I’m blogging from my iPad, while sat in my parent’s living room, which is two hours away from mine and my husband’s home in Cambridgeshire.
Sadly, not just a regular social visit. My Dad has been ill for quite some time, with multiple myeloma, as well as a collection of other problems, such as collapsed vertebrae in his spine. Yesterday morning, my Mum called to say that the hospital had asked her to get there ASAP. We all feared the worst, but upon her arrival he was hanging in there albeit having trouble breathing. He was swiftly moving to intensive care, where things went from bad to worse and my tearful Mother called me to come to the hospital, as he wasn’t expected to make it through the night.
With breaking hearts, Mike and I made the journey down here yesterday and as I saw my Dad hooked up to so many machines, sedated and on life support, I started hearing my world creaking and cracking. The doctors told us last night was crucial and if he made it through the night (which they doubted) he’d have a fighting chance.
Last night, neither Mum or I slept a wink. Sleeping in my childhood bedroom wasn’t a comfort as it used to be. I could smell my Father’s tobacco from his coat on the door. I could almost hear him coughing and talking to the dog. I squeezed my eyes shut and hoped for a night of silence.
This morning, both Mum and I realised we’d not heard a single phone call all night. She rushed to call the ICU, to be told he was still very poorly, but stable. We got up there, sat with him and talked for a while. Around midday we got turfed out for ‘rest time’.
We got back to hospital for 4pm and imagine our astonishment to be told by his duty nurse that he was breathing by himself (not on a ventilator). So he was still fairly out of it on sedation, but he was no longer on life support, however long this would last. I spoke to him, and held his hand and at least twice I felt him squeeze back. I have to believe he knew we were there. It’s another crucial night ahead, as they wait and see if he can maintain breathing by himself. If so, we have a shot at finding out if the cancer is now in his lungs or it’s something less terrifying.
Either way, long and rocky road ahead, for all of us. My Dad is a fighter, but I know his battle is going to be by far the most gruelling. Whether its a short battle or a longer one, nobody knows at this stage.
All I know is I am not ready to say goodbye to my Father, and while he’s fighting to hold on, we’ll be at his side, come what may.