Monday, December 26, 2016

Dad

Note: Our Christmas story will be in a separate post.

Christmas morning started off fantastically. Everybody sat in the sun room, passing around and opening gifts. We had to put the cat in the kennel because he kept attacking the wrapping paper and gnawing on the tree bristles. I played holiday music on my phone and we hung out with my parents while the cinnamon rolls baked.

After an hour or so, Mom decided to head to bed. She was upstairs in the kitchen, so Zac and I decided to start picking up the paper scraps and neatening up. Dad grabbed an arm load of goodies and started heading up the stairs. There are only about eight. Not like the 18-20 that lead to the bedrooms. I happened to look up at the moment my dad was falling, straight back onto the floor from the 5th step. The thud still haunts me. He landed so hard the floor shook and he slid a few inches. I don't remember anything but the way he sounded - quiet, rhythmic moans with his breathing. Mom hurried downstairs and was shouting. Dad wouldn't look at us, wouldn't respond. His hand was grasping at the shirt I put under his head. Then we saw the blood. A small trickle coming from the side of his head. He started saying "Yes" over and over, quietly, while trying to sit up. I didn't see blood from his ears, but he had a deep gash near his left eye. Mom called 911 and we had to keep Dad from sitting up. He kept trying to push himself up. Mom left to get dressed and the paramedics arrived. They asked him questions, but Dad had no memory of the morning or falling. He didn't know what month is was, what day, or even which holiday. He kept asking what happened, "What's all the commotion about?" and was just so lost. The ambulance took him away with Mom.

Emily came over not long after they left and I told her what happened. Zac cleaned up the blood for me. We wasted time while waiting for updates. When Dad landed, he hit his left side, then his head. I think his glasses cut his face, unless it was the impact. He developed a subdural hematoma, which can absorb on its own. But, he also had a seizure and a mild concussion. He threw up in the ambulance. The doctors transferred him from one hospital to another and hooked him up to monitors and machines in the ICU. Emily and I packed a bag for Mom and decided to exchange gifts and hang around until Mom needed us to go to her.

When Emily and I arrived at the hospital, only one at a time were allowed back, so I went first and of course burst into tears when I saw him just laying there. It reminded me of his heart attack when I was little. He thought it was silly, but told me he felt fine, just tired. Luckily, a room became available, so he was able to move elsewhere. Mom and Emily were able to visit along with me. I hugged him and told him not to go yet. He spent the first night in his own room and did great. Tonight he's being moved to a recovery room. Hopefully he can come home soon. From what I know, his heart rate lowered too much when he was climbing the stairs, which lead to him blacking out. I don't remember him trying to catch himself, he just went backward. I can't get the image out of my head... it was like a slow motion movie and I was frozen. Poor James and Leah saw him fall. Leah freaked out and started screaming, James was in shock, and Elias started crying. It was just a horrible experience all around. Tomorrow, I'm going to take James and Leah to visit while Zac keeps Elias at home.

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