My grandfather took a bad fall yesterday afternoon and suffers from severe internal bleeding and brain damage. He is lying in the ICU now being monitored but the likelihood that he is going to make it is incredibly slim and if he does he will have a very poor quality of life.
I was never able to talk to my grandfather about being sick even though we both suffered from chronic illnesses. Parkinson’s disease and ulcerative colitis, although very different, also have many similar after tastes. As the disease progressed and started truly impacting his day to day functioning and it also became more apparent to me that he and my grandmother were struggling, I think I subconsciously couldn’t handle it and backed away.
I think I only researched Parkinson’s disease a few times but there are so many similarities that were so hard to talk about because Papa is a very private person (as I used to be). People who suffer from Parkinson’s disease struggle with the loss of normalcy, feeling like a burden, becoming dependent on others, have difficulty maintaining basic bodily functions, and then consequently the emotional component which are all very similar to the emotions that I have felt as a long time ulcerative colitis sufferer.
As I sit here in tears, hoping I dreamt all of this, I wonder if I should have put my issues aside all of these years to be more present in his life and in both of my grandparent’s lives. Could I have though? I know I did distance myself for a reason. As things got worse with him it did get harder for me. When I was very sick I did not want to talk to a lot of people, him included, although I did obviously speak to him and my grandmother.
I just feel like I missed out on so much and being with him when he was well was a part of that. I just cannot believe this happened and I am still not a hundred percent convinced it actually did yet.