Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as
friendly to the mind as to the body
It has crossed my mind on a couple of occasions since my operation was cancelled whether there was a grand plan I was unaware of and during the course of this week, I feel it has all come to light.
My wonderful dad had knee surgery five weeks ago and had been recovering slowly but steadily. Last week, things took a turn for the worst when he developed an infection on the operated site with a possibility of sepsis. What then followed was dad’s heart rate beating near double the normal rate and the medication that had been prescribed not working.
We spent pretty much every day last week at the doctors and then by Friday he was taken to hospital. On Saturday he was admitted.
When I picked dad up in the morning, he was very emotional, his voice trembling, clearly worried. He held me in his arms and told me that he wanted me and my brother to look after one another – I knew what he was inferring. I did my best to hold back the emotion in my voice to protect him of anymore upset, I tried to be strong, it was hard. Dad is the pillar of our family, he’s the one that always tells us that everything will be ok, but now he wasn’t able to provide any reassurance, it felt unfamiliar.
I spent the day with him in hospital, just the two of us – it reminds me of the Will Smith song…
“Hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears
You’re living proof that dreams do come true
I love you and I’m hear for you
Just the two of us, we can make it if we try
Just the two of us you and I”
The song embodies the way dad has brought us up. The table has now turned with us looking after him, though if I’m honest, he’s still doing most of the looking after.
There were many blessings to count on Saturday
- a consultant cardiologist happened to be on call and saw dad personally
- the endless cups of tea the staff made us on the ward
- the charming orthopaedic registrar who gave dad his undivided attention
- the consultant orthopaedic surgeon who came to give his opinion
But it was so much more than that, the blessings came from spending time with dad, the easy conversation, putting dad’s mind at rest. At one point dad insisted he wanted to do his physiotherapy exercises and stood up. In an attempt to lighten the moment, I got up and practiced by barre exercises from long ago – first position, second position, the odd pirouette, dad, finally was laughing. I think there were a few wry smiles from other patients and staff but I wasn’t bothered, my only concern was dad and making him smile. He always used to tease me that I was more like a baby elephant in my tutu than the prima ballerina I aspired to, of course, he was right – nothing much has changed!
After eight hours and many tests, it was agreed that dad could go home much to his delight. However, a couple of days later, the medication he was given failed to work and so today after consulting with his GP, it was agreed he would be admitted to hospital for further investigation.
I look at dad and the fragility of life, all those things we say we’ll keep for best or we’ll put on our bucket list; we can all be reckless with our time. I know I spend way too much time that I can’t account for and not investing enough time in activities that would bring real joy and happiness. Our health really is the most vital gift we have and we should invest in it daily, I’m not about to lecture, we all know what we need to do.
So here we are and once again, I can see how important it is to be positive and how at this time, we need dad to muster up every ounce of positivity. Whilst his physical body is ageing, his mind is young and the people around him have kept him young – Maria, Claire, Lottie and Sue who he adores and are like his family – they help to give him purpose and zest for life. Hopefully the fact he is father figure to so many will continue to provide focus for him. We have been blessed with a big family and that is so important to dad and the relationships he has with his siblings are steadfast. Of course for us, we will be there, showering him with love because that is a gift given to us from mum and dad that we can return in bucket loads.
For me right now, dad, I need you more than ever. It’s a little over two weeks till my surgery and I pray, maybe selfishly, that you are better so I don’t need to worry about you so much. ♥ I love you daddy, get well soon ♥ All my love Toots xx