August 07, 2013

In memory of grandpa Harris

 Septemeber 10 2009 I got the call, it was a Thursday and I had just finished writing an exam. As I left the room with my exam in my hand my teacher came to me and told me that I needed to call my mother right away. She didn't tell me and thing els but I knew somthings was wrong.  I called my moms cell phone, no answer. I called the house, no answer. I called my moms work and waited on hold fearing for what I was about to be told.  When my mom answered the phone she tried to stay calm which really only freaked me out more. She said she had been contacted by a police officer and that dad had been in an accident they didn't have the full details all they knew was that the night before he had been in a motor cycle accident in nanaimo (where he lived, an hour away from us) and that he had been air lifted to vancouver and is In critical condition. My mother also told me that I was his next of kin since I was 19, he wasn't married and all his family was in ontario (across the country). She told me when she got off in a few hours we would go to vancouver to see him.  Waiting to see him was so hard. Not knowing how bad it was or if he would be ok. I choose to think that everything would be fine and he would pull through.   One of the things I will never forget about this tragic event is the smell of the hospital.. it smelled so strongly of cleaners and hand sanitizers. Hannah was in the hospital a block up and it did not smell like this hospital. When we walked in the door I would find my self trying to breath through my mouth to avoid this intense smell.   Dads bed was right infront of the nirsing station. He laid asleep in the hospital bed with bruses all over hos body, a breathing tube in his mouth, his leg had a cast on it and his stomach had this odd black tar stuff on it.  The doctos told me that he had suffered severe internal bleeding mostly from his liver and that they had to remove a good portion of it. They informed me that the good thing Is, is that the liver does slowly grow back. They had him in a medically induced coma for the pain  but that they expected he would be a wake in a few days. They explained black tar stuff on his stomach. When they had gone in to remove back of his liver they had left him open incase they had to go back in so the tar like stuff was protecting his insideds from infections.    They had told us they would take him off the medication keeping him asleep sunday morning so he should wake up by Sunday after noon.  We steped out for lunch and when we came back the nurse said he had opened his eyes for a quick minute. We were all so releaved.. dad was going to wake up.  We stayed In Vancouver untill late sunday night, school was on monday. Sadly he had not opened his eyes again before we left. I called the hospital when we got home and they said they had to put him back on the medications because he wasnt doing well.  The next week I called twice a day, once before school and once around dinner time. No changes.  The hospital called me while I was at school. They needed my consent for surgery. They have found some bleeding in his stomach so they had to go in to find out how bad it was. I gave my concent, informed my mom that we needed to go back to vancouver tonight and then tried to finish the rest of the day of class.    Couldn't finish the day.. minutes later it hit my that my dad probably wouldn't make it.  When we got back to the hospital the surgery was done and the doctor needed to talk to us. He sat us down and explained that the surgery hadn't gone as planned. When they got in they lifted uo his stomach and found that his intestines had been severly damaged and extermly infected. For him to live he would have to have a colostomy bag and may eventually be able to have a artificial colon.  So upset by this new information. I knew that if they dad were to pull out of this, this would not be the life he would want. But I kept hoping for a merical.    Saturday September 26, early in the morning around 2am the hospital called and told me that I should come in. My dad was not doing well and he might not make it. I called my aunt in ontario to let her know this update, she was planning to fly here that monday.   They ran some tests and my dad had develiped pneumonia. He pulled through the night and the next day we had another sit down with the doctor. They informed us with the recent findings (pneumonia, server infection, his liver), that it was there belief he wouldn't make it. They told me I had to choose to either let him go and removed his breathing suport and take him off the medications (expect for the pain meds) or to wait and let his body eventually fail on it own. I choose to wait another 24hours and if there was no improvement we would let him go peavefully.  The next 24hours were tough. No improvement. We met with the doctors in the afternoon and agreed to let him go once my brother got there.  When my brother got there it all felt so serial. This was the last time we would all be there as a family.   The staff explained how this would go. "We will turn off the monitors and give him extra pain meds so he isnt in any pain. Then when you guys are ready to say good bye we will take out the breathing tube. He might gasp but it belong before he will stop breathing"   Me and my brother sat on either sides of the bed holding his hands crying. I was thinking so many things.. all the things he wouldnt be there for; grand kids my wedding. I thought of all the sweet memories and all of the memories I had of him being crazy and how I'd miss them.  While we held onto my dad he would make this werid noise when he would breath and all of a sudden he stopped doing it. I am possitive thats when he passed but we don't know because the moitor wasn't.   My brother was finally ready to say goodbye, we all hugged in the corner of the room as they removed the breathing tube from his mouth. We rushed back over once they let us know it was out. I didn't hear any  Gasps for air but I was sure that he had already left us before we were ready for him to go.  The hardest thing was walking away. Knowing that this would be the last time you ever see your dad. The currents were pulled around the bed but you could still see him through a crack. That's the last I saw my dad, laying there on a hospital bed through currents.  My aunt, uncle and cousin came the next day and it was nice to be around his family. I hadn't seen My uncle or cousin since I was a baby but you could sure tell they were Harris' s.  Once everyone had left it was my job to; inform everyone of his passing, clean up his place, track down his vehicles and uninsure them. I'm so greatfull my mom was there to help me. Taking care of thoses things were easier to do when he was still in the hospital.Its been almost four years since he left us. Since then iv had friends and family who have come to me when there dad passed away wanting to know how I delt with it... I never really thought about it till recently.. I wouldn't say a car accident is by any means easier but it gave me almost two weeks to accept what was going to happen and it allowed me to say good bye to him. Iv never been the type of person that allows her self to cry a lot... so I let my self have a small amount of grieving time and then tried to stay positive. I did find my self in my room crying from time to time and every 27th for the next year I would be horrified that another month had gone by. But with time it has gotten easier. It still feels serial to think about how my dads not here or how he never will know his grand children.. my stomach still sinks every time I remeber he's gone.

1 comment:

  1. The hardest thing about losing a parent....all the stuff you thought you had plenty of time to say and do...and there no longer the time.