Last Tuesday my dad went into the hospital for shoulder surgery. He had his right shoulder done a few years ago and it was a pretty simple surgery with a fairly easy recovery. This time he expected much the same thing. However, when the doctor went in, they found that a bunch more damage had been done to this shoulder and there was more to repair. Thankfully all went well and he was in and out as scheduled. Instead of a nice, normal, across the body type thing, he's in this crazy contraption of foam and velcro that criss crosses over him a few times and has his arm at a 90 degree angle from his body. It's really crazy looking, and even more impossible to get right, let me tell you. So, he was a little out of sorts when he realized that this sling, and this surgery, meant that he was going to be in this contraption for four to six weeks.
Wednesday night and Thursday morning, however, he wasn't feeling so great so (after making him call the doctor and listening to what they had to say.... honestly, people in the medical profession are the most stubborn about going to the doctor/hospital) I took him into the ER just to have things checked out. Having to call mom at work and let her know we were headed in was tough - because I didn't want to worry her because neither me or my dad thought it was that bad. But we (obviously) had to let her know what was going on, but we didn't want to worry her! We ended up spending all day in the ER and he was admitted for the night as a just in case precaution (seriously all day - we got in at about 11 and he got moved to his room at about 7pm and mom and I left at about 8pm....).
Thankfully everything was okay with him and we took him home Friday morning. If nothing else, going in and being checked out made him feel a lot better about his shoulder and how he was feeling. The nurses that took care of him while he was there were amazing. They had a lot to talk about with my dad - seeing as he was there overnight (the shift he works in the NICU at his hospital), they made jokes about the night shift and hospital life. It was nice to see such great people working in our local hospital - and even nicer to see that my dad had them there taking care of him. It was amusing because he kept making comments about how now he 'knows how the babies he works with feel' and how this time was his first time overnight in a hospital not working. Nurses are really amazing people.
I'm really lucky to have my dad as mine. He's a great guy, and seeing him in pain with this surgery hasn't been fun. Then, no kid ever likes to see their parents in the hospital or in pain, and I'm no different. But, as an only child, I think that maybe it's a little harder for me? And watching my mom worry over my dad just as much as I've been worrying over him reminds me of just how special a love that lasts that long is - how important the people in your life are.
I love my parents, they've been my biggest supporters and encouragers and friends my entire life. I've always known I was a lucky kid - my parents have never had anything other than my best interest at heart (even when, at the time I might have thought otherwise), and gave up a lot of their time to do things with/for me that they probably didn't want to be doing (or had things that they wanted/needed to do). So, yes, I know I'm lucky. But sometimes it takes something like an unexpected, all-day trip to the ER to remind you just how good you've got it.
So, in these days post-Christmas and nearing to the end of 2012, hug your parents and tell them you love them. Because, really, they're some of the most important people in your world.
Mom and Dad? You ROCK!
I love you both!