Becoming a caregiver


So I got a phone call from my brother in [city in the US] and he said, “I’m flying out to a small town, […] near [city in AB]. Dad has had a heart attack,” or something to that nature. Now, I had thought that dad had had a heart attack a few years back, probably 10 or 15 more years back. So I thought, “Hmm, okay this is maybe a second one. Maybe this is time to go out and see what’s going on.” 

So the family was quite disjointed. I wanted to meet up with him; he just wanted to leave and get there. So I arranged a flight and I got out there, but I decided to take an aunt with me, which I thought was a good idea because I hadn’t seen my mom and dad for a little while. We were in contact through the years for Christmas and stuff, and I’d go out with my daughter to visit on the farm. But I thought it would be nice to bring someone as a support person maybe, because sometimes these things don’t turn out the way you think they’re going to turn out. So, I brought my aunt with me as a companion in a way. We met up with my other aunt and uncle who are very close to me in [a city in AB] and drove to [a town in AB]. It’s just a small town outside of [a city in AB] and we were immediately met at the desk. I’d also been told that my mother was in the hospital as well, with pneumonia. So, there was a lot of stuff going on. When I hit the desk, the nurses were kind of evasive and me, [having] a professional nurse background, I kind of got a sense something was wrong. 

So [the nurse] said to me, “Your dad is near the desk,” and “Your dad; do you know what’s wrong with your dad?” I said, “Apparently he’s had a heart attack.” She said, “Well, your mother is here too,” and I said, “Well let’s start with the better one”. She started with my mother so that was odd. She said, “Well, your mother’s doing well, she’s up with a walker, she’s had blah, blah, blah, pneumonia. She has COPD already…” and okay that was fine. My dad, she said, “Your dad had a stroke; he’s had a heart attack,” and whatever. I stood there in shock.

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