The Hardest No Spoken

Three weeks ago today I was asked the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. I had prepped for this moment, for the time that I may be asked, I had been given the answer, all I had to do was repeat it back. My dad was in the emergency room, March 21 2017, he had gotten there by ambulance after having to be carried out of my house.  He was diagnosed with acute renal failure (kidney failure) he had extremely low blood pressure (73/30) and they couldn’t get it up, his heart rate was in the 130’s and they couldn’t get it lower, he was in shock and things were really bad. My brother and I were sitting with him, we talked to him and touched him and patted him so he knew we were there, sometimes he was awake and sometimes he wasn’t but even when he was awake he wasn’t in his right mind. Over and over again we would tell him we loved him, if he opened his eyes one of us would lean over the bed and say I love you dad without fail. We were in the emergency room for hours, nurses and doctors came and went, my brother went and had dinner then I took my turn, my boyfriend waited in the waiting room.  And finally Dr.K came and told us things were very serious and didn’t look good.  I remember that moment so clear, my brother and I were standing side by side on the left side of the bed, the doctor on the right and the doctor says “your dad is very sick and so we must ask, if his heart stops beating do you want us to do anything to get it started back, to save his life”. That was my cue, I’m my dads power of attorney, he told me this, prepared me, made sure I knew his wishes and even had them in writing.  No. I said no. My brain said yes, my heart said yes, but my mouth said no. My dad had said no. My brother looked at me and I told him dad had been clear on this, the answer is no.  The doctor left, I cried, my brother cried, he put his hand on my dads chest, I don’t know if he wanted to feel his heart that may stop, the heart we weren’t going to try to keep going, or if he wanted to feel him breathing or maybe that’s the natural place since he had IV’s in his arms, he leaned over and kissed my dads forehead and again told him he loved him and walked out of the room. I sat by the bed and wept, making sure he knew I too loved him.  Turns out his heart is stronger then we thought, hell we were all stronger then we thought and three weeks later we are still at the hospital.  We have been through some crazy times and we are no where near the end but he getting better, he has set back, good days and bad but nothing like that first day, that day I had to say NO don’t try to save his life.

This is our journey, it’s been long and hard and scary and at times funny and happy. But this is my story and it didn’t begin that day, it began a few years ago when he first got sick and I started becoming more his parent and taking care of him but I’ll tell you all more about that later.

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