Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My hardest post ever!

Ok, so you know this is going to be a tear jerking post....
Thank you to everyone who has upheld my family in prayer, for the continuous emails and sms' that i've received during the past week (Ok so my tears have already started!) Andrea & Linnie, I missed you guys more than words can say, & Lin, I desperately needed one of your big-breasted hugs!
As you know Wednesday 2 weeks ago, we moved into our new house. Because we moved in on Paige's 10th b/day, she asked me if we could have a family braai on the Sunday so everyone could see our new house and celebrate her b/day. It was Myself, James and the girls, my mom & dad and gags. We had a lovely day, but my dad hadn't been feeling well all weekend, with vomitting & an upset tummy so we presumed he had a tummy bug. He'd also had a nose bleed, but nobody thought anything of it. Everybody left on Sunday afternoon, and life was back to normal. On Monday morning I got a call from my mom to say that my dad had woken up and was talking nonsense, she thought he was dehydrated, but knew something was wrong as he couldn't get out of bed. An abulance took him down to Westville Hospital, where he was monitored and treated for dehydration. He was also checked out by a cardiologist, because he had a heart-valve transplant 2 years ago & they wanted to see his heart was ok. Later in the day, they decided to do a brain scan, as he wasn't responding to his treatment. The brain scan revealed he'd had a brain haemorrage resulting in a stroke, (but also revealed that there had been a previous stroke sometime before) it also showed his brain was swollen, and surrounded by fluid. The decision was made to transfer him to Entabeni because of their Neurological ward. He went into surgery at 2am on Tuesday morning (5th) to insert a drain to drain the fluid off the brain. By this time i'd moved in with my mom and we received word at 3.30am to say he was out of theatre and stable, but that the neuro-surgeon wanted to see us at midday. I dropped the girls at school, and organised for B to pick both of them up. We went to see my dad in the ICU, and he looked terrible, there's no other way to put it. He was in a medicated coma on a ventilator, but looked incredibly jaundiced to me. My mom and I met with the Neuro and he very patiently explained the situation to us. The haemorrage was in the cerabelum (excuse all the spelling mistakes!)which is at the base of the brain. The situation they were faced with was tricky, because his blood levels were abnormally high due to his heart medication and they needed to keep his blood thin enough for his heart, but needed to thicken it for his brain. So until he was in a more stable state, their priority was to keep him alive and imobile as the slightest movement could cause another bleed!
He told us it was going to be a long road ahead and to be prepared, but that modern physio worked wonders for stroke victims. We left thinking exactly that, be prepared for the long haul, and i remember when James was in hospital, for every 1 step forward, be prepared to take 2 steps back. We hadn't been gone from the hospital for an hour, when we got a phone call from the sister on duty to say that his blood pressure was very low and they were battling to stabilise it, and did we want to go back,which we did. I found the neuro surgeon and asked him what was going on. He said Dad wasn't responding to the meds and they were making adjustments to try and stabilise his BP. I persuaded my mom not to go in to see him again (& i regret that now) as it was just too distressing to see him like that. We came home, and i was running around picking up the last of what i needed for the August kits, and whilst i was at the printers at around 5pm on Tuesday evening, i got the call that my dad had passed away, he was 59 years old! Even typing this it just seems so surreal! I told them not to tell my mom, and i was on my way there, when James phoned me to say that she already knew. Can you believe, she was watching the clock and decided to phone the hospital at 5pm to check up on how he was doing. All i can say is i'm so thankful Mike Rowell arrived at the house, and as he walked in, she said "howzit, i'm just on hold waiting to find out how David is doing" He said the next minute she just collapsed on the floor! I arrived 5 mins later, with James not far behind me.
B kept the girls for me, and took them to school the next day, and then in a whirlwind it all started. I met with the Funeral guys on Wednesday afternoon, and thank goodness i went to my car to get my diary out to make notes. We had people around us non stop, which really helped. Then, Thursday morning the kids and I walk around to the front of the house, the electric gates had been forced open, and poof, just like that, my car gone... along with my life, incl wallet with id and drivers licence, bank cards etc! So thursday i spent cancelling cards, thank goodness i had my diary in the house, so i had all the information i needed. Had a total meltdown talking to Lin on my cell at the Hillcrest Police Station, a very low point for me indeed.
My Dad's funeral was on Friday afternoon, and I felt truly blessed by how many people turned up to pay their respects to my father, he will be remembered, and sorely missed by many!

RIP Dad, I love U


Michelle Ramsay said...

So sad to hear about the loss of your dad Tracy. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Whilst it is a sad time now, know that he is in a wonderful place with no pain.

I have just recently lost my mom in law, so can understand how you are feeling.

Keep well and my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Vanessa Cadman said...

So sorry to hear how traumatic that week was for you with the theft of your car as well. Have been thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

Take strength in all your happy memories and times together.

Andrea said...

Trac, you know that I am with you always and forever!!!!!!

Tracy said...

Hi Tracy

Thank you for sharing such a personal time in your life - I believe that just putting pen to paper (in this case, fingers to the board) helps us to cope (a little bit more) with the traumatic times in our lives - it may not ease the heartache but it's good and healthy therapy to get it out!

I feel deeply for you and your family and will keep you all in my prayers for comfort and strength to help you cope in the months ahead ...

If you need help with anything, please do not hesitate to call.

Tracy (Gardiner)

Sophia said...

So sorry on the loss of your Dad, just remember he is in a better place and watching over all of you.

It will get easier in time...

Lynette said...

Oh sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. You were so brave to blog that...I can understand that it must have been terribly difficult.