DSC_0904It’s June, which can only mean one thing. Time for the annual O’Brien vacation to the ICU. It’s not exactly the Caribbean. Instead of beach chairs we have wire frame chairs. Instead of steel drum music, we have beeps from the vitals monitor.

This father’s day, I am reminded once again how lucky I am to be able to spend it with my dad. When I first saw him before his surgery, I did let him know that in the future it really may be easier if he just asks me to come home instead of creating some elaborate medical emergency.

DSC_0833It all started a week ago when my dad fell and cut open his head. The next afternoon as he tried to stand up he lost control of his left leg and was immediately admitted into the emergency room. They discovered a blood clot and some bruising on his brain which would require surgery to fix.

On Wednesday his new Neurosurgeon decided it was necessary to schedule surgery the following morning. About four hours later, I was on a plane home. Jenn would now be left to handle solo parental duties. I’m thankful that I have two great kids, a great wife and good friends. Our friends have also been a major help. Thank you all!

Nolin 129In his never-ending quest to help, Nolin keeps telling Jenn, I just need to go with dad because Pop needs me to give him medicine to make him feel better.

At this point, I think my dad would agree that he would much prefer some of Nolin’s medicine to being in the ICU. With that being said though we have had absolutely amazing doctors and nurses and I couldn’t be happier with my dad’s progress so far.

Like all of our recent hospital gatherings, this trip has had its share of ups and downs, but definitely more ups. It seems that pain medication for my father immediately removes his personal filter, but I am also pretty sure he is doing everything he can to try and make us laugh.

Shortly before my dad went into surgery the doctor asked him if he could say his full name. To which my dad responded William R. “Racehorse” O’Brien. Not really sure that was his given name, but given his drive to get better it seems appropriate.

This is not exactly how I imagined I would celebrate Father’s Day this year, but given the circumstances I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with my father. Although I miss them, I am just thankful that Jenn, Nolin and Grace have made it easy for me to be here and help out.

It is now a few days after surgery and although dad is still in the ICU, he continues to look better each day, his vision is getting much better and he is gaining more control of his left arm. He still doesn’t have any control of his left leg and foot, and there is still a mountain to climb, but if you were asking me if I think he’ll be walking again, I’d have to say…

I’m betting on the racehorse.

Less than 24 hours after brain surgery and looking good.
Less than 24 hours after brain surgery and looking good.

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