Monday, February 7, 2011

My Dad is a Timex...

...he takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.

I spoke to my father for a bit this evening. There are aspects of him that make me want to yell at him. Then again, he's been through quite the ordeal, so he's off the hook...for now.

There's no way to confirm this, but I personally think this little trip to the hospital started when Dad took a fall. He was supposed to go to a wound care center. He has sores on his legs that are very painful and don't heal well. While he's not a diabetic, his legs act as though he is. Well, Dad went out to his car to clear off the snow and ice so he could be on his way, when he took a spill. He couldn't regain his feet, so he laid there for about ten minutes. As he told me this story, I asked about his cell phone. His response...? "Oh, I had that on me. I was going to wait a while longer before dialing 911. Luckily, someone found me and got help."

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Days later, I find out he and Mom have colds. Gee, perhaps a nearly 80-year-old man lying in the wet snow for a while was the cause? Nah.

Early the next morning is when I got the call about him being in the hospital. Mom didn't have much to report, so I've had no details...until now. Dad says that the fluid in his lungs was a combination of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He ended up in the ICU for this adventure, and was downgraded today. He's not in a regular room, but something in between. He hopes to be in a regular room in the next few days, and might even be home by the time I have my knee surgery on Wednesday. But I think that's just wishful thinking on his part.

I also think Dad dodged a bullet. I told him that he gave us quite a scare, to which he said he was scared too. There isn't much that scares my father. Many years ago, when I was working for him, we were at the family business when he started experiencing chest pains. I suggested he get himself to a hospital or dial 911, to which he replied casually, "Nah. I have a few things I want to finish up. I'll stop at a hospital on the way home." You stopping at McDonald's for a burger, Dad would just stop in at the hospital to have a quick chat, then go home to watch TV. It wasn't quite so simple, as he ended up in the hospital for almost a month while they got his heart worked on. Years later, he had a triple bypass with a mitral valve replacement.

He doesn't scare easy, but this one got to him. And I don't think discussing it in greater detail would have been much of a comfort. Thankfully, he wasn't as stubborn as he was years ago with the chest pain, or I'd probably be trying to get to NY for a funeral.

The good news in all of this is that the heart failure doesn't seem to be a chronic condition. I'm not going to have to sit around waiting for the next time, thinking that it could be around the corner at any moment. Sure, that could still happen as a random event, but the odds are reduced.

The one thing that kind of bothers me most right now is that I've been unable to give him grandchildren. He'll have them one day, but I fear he's nearing the end of his existential stay. I'm sure I'd get no argument from Becky if I were to suggest we get started on the whole family thing right away, but we're trying to stick to a plan of not having kids until she's done with school.

Why is it that when things look so good in my life, there's always just a few details that

I think I'm going to spend some time cuddling with my wife before my fiancee gets home from work. Be well, all.

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