A Day of Perspective

My dad has been having severe pain for months. He's so proudly stubborn that he takes that whole "men don't go to doctors" thing a little too seriously, so when he goes to the doctor because of the pain, you know he's hurting. Turns out, he has some degenerative discs in his spine. A few of them. And one crumbled so badly that it kind of collapsed onto a nerve, sending shooting pains down his leg. Have I mentioned that dad can handle some pain? Because that man can. Farmers will most likely die before admitting defeat, even if the enemy is their own body. Dad has been working every day despite that pain because FARMERS WILL MOST LIKELY DIE BEFORE ADMITTING DEFEAT. It's the constant movement that keeps them, well, moving.

At the doctor's office a week ago, the scans showed how bad things were, and the doctor said he could get dad in for surgery in 2 weeks. This was rather phenomenal since standard office-to-surgery time is roughly 6 weeks. The doc said its based on severity, really. Dad was pretty thrilled to be able to work without pain in as little as 2 weeks, and scheduled surgery. And then 2 days later they got his blood work back and realized that things were even worse than they thought and said, "how about next Wednesday?," to which dad answered, "What time do I show up?"

The answer was 5:40 AM. I volunteered to drive my parents down so mom would have someone to sit with while dad was being operated on, and the hospital was an hour and a half away, so we left at 4 AM. Also, Micah had been sick the evening before (nothing contagious - we're suspecting lactose intolerance) so I woke him at 3:45 and we headed out. 

Note: Micah was still sleeping in his brand new pirate themed bed when I woke him. WIN! (Except that he asked to sleep in Luke's room again tonight, so LOSE. But one step at a time...)

Every time I am sitting through a surgery at yet another hospital, I realize that I sit through too many surgeries. And about .00218 seconds after that realization comes the thankful thought that most of my surgeries are barely even considered so, and are very rarely ever serious things. And then my heart just breaks for all those people who sit through so many surgeries, and those things they sit through are all big and scary and real and far, far out of the tiny league of ear tube placement. And I am reminded how good my life is, and humbled by the fact that I'm so blessed with good health for myself, my family and for Micah. It's a sobering thing to be reminded how fragile life is, and how wonderful yours is, and what a fine line it is between good and not so good.

Micah did so very well all day, sitting in a waiting room, after being up at Dark O'Thirty. He never once fussed or disobeyed, and I was pretty concerned that he'd think he was the one there for surgery and become unbearably frantic about the situation. He did not. I was so proud of him. He did, however, take several photos of my dad as they were assisting him with the whole sitting up thing. It was rather hilarious how intent Micah was on getting those photos, and he pretty much focused on pap's legs that were clad in green socks. Maybe Micah wants green socks.

Dad came through surgery like a champ, because he's a farmer and that's how they roll. Things were actually worse than the doc thought, which was really bad, but he cleaned it all up and fixed things well because that's how doctors roll. And as of the time I left, dad hadn't even had pain meds because in comparison to how bad his back hurt before surgery, being cut open and repaired felt a whole lot better, apparently. 

Dad's burning question was, "when can I get out of bed?" and he was so happy with the reply, "the best thing you can do for your back is to walk. A lot." Dad will, because he has a job to do now and he's going to do it with everything in him. He will walk miles daily, because the doctor told him to, and he's going to live forever because FARMERS WILL MOST LIKELY DIE BEFORE ADMITTING DEFEAT, and dad has never admitted defeat a day in his life.


Shane said...

Karen, your dad is such a fighter and I am happy for you to be able to spend more time with him. God is great!

janet spisock said...

)))) hugs ((((