Dad is arriving tomorrow. It will be the 3rd. All the signs are that it won't be much different.
In a lot of ways that would be a good thing. For the past 2 days he's been in intensive care, sedated, on a ventilator, and with nothing that could realistically be called a life. Even if he makes a miracle recovery and completely regains consciousness, he's got so many medical conditions that we're talking about another month, maybe two, of pain, treatment, confusion and so on.
Where he is, he's getting the best care imaginable (in the process giving the NHS a bit of a reprieve in my mind after all the bitterness about how grandma was treated), everything is very dignified and professional, and peaceful. There are worse ways to go.
In our minds I think we all came to terms with it last night after a frank discussion with a doctor. I'm surprised, to be honest, that he lives to see another day, and that dad will (or should) make it back in time. He's been clear about his own wishes in the past, and I think this is the moment where we have to face up to the fact that decisions have to be made. The ventilator can carry on breathing indefinitely, but is it fair on anyone for it to do that?
It's funny though, the way all this brings us closer together, makes us see sides of people we didn't know existed. I sat having a conversation with Annette and realised what I've missed while she's been living abroad. We think the same way on so many things, and it's so nice to have a sister again. You see that what you might have taken as coldness or emotional distance isn't that, that there is emotion there, just a different type. You hear your father trying to hold back tears, and realise that he does care after all.
I have been resorting to my old ways of coping though. With evenings spent in the hospital, the takeaway at the end of the road starts to look like an appealing option, as does a bit of beer or wine to help me wind down. It's not ideal, I should be eating nice, clean stuff before FLM, and doing the whole body is a temple thing, but I'm only looking at the next couple of hours, not something that's 10 days away. And anyway, there are things which are more important than running.