And it hasn’t been a good year. Well, a good 6 – 8 months, really.
Back in November, I got COVID. And then I got a cough that wouldn’t go away. Then I got a chest x-ray. Then I got a CT Scan. Then I got a referral to the Regional Respiratory Clinic. Then I got an Endoscopy. Then I got a diagnosis: sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is an autoimmune condition that usually affects the lungs and lymph nodes. For the record, when your GP says “There’s something in your lymph nodes that doesn’t look all that sinister” it’s still not very comforting!
For the most part, my sarcoidosis leaves me alone. But then Things Happen that make it flare. Recently that has included an emergency root canal, an emergency root canal part 2. Root canal part 3 didn’t make it flare. Who knows why?
In March of this year, my dad died. You might recall that he had dementia. I’m not sure I ever wrote about my stepmother dying, but she did, in August 2021. Totally unexpectedly. She was actually found dead on the sofa when no one opened the door and the police did a welfare check. She was Dad’s carer, so my sister and brother had to find him a place to live, which they did.
In any case, he’s been living in that place for just about 18 months, chugging along, not really changing. Eating his hot dogs and watching his game shows.
And then, on 10th March, my brother and I got a text from our sister; Dad is refusing to eat. She was going to go over to the living place the next day (a Saturday) to discuss hospice. Then we got another text. Dad needed oxygen overnight. I’m going over right now. Then, a few hours later, they don’t think he’ll last the night. And he didn’t.
And his death hit me hard. Harder than I thought it would. I thought I had done my grieving after the first time he had no idea who I was on Skype. I apparently hadn’t.
Going on from there I realised my mental health was deteriorating. For the first time in over 20 years, I was fighting depression and major anxiety. I asked to increase one of my meds and was told no. So now I’ve been referred to psychiatry and I’ve been off work for the past two weeks and will continue to be off for the next two. I have my psych appointment this Wednesday. Which is a miracle.
And that brings me to today. My Dad’s 86th Birthday. First one without him being somewhere in the world, even if I hadn’t seen him or spoken to him for years.
Happy Birthday, Dad.
17th September 1937 – 10th March 2023
PS That emoji up there, which is ‘disguise’ looks *exactly* like my dad.