Thursday, July 08, 2004

A LOT TO SAY, BUT NO WAY TO SAY IT

Hmmm. I want to start this out by saying that I have been thinking about what to write here for a couple of weeks. I had intended to write something emotional, and serious... but you know, I'm still not ready to do that.

Four years ago today my dad had a stroke. A stroke that rendered him speechless for a long time, and unable to care for himself for even longer, and still unable to walk unassisted. I could make a list ten miles long of the crappy things it's done to him, to our family, to the quality of life for all involved... but I don't think I want to do that.

It's still too hard to deal with face on. We've all come a long way in the past four years. Dad's made some huge leaps and bounds in terms of rehabilitation... leaps and bounds that the doctors never anticipated... even the good doctors who were supportive, he's amazed them all. (FYI, many docs say you will see progress mainly in the first year after such a brain injury, and much of my dad's progress has been in the time after that first year.)

Whereas dad's progress has mainly been of the physical variety, as even in the worst of times he's maintained a pretty good attitude about the hand he was dealt, I think the biggest area my sister, mom and I have improved has been the way we deal with his stroke emotionally. Much of the anger is gone... not to say of course that we still don't get pissed off at the general state of things, but I know Lori isn't screaming obscenities at random people anymore, I don't wish I was dead, and my mom just seems more at peace with the situation. Of course that could all be just my own perception, but I think things are better...

I know for me personally, 4 years ago today I was thrown into a wierd place, a place I'd never previously been. It was a downward spiral for a while... I spent the first month or so after dad's stroke out of town for work. I dealt with the frustration and grief by drinking ... um, a lot. I think I was drunk for a month straight. Not just drunk either, pass out-black out drunk. I hated my job, hated my life, wished I was dead...more than one (paper) journal entry contained the sentence "I wish I would just fucking die." back then. My depression continued for some time.

I started writing as a release from that depression, and actually, that's how this website was born. I was writing a book about the whole thing and my friend Nathan told me I should start blogging. He hosted me for a while on his personal site (which is no longer I guess), and then I branched out on my own and learned a little bit of html and this atrocity is what resulted. :-)

Anyhoo, I didn't want to dwell on today being anything other than a Thursday, but the happenings on this day four years ago have changed my family forever and I guess good or bad it's something to note.

My main point of all of this is that four years ago the world was a bleak and dismal place. There was absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel. I think that's changed for everyone involved. At least I hope it has.

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