Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why my family relies on me

Your result for The 'Could you help in an emergency?' Test!...

Thank you, Doctor!

Yay, you're not a moron!

Thank god someone knows what they're doing around here. If I ever have a heart attack, I want YOU to be there. Thanks for caring enough to know how to help out!

Take The 'Could you help in an emergency?' Test!
at HelloQuizzy

I have always been good in an emergency.

I remember my sophomore year of high school walking to the BART station to catch my bus home. My friends and I suddenly heard a collision. A car had hit a cyclist. I sent one of my friends to calm down the hysteric driver, another to call 911. I sat on the road next to the cyclist and told her not to move, help would be on the way. Of course, she did try to move and I saw what the road had done to her face. I could only imagine what the rest of her looked like. She put her head back down and I kept talking to her.

A year later I was in Monterey with my mom. It was Mother's Day and my dad said that he was too tired to drive to the Bay Area. We were going to go to brunch. My mom and I were waiting in the living room while my dad got ready. Then we heard a crash. My mom ran for the bathroom and then called for my help. My dad was having a seizure and had fallen against the bathroom door. She couldn't get the door open without my help. We got the door open enough for her to slip and then it slammed shut. Once the seizure ended, my mother came out of the bathroom and told me to call "411." I decided to dial "911" instead. But they wanted an address. Well, I knew how to get to my dad's by memory and had forgotten the address so I started to look for pieces of mail. When the paramedics showed up, I was the only one who could remember what my dad had ingested that day. And all of his drug allergies -- the key one being dilantin. (Back then my dad refused to wear his Medic Alert bracelet so I memorized all of the stuff that would have been on the bracelet.) I don't know about now but dilantin was the most common anti-seizure medication back then. And a normal dosage could have killed my father. He sustained a head injury as a result of the seizure and so my mom and I stayed another day to make sure he didn't have a concussion. Cool thing is that I got to miss a day of school as a result. Even more cool was explaining my day off to others when I returned to school. But my close friends knew that my dad had had his first seizure when I was four. And by close, I mean people whom I could count on one hand.

But they've all forgotten now. Now they ask, "How is your father doing?" Seems to be the only people who remember what I went through years ago and now think to ask about my state are my mother, my dad's older sister, and oh yeah, my dad. When I tell most folks whom I know about what has happened in my family over the last year, their first question is, "How is your dad doing?" Funny thing is that they never ask how I'm doing. And if they do, they are perfectly content with my answer of, "Fine." (I say it because I figure that that's what they want to hear.) Because obviously I have not suffered any loss. Or maybe I'm just so strong that this kind of loss would not phase me in the least. But the thing is that if my dad is doing badly, then I am the one who has the ability to make things right. If I'm not at my best? Then my ability to do so disappears. Last weekend I saw my dad for the first time since my stepmother's funeral -- in November. I'm getting better but honestly I haven't been doing that well. But I have recently found something that gives me a reason to crawl out of the bed. And yeah, there are days in which I am pissed off at the world. (My other mother said reminded me that being angry is just a normal part of the grieving process.) Because so much of my life has revolved around my parents's feelings. I'm just collateral damage. I recognized years ago that my parents for whatever reason are basically incapable of giving me the support that I need when bad things happen. Fortunately I have become pretty good at finding this support in other people.

Bottom line. You're having some kind of medical emergency? Wouldn't hurt to have me around.


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