Friday, September 14, 2007

The good, The bad, and The ugly

September 13, 2007

The Bad
Three weeks ago, I got home late, one night, to find my dad lied unconscious in his bed. My sister, brother, and I tried to wake him up but he didn't seem to respond to our words. So we called an ambulance. After a preliminary diagnosis, the ER team immediately placed him in ICU. Dad was suffocating. His heart beat was 165 bpm that put him at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. That night, we had to go home because they didn't allow visitors to stay over in the ICU. By the second night, his condition worsened. He couldn't breath by himself so the physician team decided to intubate him. A nurse informed me about side effects of having a tube down his throat and inside his body. But that's the only choice we have. It wasn't pleasant experience to see him on a mechanical ventilation. I cried so hard that night.

My dad wasn't healthy to begin with. As far as I remember, he was always overweight. His obesity caused him several diseases including congestive heart failure, hypertension, and gout. Due to accumulation of fat in his trachea, his sleeping posture was merely sitting up. If he lied down, his trachea'd get pushed by the fat which let only small amount of O2 passing through his lungs, and causing him to suffocate.

The blood tests came back and confirmed he had lung infection or Pneumonia. It could be malignant in elderly people, specifically people who have congestive heart failure. The doctor tried to comfort our feelings but didn't make any promise on positive outcome. Most hospitalized patients had weaker immunity to fight diseases and were likely to develop onset diseases later on. On the forth day, a sign of his underlying mental issue emerged. His mouth and nose were covered with the O2 mask and intubation, yet tried to give us a sign language. He insisted he saw dark evils who were trying to kill him in a middle of the night. He seemed nervous about it, then asked us to stay over. After a visiting hour, he began to yell and pull out his intubation and IV that left the nurses no choice but re-intubating him, which consequently caused the bleeding and swelling in his trachea.

After a week, his lungs started to clear up and his physical condition recuperated,
However, not for his mind. His severe physical illness,later, developed Delirium - a condition of severe confusion and rapid changes in brain function. We decided to have him transferred out of the ICU and to a private room that we were able to stay with him. We took turn to stay up in order to watch him 24/7, and did everything to regain his memory. Our great effort started to pay off by the end of following week. He's starting to come back.

Now, dad's back home. He still needs special care so we got him a professional
caregiver. Over all, our lives are getting back to normal. Having too much stress
put me into getting sick, but I'm getting better as well.

The Good
• Tim and I accepted an offer from ExxonMobil to host its global Team Building Seminar held on September 12. The timing wasn't perfect due to my dad's situation but we tried to work it out. Considering our zombie condition, I was so grateful with the outcome. We got to meet 12 management attendees from the US, which gave us a little excitement.
• After doing a marketing research for 6 months, I've gotten familiar with Thai consumer behavior that, in turn, led me to the idea of opening my own business. Currently, I am in the process of forming a brand building company. If things go as I hope, it'd be launched by the end of year.

The Ugly
It's growing stronger inside me. It's the feelings I've been trying to reject. But now I have to admit it. I miss Chicago. I miss my life, my friends, and my work. I have to repeat myself over and over I've moved on. Thailand is my new home now. But deep down, I still think of it. Maybe this is life. We always yearn for something we don't have, and careless of what we already have.

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