20 February 2008

Daughter of the Year Winner: Not Me

I'm in a mood today, and in a pretty unbelievably selfish way.

My father had surgery last week, and so I'm home keeping an eye on him. His fiancee and my aunt have been switching off, and since I was away, now it's my turn. He's in a lot more pain than he'd been told to expect, although he's trying to be no trouble. But it's embarrassingly surprising to discover how uncomfortable I am about it.

It's disconcerting to have your parent out of commission and have to, by default, be in charge of them. And since my mother was like that pretty often while I was growing up, I know that's why I react so strongly to it.

But last night I had a completely visceral reaction. "Get out." Sudden, strong. Out of nowhere, my adrenaline went and my reflex was to just get the fuck out, to go someplace safe where I don't have to be in charge of the people who are supposed to be in charge.

Of course that's not what I did. Of course I didn't let it show. Of course it's a totally different situation. Of course I know all that.

But I was just leaning over fidgeting the curtains, and all of a sudden I was 16 and my brain was telling me to go, go now, to do the only thing I knew to handle trouble at home.

It almost took my breath away. I had no idea it was still there at all, let alone to show up in a rush like that. It left me reeling, and I guess I'm not over it yet.

So today, my poor dad is having another difficult day. And I guess I'm still off kilter. So I'm going to keep faking being a good daughter till I actually pull it off.

Edited as I remember another layer of frustration. Because, you see, as lovely as my father is, I am his kid and therefore never really know what I'm talking about. Even when I'm trying to be in charge. Maybe specially then.

So. I suggested calling the surgeon. He blew it off. I got the surgeon on the phone. And it turns out he's NOT the devil incarnate. He's callous. Brusque. He's... a surgeon.)

And oh, wow. Taking NINE Vicodin a day IS bad. It's NOT the way it's supposed to be.

How about that. Just like the dumb kid said. The one who's worked at drugstores and drug companies for a decade.

Grumble grumble bitch bitch, says the dumb kid... and still doesn't let it show....

2 comments:

Karen said...

You so are a good daughter. Because you are there and you are taking care of him and BECAUSE you are not letting him see how it bothers you. You can't help but be bothered by it, given your history. The key distinction in what makes you a good daughter is that you did not leave.

I am also taking care of a big baby, watching Ocean's 13 with him when I wish I was doing a hundred other things. If you need commiseration, call.

Hula Doula said...

It is difficult to take care of parents no matter the situation. It's like a reality check that they are becoming older. I don't know your history, but by the sound of it it was not pleasant.
Keep your chin up. After he feels better you will be glad that you were there....trust me.