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Sunday, 9 February 2014

From the Heart - Who is Healing Who?

Apologies for the lateness of this post.  It should have been out on Thursday but as you will see while you continue reading life has been a hectic lately.

Being able to heal athletes and patients and getting them back to sport, work or their regular daily activities always brings me joy.  Being able to help my family and loved ones brings me even more.  I always want to be able to fix what is wrong with you.  Be it stretching and working out any tightness or providing exercises to ensure proper strength.  However for the last three years I have not been able to "fix" someone most dear to me.  Three years ago my dad was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer.  From day one we always knew it was terminal and were grateful for all the time we have been given since that day.  Watching him go through rounds and rounds of chemotherapy, trying to ensure that his quality of life remained at a level he wanted has been difficult.  In saying that, he was blessed for the majority of his treatment, he did not have many side effects and until the last year still golfed and helped out at the farm.  It has been in the last six months where I have felt useless.  During his final round of chemotherapy he became very tired and lost his appetite.  It finally came the time where he started to open up to different options.   I am very thankful for all my colleagues who have helped me grow as an athletic therapist.  For teaching me about nutrition, acupuncture, and all the medical stuff that I now know to help understand what is going on with him.  

Unfortunately two weeks ago my dad took a turn, his body just could no longer fight the cancer and handle the chemo going through his body.  He has spent the last two weeks between two hospitals, wanting to come home.  I live away from my parents and for the first week getting the information on his condition through phone calls and emails made it very hard, seeing and hearing the numbers and knowing what was going on in his body made me ache to help him more.  Knowing that he was in no condition to come home and not wanting to be the one to tell him that.

This is where I am not sure if he has given me a gift or I have given him one.  He has extremely swollen feet and legs.  The edema is putting lots of pressure on his nerves and causing phantom pain.  He describes it as though his feet are being drawn together like magnets.  So the man who never asks for treatment, or pain meds wants me to work on him.  The first treatment didn't go as well as I had hoped.  I thought he was sleeping and he was wanting me to use less pressure.  Compared to normal pressure I was going pretty light, so I thought that was that.  However, it helped a little and he wanted it more.  I need to send a huge thank you out to my cousin who helped guide me in regards to some better acupressure treatments.  So today was the fourth treatment.  I was able to do full leg flushing and moved a bunch of fluid out of his feet and ankles.  Being able to see noticeable results and having even the doctor notice was a huge goal for me.  What gave me even more was when he said he felt better and that the phantom sensation was gone.

Dad I hope that me being able to help relieve your discomfort while you are still with us is a gift.  I do know that you have given me a great gift, being able to help you feel better while I can.

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