Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm Still Alive

Originally Posted on Fri, Dec 07 2007 @ 10:38 PM [EST]


Hello all. I'm still alive. I know that my blog hasn't had a lot to do about trucking but it has taken all my time to take care of dad. I have not given up on the idea. I just have to get dad independent again.

Just to warn you now, this still will not have anything to do with trucking except one of the reasons I haven't made the move yet; my dad. If you don't want to read my rant on my dad, you can feel free to stop reading know. Don't worry, I'll understand and I won't get made. I just need to rank a while and get some things off my chest.

OK ... here I go. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Dad has improved a lot but it is still a waiting game to see how far he will improve. He has gotten to the point were we believe he can pretty much take care of himself again but he does seem to want to do that. He seems very willing to let everyone wait on him and not do anything for himself. I hate to do it but I'm about to set him straight and remind him that he is a 66 year old adult. He had physical and occupational therapy coming to his place once a week. Well, physical therapy released (discharged him from care) last week and occupational therapy released him this week. If they feel that he is able to do things well enough that he doesn't need them any more, then I feel he can start putting forth the effort to start taking care of himself. I understand that there are things that he cannot do on his own, such as putting in his eye medication. The wife and I are more than willing to help him with those things. Right now, the wife and I are putting in a HUGE amount of effort and he is willing to sit back not put in much at all. It is time for that to stop. This has put a big strain on us. We both feel we have lost our lives and that all we do now is take care of him.

My dad was always the strongest, most independent man I had ever known. Except for injuries (I'll list a few of them in a moment), he has only missed one day of work due to illness and that was actually because he was too drunk to go to work (which was really saying something at the time because he was a VERY big drinker. He no longer drinks. He hasn't had a drop to drink in over twenty years.) I really do not know what has happened to him. He has started relying on my brothers and me more and more each year, even before his leukemia and kidney problems. As I said earlier, he is only 66 years old which isn't that old these days. Several times over the past few years, we've had to use some tough love on him and he has come around and started being more independent so I guess it is time to do it again.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, as promised, here are some of the injuries he has had:

  • He has broken his back 3 times (resulting in his lower 6" of his spine being fused together.)
  • He had a blood clot moving toward his heart. It caused him to pass out. Luckily, he was on a roof at the time and rolled off. Why is this lucky? The clot was heading toward his heart. According to the doctor, if the clot had reached his heart, it would have killed him. When he fell off the roof, it caused the blood clot to break up and pass through the heart. The down side to falling off the roof, he broke his sternum which punctured his diaphragm.
  • He has cut off his thumb. Surprisingly, they were able to sew it back on in the late 1970's. It is fully functional and he even grew back his thumb nail. The only thing is it is now a 1/8" shorter which is the width of the saw blade.
  • He shattered the ball and socket joint in his right shoulder. The interesting thing is how he did it. He woke up one morning and stretched while yawning. That's it, he stretched. Explanation? He had been working roofing for several weeks and the biggest thing he did was carrying bundles of shingles up a latter. Most of the time it was two or three bundles at a time. Well, by doing this, he built up his back muscles so strong without much building up of his chest muscles and when he stretched; his chest muscles weren't strong enough to stop his back muscles. The result: a loud pop, a shattered shoulder and now an artificial joint.
  • He was crushed between the two halves of a double-wide mobile home which resulted in him have 30K lbs across 6" of his pelvis area. Amazingly, besides being much thinner in that area for a while, he had some pelvis damage. He was walking again (on crutches) in 6 days and left the hospital in 16 days.
  • Completely exploded a disk in his back (all three sections...nothing was left). After the surgery, he was a 1/4" shorter.
    (The broken backs and the exploded disk accounted for a total of 5 back surgeries.)

(Yes, it is amazing that he is still alive after all of this.)

Now, before you say, "No wonder he wants someone to take care of him." let me say, he was strong enough emotionally and stubborn enough, he recovered from all of those injuries and was able to return to a very normal life. He actually returned back to work after all of them except after the mobile home crushing him. This put him on disability but he still lead a very full life. Even the death of my mom didn't keep him down for too long. It was rough on him but he still pulled through it. He made it through the leukemia and kidney problems last year and spent almost a year with the leukemia being in remission and his kidney function getting back to over 80% of normal. But since his relapse a few months ago, it is like he doesn't want to try. He hasn't given up but he definitely isn't fighting very hard. (Sorry, I started kicking into the rant again.)

I'm sorry this ended up being so long and if you are reading this, I can only think of a few reasons:

  1. You skipped to the bottom without actually reading it.
  2. You are really, REALLY bored
    or
  3. You're VM and you had to take a break from driving a pencil long enough to let your hand rest. =-)

That is enough for now. Feel free to comment or drop me a line at: truckin.tedybehr@gmail.com

-TTB



Comments

Your Dad is going to do whatever he wants to do and there is nothing going to change that, its up to him. I hope he does the right thing for your sake. He will probably play the martyr role for a while until he realizes that you are serious. You owe him love but that can't stop you in what YOUR family needs. Put YOUR family first..He's a grown MAN he's gonna do what he wants..He's probably deep down scared about his mortality and he doesn't know how to express it but to have you waiting on him hand and foot. He seems like a truck driver thats for sure STUBBORN..So use Trucker Psychology 101 with Professor VM..Let him rant and rave but push on with what you need to make your family happy..VM-out! By the way I drove a truck for a total of 60 miles today when I dropped the pencil...VM-out!
Comment By: VM on Sat, Dec 08 2007 @ 6:01 AM [EST]

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