposed to take her to because her newly-operated knee doesn't allow her to drive yet. As she was showering, my dad (who is 76) came into the bathroom covered with blood. At first she thought it was a bad nosebleed but then she saw that one of his eyes was bleeding and swollen shut and he told her he had had a bad fall on some ice out on the road in front of their house (freakin' neighbours who insist on pressure-washing everything in sight even in winter) and had been knocked unconscious. Some passer-by found him and brought him back into the house.

As well as having his face bashed up, he had also apparently sprained one of his wrists and Mum wanted to take him to the medical clinic at the shopping centre near their house after he had rested a bit. Luckily one of my brothers, a fire fighter with the local fire and rescue unit with a lot of experience with injuries, came home from work (he lives in an apartment in my parents' house), took one look at Dad and got him straight to the hospital.

And there he's going to stay for the next few days. After a thorough examination, they found that he has a broken hand, an arm fracture and multiple bruises, abrasions and lacerations to his face. Along with that they discovered a very serious sinus infection (we're all prone to that as a family) and some bleeding in the right hemisphere of the brain. Oh crap. He must have fallen flat on his face, the poor dear. To make things even crappier, he was diagnosed a couple of years ago with osteoporosis, so who knows what else may be fractured or broken.

So here I sit, worried as hell and unable to do anything at all. I know he'll be OK, but when I think of him lying there like that I feel like crying my eyes out and throwing up at the same time.

I love you, Dad.

23 Comments:

At December 16, 2005 12:14 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Somthing like this, to me, seems like it would be the most difficult part of living so far away. Feeling unable to help one of the most important people in your life is heart-breaking but I'm sure he knows how much you care and are thinking about him. I wish your father a speedy recovery and peace of mind to you as well.

 
At December 16, 2005 12:15 PM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Oh, Christina, I'm so sorry to hear that! All the best that your dad will be alright and on his track to a fast recovery! I'm sure he'll be alright, don't you fret yourself sick, okay? *hugz*

 
At December 16, 2005 12:40 PM, Blogger christina said...

Thanks so much Michelle and Elemm!

 
At December 16, 2005 3:13 PM, Blogger Schatzi said...

Tis hard being so far from loved ones... Be thankful that your brother made the right decision and that he has a loving wife and son close by... and that you are close to his heart as he is in yours dahlink

 
At December 16, 2005 3:20 PM, Blogger Léons Life said...

Christina - That brought a tear to my eye. It times like this that you wished you lived just round the corner, so that you could jump in the car to give your Dad a cuddle and your Mum some moral support.

I hope your feeling better and that your Dad recovers quickly and send your brother over to speak to the neighbours arghhhh....

 
At December 16, 2005 3:53 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Oh, how sad. I'm sorry you're feeling so worried about your father. Thank goodness he has a firefighter son and your mother to help take care of him as he recovers.

 
At December 16, 2005 4:43 PM, Blogger Ginnie said...

My heart just broke for you, Christina, in reading this. One does feel so helpless in such situations. I'm guessing you're doing a good job of Kything to him right now. Please just trust that for now it is better than enough!

 
At December 16, 2005 4:49 PM, Blogger hippo_pepperpot said...

Oh no!! It is so hard to live so far away and not be able to do anything. I hope he gets better very soon.
xxxx

 
At December 16, 2005 5:11 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Ouch - I feel for you too! Since I'm so close I feel like I just want to go over there and make sure your mom is alright too! I hope your brother will take good care of her and your dad during this time. :) Just know he is well and being taken care of.

 
At December 16, 2005 8:10 PM, Blogger melusina said...

I am sorry to hear this. I hope your dad gets better without any new complications from the osteoporosis.

I think this is one big thing all of us expats can sympathize with - being so far away and so helpless when something happens to your family.

 
At December 16, 2005 11:29 PM, Blogger The SeaWitch said...

It's difficult enough when something happens to your loved ones and you live a stone's throw away from them....quite another when you're thousands of kilometres away. I have experienced it and I know there is absolutely nothing I can say in this post to make you feel better. And because you're a few thousand kilometres away from me, I can't even give you a hug. Just know that I want to. :-) I hope your dad recuperates soon enough and that you'll be able to get back to Vancouver soon enough to give his neighbours a good tongue-lashing for their irresponsibility.

 
At December 16, 2005 11:35 PM, Blogger Dixie said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this!

This is hands down the suckiest part of living on the other end of the planet from your family. I worry about the same stuff with my own fragile mother.

I hope your dad's going to be okay again very soon. Bless his heart!

 
At December 17, 2005 1:33 AM, Blogger Crystal said...

Wow, those are some major injuries and it must be very hard for you to be so far away as your parents age. I really hope you dad will be okay.

 
At December 17, 2005 2:35 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Oh Christina!
My eyes are welling because I am imagining if it were my father and I would be feeling the same way. Oh my. You are right, he will be fine. But it is hard to imagine someone we love so much getting injured. You are of course wishing you were nearer, but your love is felt wherever you are. My brother is only 5 hours away and he has been in hospital for over two weeks now due to a severe episode of epilepsy. He has two young daughters and a wife at home and he may not be out before Christmas. Even 5 hours is too far for us to go and see him right now, due to bad weather and work and very young children. I expressed regret to him that I wasn't there and he said "just knowing you care enough to wish to be here is fine with me."
Take care of yourself and don't fret too much (hard not to, I know).

 
At December 17, 2005 3:10 AM, Blogger Betty said...

Big hug for you!!! You have such a wonderful dad (he just built that magnificent sculpture in the back yard) and he has such a wonderful daughter.

 
At December 17, 2005 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm soo sorry to hear that! Being so far away at a time like this is really hard ! Hang in there !

 
At December 17, 2005 8:23 AM, Blogger Karen said...

It hurt me to read that.
I can understand you feeling helpless, being so far away.
Sending lots of get well thoughts for your dad!

 
At December 17, 2005 4:27 PM, Blogger cmhl said...

oh, I'm so sorry. and how hard to be an ocean away..

I hope he recovers quickly, and why don't you suggest your brother have a chat with the pressure washing neighbors-- that is ridiculous...

 
At December 17, 2005 8:00 PM, Anonymous lizardek said...

The nightmare of every expat...what an awful thing to have happen to your Dad. :( Hang in there.

 
At December 18, 2005 1:18 AM, Blogger Aly said...

I'm sorry to hear about all of this. It's scary to see or even think of a parent so helpless. I had to help my mom through open heart surgery this past year. It will be okay, I'm sure he is a strong man :)

 
At December 18, 2005 7:56 AM, Blogger J said...

Terribly sorry to hear about your dad. I know what you mean about feeling helpless from when a family member of mine was in several different emergency rooms a few months ago.

 
At December 19, 2005 6:27 AM, Blogger Jenne said...

Wow, I totally missed this entry! I'm glad he's doing better. How scary! And what kind of idiots pressure-wash ANYTHING in the winter! Can't wait until they ruin their car's finish by washing it when it's below freezing.

 
At December 21, 2005 9:04 PM, Anonymous stringbean said...

Oh Christina, gosh, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I know how hard it is to so far away when things like this happen back home. Hang in there! I'll be hoping for the best for your dad!

 

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