Yesterday when I went to visit my dad in the hospital, there was a moment when he smiled the biggest smile at me. It meant so much to me, for it had been so long since I had seen him smile that big, much less smile that way at me. I was so grateful for it.
Today, I wiped a tear away. Something I had never in my life done until today. I've only seen my dad cry once in my entire life, and that was after my mom passed away. He wanted to get out of bed, but we couldn't let him. His blood pressure has been running high at times as of late, something that is new to him since he has always had low blood pressure, and letting him sit up in the chair by his bed would only make him want to stand up even more, and the cycle would begin -- he would keep trying to get out of the chair, be lovingly yet firmly told no with a gentle push on his shoulders, he would sit back and relent, only to try again within two to five minutes, and the cycle would repeat many, many times before he would finally just give out from exhaustion.
No, one day before surgery, we didn't want him to get worn out. So we had to coax him into staying in bed, which either frustrated him to tears, or brought him to tears because he didn't understand. Not long after that, while still staring into my eyes, eyes that were pleading with me, he stopped fighting, closed his eyes, and fell asleep. A sleep he much needed, since he had barely slept all night. It was then that I decided to leave, after being there for about two hours, my daughter and husband being there as well. My husband had taken my just-turned-five year old daughter for a walk when it happened, so I gathered our things and began walking out. My husband and daughter were returning at that moment, so I told them he was asleep. My daughter still wanted to see him before we left, so I let her look at him through the interior window since the curtain had been pulled back. She peered at him for a few moments, seemed satisfied, and we headed down the hallway with my step mom to talk with her for a few minutes before leaving.
My step mom has hired sitters to stay with my dad 24 hours a day now, to be there to watch him when family isn't in the room, in case he tries to get up, or pull his catheter out, or any other number of things he could do while the nurse isn't in the room. The sitters will also be there once he returns to the assisted living home. We are all breathing easier now, knowing that my step mom is able to take breaks, and that my dad will be okay when one of us can't be there.
His surgery is tomorrow morning. We are all hoping and praying it goes well, that recovery is quick, and that he can return to his "home" soon.