It's funny when you have young kids. How do they get your attention when they are hungry? They scream and cry. You can shake keys at them, put on Barney (or whatever the latest kid tv is), bounce them on your knee and NOTHING matters unless you solve their one problem: THEY'RE HUNGRY.
This week my father was disgnosed with Colon cancer. It's a scary place to be and a scary situation to live through. The first night in the hospital, my father had gone through a few tests and he thought they had removed his giant tumor. They hadn't. What happened was they did a biopsy, and we needed to wait till the next day to get the results.
I had been telling my wife how you can't tell me Dad what to do. At 80 years old he knows everything, and nothing will get in his way. He once walked 3 miles to the grocery store. Luckily a friend saw him at the store and gave him a ride home (he hadn't thought throw how he was going to carry the groceries home).
After visiting him at the hospital that first night, we only made it to the parking lot before Dad had removed his IV, and was preparing to “break out” of the hospital. I turned to my wife and said, “Welcome to the world of my Dad.”
We went back to the hospital, and tried to explain to Dad that there was a tumor still inside him. Thankfully my wife still had her nurses uniform on, and she talked some sense into him. He just wanted to eat. He wanted food, and was not going to stop until he got some.
So there I was with the roles reversed, with a better grip on the “big picture” than my Dad did. I was explaining what to do, and why these actions were what was best for him. Much like a teenager, he thinks he knows everything.
He goes in for surgery on Tuesday, and the road after that will be long and hard. There is no manual for this (except the bible), and it's going to be tough. No human likes change, and nobody likes getting older, or hearing that they “Can't” do (insert task here) anymore.
Luckily my wife has lived through this (she onced worked at a nursing home, and obsviously deals with all sorts of situations being a nurse) so she has already been a huge help, but none the less this role reversal will be like a new pair of shoes. They may fit, but they're not comfortable and will take some breaking in