30 December 2008

Rest in Peace...

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What does, makes others realize how strong they can be.

I’ve had quite an absence on my blog lately. To be honest, I haven’t really had much to say. Shock would be the best emotion to describe. Its been a hard few weeks.

On Tuesday, December 9th, my dad fell off the back of the semi while making a delivery (he was a truck driver for Conway Freight), or at least that’s what we think happened – the whole thing is still going through attorneys since it’s workmen’s comp. He must have had a box of lights or something in his hands (he was delivering to Whitmers Lighting in Akron) because he didn’t brace his fall at all, and hit directly onto the back of his head. He wasn’t on a loading dock, so it was a good 10+ foot fall. He immediately was unconscious, though regained slight consciousness in the ER and was very combative, so they sedated and intubated him while they got a cat scan and stitched up his head. He never opened his eyes, but his blood pressure showed he would respond to pain. Wednesday morning around 2-3am, he stopped being responsive and his pupils dilated out. He’d still cough on occasion with the tubes in his throat, but that stopped around 4pm. The neurosurgeon put a “bolt” into his head, which reads the inner-cranial pressure, around 5pm… told us “he’s in very serious condition.. he has a few hours, maybe a day to live” and walked out. Excellent bedside manners. Normal cranial pressure is 8-10… dads was 130 (mental retardation sets in around 45-50). We decided against pulling the life support on Wednesday since we were all drained. After talking that night, we realized we hadn’t even seen the cat scans or anything, so we had another cat scan ordered (so we could compare days 1-3), and the EEG for brain activity. There wasn’t any brain activity, and the cat scans were a mess. His skull was split all the way from his eyebrow to the back of the head, and the central divide between the halves of the brain were more in an S shape instead of a straight line from all the swelling. There was heavy bleeding in the front too. They did the final apnea test at 1:30 on Thursday (pull the machine to see if he could breath on his own), and he failed that, so it was official. Talk about sudden. We had calling hours on Monday night, and a full military funeral on Tuesday (dad was a Vietnam vet – marines.), and had him buried at Western Reserve National Cemetery, since its one of a few military cemeteries in the country that allows non-military spouses.

I’m sad my dad unknowingly canceled the plans we had for the weekend following his accident. He was going to come out to DC, go to my tri team’s holiday brunch, help me move, take me to get my wires cut off.. I wanted it to be a great weekend. I wanted to spend time with my dad since I don’t often have a chance for it to just be him and I. I guess I’m the most upset that he unknowingly canceled plans of the rest of our lives. He was supposed be at the finish line at Lake Placid to give me a huge hug. He was supposed to walk my sister down the aisle 2 weeks after LP, after celebrating his 60th birthday. He was supposed to go to work following these events, and tell every person he came in contact with about how proud he was of his children, just like he always did. He was supposed to be around for so much more.

It was incredibly moving to see the number of lives my dad had touched. He was an amazing person, and it showed by the number of people we had never even known, be brought to tears over my dad’s death. He was a simple, hardworking man that liked to see people smile.

Miss you daddy.


Maggs said...

I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope you remember the good times and know that he will be there in Lake Placid with you and will be so proud. You've had a rough end of the year. May 2009 be good to you.

Rainmaker said...

Hang in there Lindsay...you're strong and will pull through. And like Maggs said - your dad will be there in LP and watching you the whole way - and cheering for you as you kick ass crossing the finish.

Sarah said...

So sorry, hon. I know that all the perseverance you've learned through tri will help you pull through this rough time.