Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 years ago today...

So, I have been trying to get away from the super personal blogs - trying to keep things more focused on Ooh La La Mama on this bloggy blog. But, today is a special day. I just could not help myself. So please excuse me for the sappiness of this post. I truly cannot help myself.

Many of you know me as Cindyoohlala (my twitter name) and some of you may know me as Dr. Parker (yep, I am a full time ER doc) or as just Cindy, owner of kids' apparel line - Ooh La La Mama. But I suspect most of you probably do not know me at all so let me just say, "Hello!" And, thank you all for taking the time to stop by my little blog and to take the time to read my rambling thoughts.

Being an ER doc really has nothing, whatsoever, to do with running a kids' apparel line. I am often asked by my patients and by people I meet through Ooh La La Mama - why I became a physician and why I chose ER.

25 years ago today - I was 13 years old (shhhhh, please don't tell - I know that makes me super old but please don't do the math!) My mom had driven me to dance class after a silly argument with my dad - something like, "You are going out - you buy the damn milk!" Can you imagine? Doors were slammed and we left to ballet class. About 3 hours later - we arrived home to find PB & J sandwich made, but not eaten, waiting on the counter, TV on - dad's car gone. I am sure he went out to buy some milk. Me, being 13 years old and in junior high - I ran immediately into my room and got on the phone. Mom never came in the house. Apparently a neighbor drove up after us and told my mom to get in her car, that my dad had been in an accident. My mom, in shock went with the neighbor to the local hospital and was told that my dad had been in a major car accident.

My dad had driven about a block down the street - and was hit by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign. My dad was thrown through the window and landed head first at the opposite end of the intersection. The fire department was first at the scene and covered him up. No pulse was detected. They cared for the drunk driver who had only a broken arm. Miraculously, the second unit arrived with a paramedic who will always be my hero. He found a thready pulse and my dad made it to the hospital.

I received a call from the PD notifying our family that my dad had been in an accident. I had no idea where my mom had gone and ran next door to my best friend's home. Her father answered the door to a crying 13 year old and said, "that was your dad?" when I told him, through sobs, that my dad was in a car accident. Another neighbor saw the accident occur and she was unable to drive for about a year following the accident.

My dad had major injuries. His ER chart said, "Prognosis extremely poor - not expected to survive the night." He received 17 units of blood in the first 24 hours and was taken to the OR twice. He was in a coma for 6 weeks and then had his jaw wired shut for another 6 weeks. He came home as a head injury patient and did not work for several years. The doctors and nurses that cared for my dad became like family to us. We hung on every single word that was spoken - every single intonation of their voice, every little twitch that might convey hidden meaning when we asked how my dad was doing. I will never, ever forget those nights and days spent in the ICU waiting room - waiting and waiting for news.

And so, I knew I would become a doctor. My story is as simple as this. There have been very few major events in my life besides this one - except getting married and the births of my children. But - those were happy occasions. My dad's injuries were horrific and this was a very, very scary time for my family. The years following my dad's accident were filled with recovery and my dad really had to learn just about everything.

I must also ad that my mom was amazing through this time. OK - she was a little weird in the first few days - telling me and my sis that my dad "would be fine - that he'd be home in a few days." But - as a mom - I cannot imagine what I would tell my children in this situation. What I mean to say - is that she was completely awesome and carried our family - emotionally and financially through this crazy time in our lives. I am sure that it is because of her that I will always be an independent woman. Yes, I am super happily married and my hubby and I are both working, productive members of society (did I mention? He's an ER doc too.) But - I am a stronger female, for sure, because of the woman my mother was while I was growing up - and especially during those rocky years while my dad was still sick.

So - of course I cannot keep you all hanging - my dad is fine today. He retired last year (not old, just sick of all the crap) and he is still my dad. He swears at the dog and kisses his grandchildren and does magic at my girlfriend get togethers and I love him tons.

So thank you to Dr. Colen (the paramedic who saved my dad's life 2/12/1984 - he's now a surgeon!) and thank you to all of the docs and nurses who care for patients like my dad and who are gentle with dealing with families when there is not always the best news to be shared (I really, really try to be like you!) and thank you Mom for everything. You know what you've done.

And - to Daddy - happy 25 years! Don't go out to buy milk tonight! I love you tons.

31 comments:

jessica said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It was very inspirational!

kimberlycogley said...

That is a really great story, that brought tears to my eyes! I love a happy ending!

Cindy said...

Thanks for your comments! It is an emotional day for me - even 15 years later! How I love my dad!

Erin said...

This really made me cry! I can't imagine how frightening that must've been for you, but how wonderful that it turned into the moment that set you on the course for the rest of your life.

Barely Domestic Mama said...

That's a great post Cindy. It made me cry! Way to go for that paramedic who helped your dad! Thanks for the little glimpse into your life. :)

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

What a wonderful story - and I am so glad that your dad was ok and fully recovered! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

ciara said...

i love this story...so glad that your dad fully recovered :) thanks for sharing...so great that the paramedic became a surgeon, too!

lorrie cuteangel79 said...

wow thats an amazing stories I'm glad God was watching over your family

Al_Pal said...

Heh. I'm not a mom.

Great story! Quite inspiring. Glad Dad is all better now! ;D

Cindy said...

Thank you all for your comments! Really appreciate them all!

milk and cookeez said...

I have the chills, congrats to your dad, he's very strong and determined, likewise is your mom.
Thank you for sharing, Im sure that wasn't an easy story to recall.

Mom Of Faith said...

As a complete Daddy's girl, I cried all the way through this story. Thank you for sharing. It's beautiful. Happy Anniversary. Go hug ur dad:)

Tracye said...

Oh, wow. I'm so glad that paramedic was really alert.

What a rollercoaster of emotions I just went on.

So happy your dad is safe and that he and others inspired you to make the sacrifices today that you do.

Organic Sugar Scrub said...

What a story!!! Yes I'm crying and i read to the end and know he's fine. It just shows we should never take our blessing for granted. I'm so happy things worked out with a happy ending.

Enjoy Today!

Rachel Ferrucci
ww.Touchd.net

Jennifer Davis said...

Thanks for sharing this touching story. It is these kind of remarkable people that inspired me to create Remarkable Tributes.

I have enjoyed your posts on Twitter as well.

Yasmine said...

I had the goosebumps while reading this, Very touching story. Im glad your dad is fine and doing well!

Too bad im good at math- i now know how many years young you are!

VERONICA said...

Dr Parker,
thanks for sharing your story. I have been wanting to post about my dad (he had a major stroke 2 years ago)but could never come up with a good enough reason to because I thought my selfish blog therapy is not worthy of my father's struggle. Reading your post about your dad has showed me that by sharing their struggles does in fact honor them and reveals how much you love them.

LifeNStuffUSA said...

Wow. What can I say other than the PB&J on the counter was so touching to me and that you remember that.....ugh, if I were eating one right now, it would be stuck in my throat! I'm so glad you got to keep your daddy and admire your mother's strength. I hope that if ever I or my family need one, we get someone like you for an ER doc.

The Mom Jen said...

What a great story, and I'm so glad your dad made it!

Helen said...

Lovely story! Isn't it amazing how certain events can change the course of our lives. I admire ER docs, as I worked alongside them for over 10 years. Thanks for all the great work you do:-)

Looking forward to following your blog- just found you on Twitter!

April said...

OH, HAPPY 25TH!!!! What an awesome story!!!

Tanyetta said...

Happy 25th!!!

I loved this story so much. My favorite part was:

**He swears at the dog and kisses his grandchildren and does magic at my girlfriend get togethers and I love him tons.**

He sounds like one heck of a guy and I know you're so blessed to be able to call him Daddy!

Thank you for sharing such an amazing and beautiful story.

Kristin said...

What a beautiful story. It had me in tears. It sounds like your whole family is filled with amazing people.

Sabrae Carter said...

Thanks for sharing that amazing story!! Haven't chatted with you recently on Twitter!!!

Judy - MommyNewsBlog.com said...

Cindy, this is such a heart warming story! Thanks so much for sharing it. What a lucky family you have. It is nice to see the events that have shaped our lives. So glad this one ended with a happy ending.

stupidgirl_no1 said...

That's beautiful and I'm now crying. Well done finding inspiration and motivation from such a horrid incident

Kristina said...

What a great story. I'm crying here. We, too, are very thankful for ER docs, so thank you! We've never been there for something like that, but due to clumsiness, we've gotten lots of stitches and cast. And, since we seem to visit ERs all over the country, maybe we'll visit yours some day. ;)

Andrea said...

Wow! Your Dad is one lucky man...so happy you had a positive end to the story...

Whitney @ Mystery Shoppers Unite said...

..well, not a mom, but:

glad your dad is doing well, cindy.

whitney
http://mysteryshoppersuniteblog.blogspot.com

Organizing Mommy said...

I am new to your blog, but I loved your story. I have been told I have an ER doc personality, but I never pursued it--probably because my Dad never had an accident like yours did. Amazing that he is here and well alive. Thanks for the great story.

Nishant said...

I love a happy ending!
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