Ever since the day of seizures, things have been weird. I ask myself: how can you tell things are weird? and I just don't know the answer. Things are strange enough already. One thing that has factually changed since then are Dad's meds. He went from getting off one seizure medication to being put on another while in the hospital only to find out that one won't work and to be switched again. The doctor pumped his system full of the medication that ultimately didn't work out (Keppra) in order to quickly build it up. But then, of course, that "I have to mention this, but only one in a million people have this complication and I don't think it will be him" warning worked out to be him and so came the switch to Vimpat. He was pumped up with that. Since his system had built up to the Keppra he had to be weaned off of it. He is done with the Keppra and onto only taking Vimpat to maintain his epilepsy. All of this leaves me to wonder if things have been different because he is hopped up on so many medications, or if something changed with the seizure, and on and on I wonder. But I am contented right now to know God is in charge of all of this.
People would say "it could be worse" while he was recovering from his hemorrhagic stroke. I would reply "Well I don't want to know how they could be worse because this is pretty rough already!" I know that is true though. It could be! So I am so thankful for all of his amazing abilities and the ways in which he is able to participate and contribute. But since the seizures, he has been so confused. He doesn't remember what has happened to him or that he has had a stroke. He doesn't remember the reason his tongue is all cut up and flappy. He needs to have all of that repeatedly explained to him.
I will always love my Dad. I know he will always be my Dad and I am so happy I get to associate with him. I like to remind him when he gets down the the most important things about him remain the same! His love, his faith, his joy in helping and serving others, his good heart and caring nature, are all things that are untouched! I was looking at my Dad last night while he was sleeping in his chair. I know these trials and circumstances are not unique to us in any way, shape, or form. But I also know that the commonality does not make it trivial or easy. He has a brain injury! Wow! This was not expected! I look at him now and I love him so much! I love him as is and I love him more than ever! So much of him is gone though. He is not "all there." He has a hole in his brain.
I realize this seems silly to say, but I miss my Dad! Last week I was looking at a picture of him and I could remember what he was saying to me as I was taking it. I remember the circumstance and the day very well. It was not too long before his massive stroke in July 2010. Looking at it, remembering the way he used to speak to me vs. the way he does now made me a little sad. But I don't want to be sad, I want to be useful and happy! Dwelling on my feelings of sad is not as important as furthering my knowledge of God's love. Looking at my Dad, I realize I am excited for the Resurrection when the spirits of all people will be restored to their working bodies. What a marvelous gift and event we all have to look forward to thanks to our Savior Jesus Christ!
Ever since my Dad had ARDS and was intubated in the MICU for weeks and weeks, I have really felt that each day we have, and each opportunity to create a happy memory is a gift. It is a gift to have health, to have family, to have love. I want to be a better mother, to do more for my children. To be a better wife and daughter and sister and friend. When I am an old lady somewhere, I know the things I will reflect on with pleasure will be my testimony of the Lord's gospel and the relationships I cultivated and worked on. My husband, children, parents, siblings, friends. These events in my Dad and family's lives have helped me remember to treat others with more kindness. An annoying cliche is that you never know a man's life until you've walked a mile in his shoes. That is true and so I hope and pray I can go forward in life remembering to be kind and loving and give without holding back and help where I can, remembering that we are all in this life together.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.