I’ve always wondered how my family would manage at the moment of major crisis. Up to this point, I feel like we have been generally protected and sheltered from significant grief. We have all experienced our share of life’s trials and tribulations, but from my perspective, we have not yet undergone a significant and major crisis that has really tested us as a family unit. In general, I have always felt that we have been so blessed. We have had our share of financial turmoil, but nothing that has ever really stopped us from pursuing our every desire. We have been bogged down by work responsibilities and have suffered the stress of providing for ourselves and our families, but I see aspect of life as just a part of life. And health-wise, illnesses and disease have let us alone for the most part. Of course, we each struggle with the challenges of age and the general injuries, and bumps and bruises that come with life’s adventure’s, but the great ailments of the human experience have spared us. We even have amazing hair, healthy teeth and great nails! So, I’ve long worried at what point this smooth ride would take a turn. I feel that now, the time has come.
As I posted not too long ago, my dad had an accident following my wedding in January. Since then, he has been recovering to what we believe, has been quite a miraculous comeback. Although, it seems that we all may have been too anxious to see him back to himself.
After staying with Matt and myself in Riverton for 3 months, my dad got the green light to return to his missionary duties in Korea. At the beginning of April my parents returned to Seattle to stay with Erik and Denise and the kids and then on April 21, they flew back to Korea. Although not perfect, my dad seemed healthy and able to take on any responsibilities given to him. All along though, my dad has had complaints of lower left leg pains, at times his mind would seem to wander so much that his eyes would kind of lose focus, and he just seemed slower than usual.
The next day upon arriving in Korea, the aches and pains in his leg got worse. And as each day passed, it became more and more difficult for him to walk, the aches eventually spread to his right leg and soon, he was unable to even stand on his own. He could never really express the way his legs felt or why he couldn’t walk only that he was very tired and had no balance upon standing.
Not truly understanding his pains, we first assumed it was his shoes that was causing the discomfort, or maybe an ear issue which would contribute to his imbalance. I considered the possibility that it could all be related to his brain injury, but it just seemed too easy of a go-to. He was cleared medically to get on a 12-hour international flight, he seemed healthy and stable, 3-months post injury, it just didn’t seem like the accident would still be a major factor. Looking back now, I think we just didn’t want it to be.
On Monday, my parents went to see a general family doctor in Korea. The doctor, unsure of the causes of his ailment, insisted that he undergo neurological testing to rule out any lingering injuries from the accident. That day, my dad spent 5-hours being tested and eventually, was admitted. He was non-coherent and generally unresponsive as the doctors concluded that he had a massive amount of blood in his brain. It was determined that his brain had been slowly bleeding over a long period of time, possibly since the accident although that has not been confirmed. He needed surgery immediately.
My mom called us all late Monday evening to tell us of the situation. We all wanted a second opinion, again not believing that this could all be as a result of the initial brain injury, and insisted on seeing the CT scan.
My dad was scheduled for surgery for Wednesday, but due to the severity of the situation, he underwent the procedure on Tuesday. The surgery was supposed to take 3-4 hours, but went on much longer as the amount of blood in his brain was much great than expected. His condition was not good and amidst all of this, my mom was barely keeping it together. Gratefully she had an enormous amount of support from church members and family, but after hearing the latest, my family decided that it would be best if I went to Korea to be with my mom and dad.
Tuesday night I flew out to San Francisco, then the next day, caught a flight to Korea and today, here I am.
Flying here I hope that my mom is overreacting. I hope that she is misinformed. I hope that it’s not as bad as it seems. I hope that someone heard wrong. If none are the case, I hope that it’s my dad’s turn for a small miracle to ensure that he will be fine.