How do you start a post like this?

i don’t even know where to start, so i’m just going to put it out there.

My Dad had a massive brain hemorrhage around 11am this morning.

He was at a meeting at the Taiwan Center when he complained that he didn’t feel well and said he needed to go to the bathroom. I guess he almost collapsed while trying to get there, but the people who were there with him caught him and helped him to the couch while someone called 911. He was having trouble communicating and (from what I understand) trouble with his left side.

When the paramedics got there, he was complaining about a headache.

When he got to the ER, he was non-responsive/unconscious.

He has been in a coma since then.

Right now he is in ICU in an extremely critical situation where they are trying to stabilize his vital signs.

The prognosis is very poor.

(The following portion in bold was written at 2:00am on Sunday, 6/25, 2006.) If you pray, please pray for a miracle for my Dad and our family. If you don’t pray, we appreciate good and positive thoughts all around.

And please call someone you care about right now and tell them that you love them.

***

I had gotten up early (for a Saturday) because I had to meet with Team Blogging.LA for Dragon Boat racing practice at 10am. I didn’t realize then that my life would be totally different in a couple of hours.

On the way home, I stopped by Vons to pick up a few groceries since Yoshi’s parents were coming in town for the weekend. Then I went to pick up the mail. When I got home, I helped Yoshi clean up around the house a bit, even though I smelled like Echo Lake water (stinky). I had just showered and was re-filling the toilet paper in the bathroom when Yoshi said, “I think your phone is ringing. I didn’t hear anything, but Yoshi went to retrieve my phone from the living room, letting me know I had 4 missed calls and a voicemail. As I was about to look at my cell phone to see who was calling, the house phone rang.

That was the moment when my heart sank. When Yoshi answered and it was my Mom, I knew it was bad that my mom was calling me at home.

“Dad was at a meeting and collapsed. Now he’s at the ER. I’m on my way, but I had to get a ride from Dad’s uncle (who lives around the corner). Dad had my car.”

I think my brain started to work a million miles a minute at that point because I asked if I should go there now and she said, “yes.” She gave me the directions, which I promptly forgot to mapquest or bring with me. I took $40 from Yoshi and grabbed a bottle of water and got in the car and started driving.

We had been waiting for Yoshi’s parents to arrive when I got this call, so I was dressed, but I hadn’t eaten because we were all going to go out for lunch.

On the road, I called Yoshi to figure out the directions to the hospital because I had no idea where I was going. And I was driving too fast. I had to call a few times because Yoshi was in the shower, but thankfully, I got a call back, and directions before I reached the exit where I was supposed to get off the freeway.

While I was on the road, I called my brother desperately because he hadn’t been answering the phone. I texted him, “Dad collapsed at a meeting. They took him to an er in el monte. Call me or mom asap. I going there now.” I remembered that he usually went to play badminton with my cousin on Saturday mornings. I had to call two other cousins to get the cell phone number of that cousin. Out of luck, I reached that cousin the first time I dialed. Both my brother and my cousin had just finished their respective badminton matches.

I tried not to sound panicky, “Sorry to bother you, but is my brother there? I really need to speak with him.”

“Sure,” he answered, and handed his phone to my brother.

I think that’s when I lost it the first time. “Dad collapsed and is in the ER. I don’t know how serious it is, but we are all heading to the hospital. Can you be there soon?” It turned out he wasn’t that far away but he had gotten a ride from someone else and needed to get my cousin to drive, which (of course) he did.

I got to the hospital shortly after getting ahold of my brother where my mom, Uncle Peter (dad’s younger brother), Great Uncle Fred (Dad’s uncle) + Fred’s wife were already waiting. Mom was filling out massive amounts of forms.

We spent another hour waiting, in which time my cousin and brother showed up and my mom sent them off to retrieve her car from the Taiwan Center. When they were finally ready to let people visit, they said the doctor wanted to talk to someone who spoke English and could translate for everyone there. That was me.

I went into the ER and Dad was unconscious. I called out for him and there was no response. The doctor came over and asked who I was and he pulled up a chair for me. This was the next time my brain overloaded.

Basically, the ER doctor said that my Dad had a type of stroke… “some bleeding in the brain” and that there was nothing at their facility they could do. They were waiting for a neurology consult, but that my Dad’s situation was “life-threatening” and “very, very serious.” He said that again and again. Or may I just heard it that way.

I asked a bunch of questions, but it was all a blur. I knew my family was waiting outside for me to come out. When I came out, Mom was on her cell phone. I said I needed to talk to her first. I told her what I knew, that it was very serious and then we went over to tell the group, which also included a friend of my Dad’s… presumably someone who was at the meeting. They asked questions I didn’t know how to answer and also “Can they operate?” I said, “No, he’s not stable.”

I went outside to call my brother, who was returning from getting the car. I told my brother that Dad had a stroke, and he said “Oh shit.” Which is what I was feeling but didn’t have the words to say.

The rest of an afternoon was a blur. I was making calls to Bossguy, who knew a very good neurosurgeon (albeit hundreds of miles away). I was giving updates to Yoshi. I was running in and out of the ER and answering questions and asking about 10 times as many. The people at my Dad’s meeting showed up later in the afternoon and filled in some of the details of what happened. Everyone was concerned, but we still didn’t have a full picture of what was happening, how Dad was doing, or what/if anything was going to be done.

I went in a couple of more times to the ER to see Dad. The first moment that Mom, Bro, and I had together alone with with Dad in the ER. We kept calling out to him, telling him to hurry up and open his eyes, fight through it, “gambatte.” We were so loud, they pulled the curtains up around us. Dad did not respond.

Around 3:30 afternoon, they moved him from ER to ICU. That was where the neurologist was going to visit for an exam. It was after 4pm before we could go and visit Dad. Still no reaction. While we were waiting for the neurologist, most of the people started to trickle away.

When the neurologist showed up, he brought me, my brother, and my mom into the ICU in from the light box to show us the film from the CAT scan. He started to explain how that worked and what we were looking at and when he finally got to it, he told us a few things I will never forget:

“Your father had a brain hemorrhage in the brain stem pons. The entire area is destroyed. There is no surgery for this. We do not expect him to wake up. The situation is very, very serious. There is nothing that can be done but to hope for a miracle.”

He told us that the brain stem pons is the area that connects the brain to the spinal cord and that it was the size of a thumb, a very small area. We could see the white spot on the CAT scan he was showing us and the area of bleeding was much bigger than I imagine thumb would be.

I kept asking questions, trying to see if there was another answer I could get out of him, but he was very patient and kept saying the same things to me. I asked how common this was and he said that in his experience there were about 4 major kinds of strokes (in terms of different areas of the brain). 70% for one, 10% for another, 10% for yet another, and 10% for the kind my Dad has. Because of the location of the brain stem pons, it is very deep within the skull and there is no operation to be done for this.

We asked Mom if she had any questions, but she understood after seeing the CAT scan. My Mom’s phone rang so she went to answer it. When she stepped away, I broke down for a few seconds where both my brother and the neurologist grabbed me and hugged me. I couldn’t let Mom see me cry.

The doctor gave us his info so we could page him anytime if we had more questions. He said if we wanted to bring another doctor to give a second opinion, he would grant full authorization. It was getting close to the shift-change from 6-8pm, so we had to leave anyway (no visitors).

We went outside and decided to head over to Grandma’s house (Dad’s mom), which was maybe 15 minutes away. While we were outside the front of the hospital Mom was on the phone and I think it started to hit her. I called Yoshi with the latest and that’s when I lost it. My brother held me as I cried again.

I told Mom I was going to pick up some food on the way to Grandma’s because I hadn’t eaten all day. Neither had she. I stopped by Shiau-Mei, one of my dad’s favorite places, and picked up a couple of boxes of food. When we got to Grandma’s we started calling everyone we could think of.

I went to go visit Grandma in her room. She seemed to be ok. What I have to explain about Grandma is that she has Parkinson’s. She cannot communicate with us, but she is aware of her surroundings. I didn’t know what to tell Grandma, so I didn’t say anything except that I was there to visit and that I was going to get a bite to eat.

(To be continued… maybe. Time is 1:50am. Must be at hospital in the morning for visitor’s hours.)

(It is now 4:45am, I got a few minutes of shut-eye, but woke up again. I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stand lying awake in the dark in bed. I am here to write some more, sort our some more thoughts in my very jumbled head.)

Ok, sorry, I tried for more than 30 minutes, but I couldn’t seem to write any more for the time being. I just felt the need to spread the word a little, so I did. I IMed everyone who was online with me. I emailed a bunch of people, but since I don’t have an email list, I was not able to mass email. I guess what I am trying to say is to please feel free to distribute/disseminate widely. I believe in the power of positive thoughts.

(OK, it is 5:45am, the sun is coming up and I still can’t sleep. Will try again.)

We were trying to eat and rest a bit at Grandma’s and I got some food for my Mom to eat in between all the phone calls she had to make/deal with. No one was hungry, but we all forced a little bit down. Mom called her brothers and sister to give them news/updates. My Aunt (mom’s only sister) had just had eye surgery today so we didn’t call her right away. She was mad at my mom for not calling sooner, but we knew that she wouldn’t handle it well. She was crying over the phone while talking to my Brother. She was asking to speak with me. He calmed her down and had her talk to Mom again. I was busy talking to the neurologist and also a brain surgeon. There was nothing new to report. The neurologist told me to hope for a miracle again.

It was about 7:30pm and we were still at Grandma’s. Uncle Peter called and said that he and his wife and younger son were heading to the hospital. We said we would be there a little later.

I asked Mom if we needed to tell Grandma. She said to me, “He is her son, she needs to know. Don’t tell her too much, just tell her that Dad is in very serious condition.” My Brother and I went in to talk to Grandma. She was sitting in front of the TV in her wheelchair and she reacted to us calling for her. I crouched down so she could see me and told her that Dad was in the hospital, we needed to go see him. She reached out and started grabbing at the air. I knew she had heard me and understood. She started reaching for her eyes and I told her not to scratch her eyes. I know I saw tears. I felt awful. Because if I thought I felt helpless, I can only imagine what it must have been like for her to hear such awful news and be unable to even communicate. I told her that we had to go to see Dad and that we would be back and that we loved her very much and then we headed out together in one car.

Instead of going directly to the hospital where we knew that Uncle Peter was heading, we headed to a Buddhist temple El Monte that my mom goes to and volunteers at. My Brother and I have also been there many times, though neither of us had been recently. My Mom had called and opened up the temple especially for us so we could do a short ritual for our Dad. I left feeling a little more peaceful, especially when I smelled the sweet flowers outside that reminded me of Taiwan.

It was about 9pm when we got back to the hospital. Uncle Peter and Aunt Susan (his wife) were outside of the ER entrance when we got there. My Brother and I decided to go see Dad while giving Mom a chance to talk with them. When we got in, the two night nurses came to talk to us. They were very concerned about my Dad, and about us. They kept asking if we’d spoken to the neurologist and understood that Dad was in serious condition. We said, yes, but we want to make sure we are doing all we can for him. His nurse explained that his blood pressure was down (good), heart rate was stable (also good), but that his body temperature was elevated to about 104 (not good). He was on a cooling mattress and had ice packs on his head.

We went to go visit with Dad and talked to him a bit, told him to “gambatte.” And of course we told him we love him very much and wanted him to get better. As with earlier, his hands were cold, but his head was very hot. I touched him and held on to his left hand while we talked, my brother was on his right.

Shortly thereafter, Mom called. A (doctor) friend of my Uncle Peter’s had shown up to review the charts. He came into the ICU and asked to see the charts and the CAT scan. I pointed to the film that the neurologist had shown us earlier. He just said, “Oh bleeding.” He came to see my Dad and he didn’t say anything. He basically just said that he was not an expert in neurology. I think he was afraid to say anything else to us. He left and (I assume) went to talk to Uncle Peter.

We stayed a bit longer with Dad and talked to him some more. It was getting close to 10pm and the ICU does not allow people to stay overnight. We could have left someone there in shifts in the lobby overnight, but we all needed to rest and my Mom and Bro still had to go home to find my Dad’s medications and bring them back for tomorrow.

I had to go home and get some rest myself. And I still hadn’t seen or spoke to Yoshi’s parents yet after they had driven down hundreds of miles from Northern California to visit with us.

On the way home, Yoshi called and checked in with me. We had both forgotten that our good friend C (who we just spent most of last weekend with) is a specialist in brain injuries. C told me that I could call anytime, day or night.

I called her as soon as I got home and spent 45 minutes with her on the phone. I expressed my frustrations at not having much information for a lot of the day and concern (hope) that the neurologist’s assessment was not correct. I told her everything I knew and she said that based on what I was telling her, the neurologist was telling us the right things… but of course, get a second opinion. She also was nice enough to spend some time online on my behalf looking for articles about my Dad’s type of stroke that was not too technical.

This is what she sent me:

Info on pontine stroke:
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ate/neurology/205224.html

This is from a physical therapy journal, so a bit less technical:
http://www.ptjournal.org/PTJournal/Jun2003/v83n6p552.cfm

A wordy article about a holistic sure for a (mild) pontine stroke
http://www.holisticjunction.com/displayarticle.cfm?ID=1430

A pdf article about different types of strokes, including hemorrhagic:
http://www.evtoday.com/PDFarticles/0504/et0504_F2_Qureshi.pdf#search=’hemorrhagic%20stroke%2C%20pons’

Stroke Association of California – can locate a support group in your area, and get info:
http://www.strokesocal.org/

National Stroke Association
http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HOME

Decent looking stroke site – some info is unaviodably technical:
http://www.strokecenter.org/

Around the time that I finished the call with C, Yoshi & parents got back from a late dinner. I went out there and got giant hugs. I sat down on the couch and tried to explain calmly what happened and what I knew. I had told so many people by that point, it was easier to say it without crying. But I was still shaking. That was around midight.

I sat down and wrote most of the above between midnight and 2am. Before I went to shower, I called the ICU nurse for an update. She said that Dad’s condition hadn’t changed much and that his temperature was still elevated. I went to bed and talked a bit with Yoshi, calmed down enough to nap for a couple of hours before I woke up at 4:45 or so. I checked message and comments, sent some emails, and at 5am called the ICU nurse again for another update: temperature is still elevated; they gave him an ice bath to cool him down. Because of having to move him, his blood pressure was elevated. They needed to give him some time to stabilize before giving me any other information.

So now it is 6:15am. I am going to try and nap a bit. We had plans to be back at the hospital around 11am. The neurologist is coming back around noon and we plan to have Uncle Peter there to talk to us some more.

Now I am caught up. I don’t think think I will be making a new post… just adding on to this one. Please “refresh” when you visit, in case I do update.

Thanks again.

UPDATE, Sun @ 8:47a: My Mom called. Uncle Peter is at the hospital and the neurologist is on the way. We are leaving now to meet with him.

UPDATE, Mon @ 12:15a: It was a very long day and a lot happened. I don’t remember most of it. Dad’s condition is more or less the same, although there were many fluctuations throughout the day. Overall, his condition is not as good as it was yesterday. There was a second CAT scan done today and another discussion with the neurologist. Uncle Peter was with us for this. I can tell you that as a lay person, I could tell by looking at the CAT scan that there was much more blood than there was yesterday. We are still hoping for the miracle, but we have been calling as many people as possible. Today, a lot of people who care and love Dad came by to talk to Dad and to visit with him. This was very comforting. We hope for more tomorrow.

Thank you for everyone who commented and emailed. I greatly appreciate it and it was good to log on and peek to see some good wishes when I had a quiet moment today.

Grateful for the positive thoughts and energy being sent in our way.

I am not going to hesitate to ask for more.

UPDATE, Mon, 6/26 @ 10:20a: I was so exhausted last night I did actually sleep. It was a fitful sleep and I woke up many times over the night, but I feel more rested than I did yesterday. And I will need as much energy as I can muster to get through today.

Mom called at 8am, she had already been up dealing with phone calls in Taiwan, etc. She said that she was heading over to the hospital soon and that Uncle Peter was going to be there early. She said that she asked my Brother to take the day off work because we need to make some decisions for my father today.

My Brother just got a new promotion that was starting today. My Brother, Mom and Dad just had breakfast together on Friday morning where my Brother shared the news with Dad. My Brother had to go in early today to meet his new supervisor and explain the situation. He couldn’t even call in because he didn’t have his new supervisor’s number. But my Brother has taken care of it and is going to go pick Mom up and drive her around today. As for me and Yoshi, we are getting ready to head back over to the hospital shortly. I am taking care of a few things on my end before I face another long, hard day.

Thanks again everyone for your love and support. I truly mean this and want you to know how much it means to me. I do check in from time to time for comments and they help me get through each day. Thank you again.

UPDATE Tues, 6/27 @ 1:22am: I only have time and energy for a brief and undetailed update. We got home around 1am, we are obviously exhausted. Today was a hard day. I spent a lot of the morning crying from the events of the weekend. I was still crying a few minutes before we got to the hospital. But there was a lot to do today and I had to focus on Dad and everything that needed to be done. I can’t say too much, so I will just say again: there is a lot to be done. Today we were able to take a copy of my Dad’s CT scans out to another neurologist for a second opinion. He basically told us everything we expected to hear, plus a few other things. None of which were very optimistic. We are still praying/hoping/wishing for my Dad to keep hanging in there, and of course for that miracle and hoping that many people visit him and talk to him. Thanks again.

Also, if you can spare a few more good thoughts to Lorraine, I know she will appreciate any you send her way. I am so sorry to hear that her Grandfather suffered two strokes and I am sorry to hear that someone else is going through this at the same time I am. Lorraine is right. This curveball does indeed suck.
http://www.ilorraine.com/randomness/this_curveball_sucks.php

I am sorry that I have not had a chance to respond personally to every heartfelt comment/email I have received, but know that I am receiving them and they are giving me a great deal of much-needed strength.

Please don’t stop.

UPDATE, Thursday, 6/29 @ 1:02am: We’re all hanging in there. There is no major update with Dad’s condition. He remains in unconscious (coma) ICU and in critical condition. We remain loving and hopeful and stand by him everyday as so many people have come to visit him and to talk to him and to cheer him on.

Yesterday there was no update because there was literally no time. Yoshi and I got to the hospital before 8am on 6/27 because Mom and Bro had to stay home and take care of a few things. Specifically, they had to go through a bunch of Dad’s stuff/papers to collect all the regular monthly bills due at the end of the month; all the stuff that Dad usually handles. Even though our lives are upturned, the rest of the world continues to go and on and we needed to make sure that stuff did not slip through the cracks.

Both Yoshi and I went in to see Dad as soon as we got there. We each got to spend more than a few moments alone with him. My Brother had given me a small book of Buddhist philosophies/saying called “Heart of A Buddha” the night before. I sat next to my Dad for about half an hour reading from the book (in English), trying my best to translate it into Chinese, and then discussing the meaning of each saying and if I had any examples to support the saying. I wanted to continue but people began showing up to see my Dad and I needed to go out and greet them and bring them in to see Dad.

Throughout the day, I met with countless people who drove from near and far to see him. I tried to read a saying or two throughout the day to him. Uncle Peter showed up a couple of times during the day to visit and to speak with the doctor. Later on in the evening, Mom and Bro showed up at hospital. They had just a few moments to visit with Dad before Uncle Peter and the 3 of us had to leave for a meeting during the “closed to visitors” hours. We left Yoshi to watch for visitors, even though Yoshi doesn’t speak Chinese. We are so grateful for Yoshi’s on-going support throughout this.

We returned after the meeting to find out that several folks had stopped to visit while we were out. It was another late night of visitors and phone calls while we camped it out in the hospital lobby/cafeteria all the way until midnight.

We still weren’t done because we all had to go back to the house because Bro and I had more work to do. Bro and I literally stayed up all night pulling papers together and reviewing things as best we could. When I would feel like passing out, I would take a 10 minute nap and Bro had to stay awake to make sure we didn’t sleep until we got close to done with what we were doing. I would do the same for him. We pushed each other through until about 6am when the sun was already up and I had to wake Yoshi up to drive us back home and I could sleep in the car.

My brother got even less sleep than I did because he had to drive Mom back to the hospital in the morning. Mom had gotten up and ready to go and almost left without him (she wanted to let him sleep). Bro awakened to find her trying to get in the car without him. He told her not to drive and quickly got up and ready to go and started another long day being a simply awesome son and brother. (If you are confused at when this is happening, this would be the morning 6/28, around 8:30am)

Yoshi drove us back to our place, early enough to have time to drop me off and still make it to an 8:30 appointment. I slept for a few hours and tried to get some internet work done while I could. I did not have time to do an update at that time about the previous day. (As I’m writing this, currently 6/29 @ 1:55am, I am shocked that the events I am currently writing about are from within the last 24 hours. The memory seems so far away and I am afraid that if I don’t write it down now, I’ll lose it forever.)

I got to the hospital around noontime, making calls the entire way there. It was strange not having Yoshi with me, but I knew that I had to be strong to face the rest of the day. Dad’s condition was pretty much the same as it had been when I went to visit him. The rest of the day was a blur as I had to complete the paperwork/bills we hadn’t finished from the previous night in the cafeteria. I then had to run errands all over a part of town that was totally unfamiliar to me. While I was out and running around, my Brother was running some errands and going to some meetings with a close family friend to handle some affairs for my Dad. We got back around the same time.

We both visited Dad again. Mom had spent most of the day by herself at the hospital meeting and greeting people and taking them to talk to Dad. When they closed the ICU to visitors at 6pm, we took our typical time to eat/talk/rest. We had a family meeting in the cafeteria with the 3 of us and Uncle Peter to discuss and talk through some of the things we had each been working on and were continuing to work on.

I have to take a moment to say what a rock my Uncle Peter has been. Not just during this ordeal, but throughout our lives. We always knew that if we needed help, Uncle Peter would come through for us. [Side story time: When I was a freshman in college and my parents were both in Taiwan, I developed a major peritonsillar abscess and did not have student health coverage at the time. By "major" I mean that my tonsils had swollen so much that I could not swallow or breathe through my mouth. I was almost completely blocked off. I could not even talk. I called my Uncle Peter and whispered? (croaked? gasped?) that I needed help. He told me that I should meet him at my Grandparent's house and he would take me to the doctor. I got there and was so miserable while napping in the guest bedroom. Uncle Peter drove me to the ENT where he'd made and appointment and stayed with me while the doctor drained the abscess (gross) and paid out-of-pocket for the very expensive doctor's visit. Then he took me downstairs to pay for the prescriptions for the very-very-expensive antibiotics (Cipro which cost well over $100/pill at the time) and other treatments needed from the pharmacy. He took me back to my Grandparents' place where I recovered under the care of Grandma and Grandpa. Now that I am telling the story, I realize this was just one example how my family (especially Uncle Peter) has really been there for me/us. P.S. - I got health coverage after that. Ok, end side story.]

Anyway, my Uncle Peter helped talk us through some of the issues that we have to handle for Dad now that he’s in a coma. We were able to come up with a (challenging) but feasible solution with his help, but definitely a solution much preferable to the ones we had been discussing. After this, Uncle Peter left and the 3 of us spent a few minutes talking before the phone calls and activity began again. Visiting hours were open again and more people were showing up to visit Dad.

I spent more private time with Dad later in the evening while there was a break between visitors. I read a few more pages from the “Heart of a Buddha” book and reminded him about how Uncle Peter had brought him a newspaper the previous day to read him the headline of the top story from the Taiwanese newspaper. The story talked about the failure of the opposition party to unseat the current pro-Taiwanese-independence president, President Chen Shui-Bian. Meaning it was a huge victory for A-Bian. Evidently, this was something my Dad had been speaking passionately the hemorrhage happened. (I don’t know if this is true, I only heard that in passing.)

One of my Mom’s friends showed up to visit Dad and Mom and I sat outside of the ICU and took a moment to talk to Yoshi; the first time we really had to talk all day. Really for the last several days. When we were done, I went to look for Mom and she was talking with her friend in the lobby. Her friend offered to pick up food and I kept saying I wasn’t hungry even though all I had eaten all day was some omelet Yoshi made for me in the morning and a taro cream wafer (sounds gross, but wasn’t all that bad actually). She finally convinced me that I should take a ride with her and go find some food. We ventured around El Monte and Rosemead to try to find a Chinese food place open late that wasn’t too far away, but everything was closed. We gave up and we went through the drive-through at Burger King. The entire time, we had a really great conversation (almost entirely in Chinese) with each other. She kept saying how good my Chinese is and I told her that most of the time it really isn’t. It’s just that in the last few days, I NEEDED to speak Chinese and somehow my Chinese abilities improved dramatically. We got back to the hospital and fed Mom, Bro, and me too. By this time, it was probably around 10p. Dad had visitors up until almost midnight and it was past midnight when we finally left the hospital.

I got home around 12:30 and started to catch up on a few things online. Then I started to write and realized that I could not stop because I want to be able to remember what these days were like and how empowered I feel by the love and support of my family and friends through the hardest of times. [I have been chatting with my cousin Jason (Uncle Peter's son) throughout writing this update.] It is now 3:00am. I need a few hours as we need to be at the hospital early again.

Thanks again for the phone calls, messages, emails, IMs, comments, etc, etc, etc. Thank you especially for the positive energy. I know that it helps me keep going despite the exhaustion and the emotional rollercoasters. I know my Dad is getting a lot of love and prayers from all kinds of directions and we appreciate it immensely. I will try to keep you updated as I can.

UPDATE, Fri, 6/30/06 @ 2:03a: I am beyond exhausted. I literally fell asleep moments ago while talking to Yoshi. I am just up to put a little something up to say that I made it through another day. Dad is still hanging in there. Mom and Bro are my heroes. And I don’t know how I could make it through without Yoshi, either.

It is so late. I am so tired. So I don’t think I will write an update, which means it may never get written. Today is Day 6 from the morning that Dad fell into his coma. I have no concept of time right now. I am a mess of emotions and cry a lot, even in front of strangers.

Right now I must sleep as I promised my Mom I’d take the early shift of staying with Dad so that she and my Brother can sleep in a bit. More later…

UPDATE, Fri, 6/30/2006 @ 10:14p: A brief update as I need to walk back out the door. I got to the hospital this morning at 9:30a, after having awakened at 6:30a to take care of some stuff for my Dad. After being at the hospital all day, at around 5:30p, I left so that I could get a few more things done at home, as well as go back to the hospital tonight to stay with my Dad overnight while my Mom and Brother go home to rest. We have another long day and have to learn to work in shifts so we don’t all have to be there all together, all the time, all day, everyday. So I’m hitting the road again shortly.

As for my father’s condition, he is still on life support. Today is Day 7 (stroke happened last Saturday morning.) As you can imagine, it is hard for his body to maintain all its functions for so many days and being completely dependent on machines/drugs. So I cannot say that his condition has improved. In fact, we realize that it is very likely that it will not improve.

This is all I can say right now. I’m hoping that I’ll have a chance to sit and write about the last couple of days, but right now my time with Dad must be the priority.

UPDATE, Sat, 7/1/06 @ 10:26p: I’m leaving shortly to spend the night with Dad again.

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152 Responses to “How do you start a post like this?”



  • HEY , MY MOM HAD A STOKE ON 3-1-07. WE TOOK HER OFF THE VENT. ON 3-4-07. I’M TRYING TO FIND OUT IF YOU CAN HAVE AN AUTE PONTINE HEMORRHAGE BY GETTING A HIT IN THE HEAD, MY MOTHER AND HER NEWLY WED HUSBAND OF 5 WEEKS WERE HAVING AN DISAGREEMENT AT THE TIME OF ACCIDENT. SHE ONLY MET HIM IN DEC. 06. ANY HELP WOULD BE A RESTFUL NIGHT FOR ME .


  • today i start my journey with a brain stem injury in my family, but i still feel i have time to pray and be positive for you.

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