So many strong emotions pulling and pushing at me today.

My dad needs an angioplasty and stent Tuesday. Immediately I decide I am going to Chicago for the procedure. It’s a no-brainer.

But then I think about it. The last quick trip to Chicago was just two weeks ago for Meeghan’s wedding. It was painful driving nine hours, going to the wedding, driving another nine hours home – all within three days’ time. It was brutal.

It just gets harder every time we do it. The thought of it makes me want to cry, it’s so tough.

Dad’s cardiologist has done this procedure on him before. He knows his weird anatomy, he pretty much knows where the offending lesion is located. The most likely thing that will happen to Dad Tuesday is that he’ll get a stent, stay the night, go home the next morning to recuperate. Of this I am 98.5% sure.

If – God forbid – he needs surgery, we will know in enough time for me to fly or drive out there. I will not be absent if anything important happens.

Cerebrally, I feel it would be sensible for me to conserve my middle-aged energy. I should stay home, connected by phone to Mom and Greg, and go to Chicago only if necessary. I think I need to save my energy just in case something big occurs.

But the guilt that long ago took root in my heart squeezes hard, telling me that I should go. I should be there for my Dad, for Mom and Greg. I should show them all how much I love them by just showing up and being present. I should share the worry and anxiety.

I know I can do that from here. I know they are knowledgeable about the procedure, well-prepared and fairly confident of a positive outcome. I know Dad has tons of invaluable support.

But it tears me apart.

As it stands, I will stay home. I may be watching O’Baby, I may just be sitting on my butt waiting for Mom’s and Greg’s calls. But I will do the same things I would do if I were in Chicago.

Can I be present from so far away?
I guess we’ll see.

3 thoughts on “Conflicted

  1. We all agree (Dad included) that you should absolutely not drive to Chicago. Thank goodness you came to your senses. That driving trip is brutal. If your father and I thought you should be here, we would not hesitate to ask you to be here. In fact, when we heard you were thinking of coming, we all said “Oh, no. She doesn’t have to do that.” You’re positively doing the right thing.

    Dad has a great cardiologist and he knows Dad’s heart anatomy. The procedure won’t take long, Dad will rest in the hospital overnight and come home on Wednesday. And the best thing is he’ll have to go to rehab again. Yay.

    Enjoy your Easter. As you know, we’re having Easter here with your two Uncle (who both have stents). What a world!

    Love, Mom

  2. Dad knows you’re with him in spirit. He also knows you’d drop everything if he needed you at a moment’s notice. Do not stress about this. He has a great doctor who will make him better. It’s a good thing they have this kind of technology now. He’s going to be okay and he’s very optimistic about it all.

    Everything is going to be okay because that’s what the universe wants for him. Isn’t that what you’d say?

  3. I agree with your mom & sister – you do not need to make such a long brutal trip for your dad to know you are with him. He will have family with him who live nearby and like you said, if things change you can then head out. Hope all goes well!

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