Wedding Rehearsal Day - and My Dad's in the Hospital

There's a gorgeous sunrise. The weather is supposed to be beautiful today. It's the day I've been planning for about 6 months. It's the last step before the day I've been waiting for since my divorce over 15 years ago.

It's the day of the wedding set-up and rehearsal.

Sooooo many hours have gone into planning the wedding - and this day. I've tried to think of everything possible for it to go smoothly. I've made list after list, arranged for out-of-town guests, asked people to help on parts of the wedding that I couldn't do (such as playing the music during the ceremony or baking for the reception... I'm not a baker!), made decorations, packed and re-packed everything needed... and in a few hours, we will start making all this happen.

In the past few weeks, I've already had some big hiccups/disappointments (note that I'm not listing everything that has happened - just the most important ones)...

- We had to get a new officiant.

- The sign language interpreter lost her husband just last week and it was touch and go whether she could do it or not.

- My daughter got violently ill the day we went to get our hair and nails done. 

- I hit an extreme low with my bipolar disorder and had a hard time staying safe one night.

- This one is a long story that I won't go into, but we had a major furniture issue that took a lot of time away from doing what needed to be done.

- My fiance' is having issues at work and I had some big disappointments with my freelance jobs.

- I found out I have a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder (at least the surgery can wait until after the wedding).

As I said, there are even more issues (less significant than those listed above but that add up to a big deal overall) that I've had to deal with while dealing with the stress of the wedding and moving my fiance' in with me - two major stressors for anyone, especially someone with several mental and physical health issues.

(That was a horribly worded sentence but it's the best I can do at the moment).

Anyway, after all this, I was hoping that the wedding weekend would mostly go off without a hitch.

I was wrong.

As you could read from the title, on top of all of this, and by far the most life-impacting, is that my dad is in the hospital.

He has multiple health issues and has been hospitalized several times in the past few years for pneumonia and other health problems.

But overall, he's been doing okay...

...until a couple of days ago. 

At first, he just wasn't feeling 100% (his 100%). Two days ago, he slept most of the day and didn't eat much. This wasn't that unusual and he wasn't complaining of other symptoms.

Yesterday, he seemed like he was doing better. He ate a little breakfast and went with my mom for her doctor's appointment. When he got home, he felt worse and slept the rest of the day.

Late afternoon, he started complaining of being cold. Mom checked his temperature and it was 101.7. It was just after his doctor's office closed, so we decided he needed to go to urgent care. As these are his usual symptoms of pneumonia, we hoped that he could get some antibiotics and with rest, he would be able to at least make the wedding if not the other activities I had planned.

Well, they couldn't find any reason for the infection that the blood tests showed at urgent care. They recommended that he go straight to the ER for more testing.

I met my brother at my and my parent's house since he was going to take them to the ER (so I could get back to doing final wedding prep). We couldn't get my dad out of the car so I took him to the ER and they planned to follow as soon as they got some of his things in case he was admitted.

My dad slumped to the side in the seat - he couldn't sit up straight. After a few minutes with me driving, he slumped over more so I put my arm out so he could lay his head on it. 

Even though it wasn't far to the local hospital, it seemed like forever. When I got there, I went in and asked for a wheelchair, knowing that he wouldn't be able to walk in. However, I couldn't get him out of the car. (It had been a struggle for me to get him out at urgent care but then he was doing a little better - his fever went up over a degree while we were there).

Thankfully, my fiance' came right then and between the two of us, we got him out of the car into the wheelchair.

My heart almost broke when he opened his eyes and asked, "Where's Tracy?" I knew we had done the right thing to get him there.

I got him checked in and we started waiting to be called. It wasn't long before my mom and brother showed up. They wouldn't let all of us stay so my fiance' and I left. 

He and I tried to focus on wedding stuff since there wasn't anything we could do for my dad at the moment anyway. It wasn't easy and after hearing that they were still waiting to get a room in the ER, I went to bed.

I woke up a few hours later, wide awake, wondering what was going on with dad. I texted them and he had been seen by the nurse but they still didn't have an available room.

Over the next couple of hours, I checked in occasionally while also trying to do last-minute wedding stuff. Finally, about 3:30 am, I got a text that the doctor had been in. They still didn't know what was causing the high white blood cell count and fever and were going to admit him.

I wanted to stay up until they got home but it was another hour before they got him in a room. I called my brother before going to bed and asked if they had any more information.

He told me that they had found a mass in his abdominal area near/on his pancreas. However, at this point we have no idea what that means. I'm trying not to speculate and anticipate the worst, but of course, that's what I'm doing.

Now the sun is up on the day I've been planning for about 6 months. After we found out he needed to go to the ER, my mom and I talked about what we should do if he was admitted. She said that I needed to go ahead with the wedding.

So, on this day that I've anticipated with so much joy, I'm full of mixed emotions. I'm excited that it's finally here. I'm sad that there's almost no chance my dad will make it to the wedding. I'm nervous because now I'll have less help to do this already overwhelming set-up and rehearsal. I'm disappointed that my mom probably won't be at my rehearsal, though I'm still hopeful she can make it to the wedding. I'm mad that all this has happened, especially the part about my dad.

And mostly, I'm scared. I'm scared that the diagnosis will be really serious, much more serious than I ever anticipated. I'm scared of how it will impact my wedding, my honeymoon, and my life. I'm scared of how it will affect my mom. 

I'm trying my best to not worry about what I don't know - and take it one step at a time. Like so much else in my life, I am also trying to remember that this qualifies under one of those things I can't control and like the Serenity Prayer says, "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't control." I'm trying to accept this... but it's just *$%# hard.



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