Posted by: wrmcnutt | September 17, 2009

Dad Update

I’m sorry; it’s been several days since my last update.   It turns out that writing, any writing, even like this, requires emotional energy, and I just haven’t had any.  By the time I get home from the hospital, I just want to mindlessly sit in front of a computer and blow up virtual mutants with a virtual rocket launcher before going to bed.

I’d like to thank everyone who has inquired about my Dad.  It really helps to know that so many people care.  If I haven’t thanked you personally, I’m sorry. It’s not that you’re unappreciated.  It’s that I’m having trouble paying attention to details.  Any details about anything.  These days, I check to see if the house has exploded or if I’m on fire.  Other than that, it’s details for which I don’t have the time or energy.

In any case, the news on Dad is mixed.  On the one hand, he’s out of the ICU and in a regular floor room.  He’s getting regular breathing treatments on a regular basis.  I’m not sure how often.  I go to see him twice a day, and I often run into his sister.  My sister has gone home to Atlanta for the short term.  We’re hoarding her leave time so that she can take some time off to stay with him when/if he gets to come home.  Being on the floor rather than the ICU is good news, in that he’s healthy enough not to need that constant supervision.  But the floor nurse has around ten patients.  The ICU nurse had three.  That means that she can only come to see him about once an hour.  And I think that the interaction was good for him.  Most of the time, he by himself.  And I can’t be there all the time. 

He’s a lot less animated and conversational than he was in the ICU.  I suspect that that’s because they’ve removed his epidural.  So he’s feeling it a lot more now.  And when you’re in constant pain, you’re not very chatty or energetic.  I’ve had a tiny share of that, and a lot of your energy is tied up in pushing the pain away.  To all appearances, his recovery has leveled out from the spectacular start it had.  He’s still trying to breathe deeply, even though it hurts, and trying to eat everything they put in front of him to prevent more weight loss.  Dad was never large, and now he’s beginning to scrawny-down to frightening levels.  And that was before he went into the hospital. He frets about his cat getting it’s daily tuna ration and that the tomatos are getting watered.  I’m taking care of that stuff, but he still frets.

Other than continue to take care of the house, cat, and tomatos, and drop in to see him daily, I don’t know what more I can do.  I do feel that I should somehow be doing more.

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  1. Bill we have often set up a list of friends (if we are short on family) that can stop by and see patients for a visit, you might want to look into that for you dad. Even if he’s not chatty there would be someone in the room with him, and he would have more of a chance for the interaction you feel he is missing

  2. I wonder if folks from the barony would be willing to stop by and tell him stories about his son.
    You know Martin would do it if we were up there.
    hugs and prayers,

    • I appreciate the suggestion from both Laura and Deirdre, but I can’t imagine asking folks to participate in this. It’s hard, it’s gross, and it’s depressing.

  3. Unfortunately I can tell you from personal experience that dealing with the pain does take a lot of energy. But even if he’s not as animated as he was, rest assured he welcomes the company and will let you know when he wants privacy (especially if he’s anything like you). My own cancer is stable and not growing but the splenectomy incision still is painful at times so I know it will take him awhile. If you need anything, just let me or Christine know


    • Thorin –
      Your particular insight is very welcome, and I appreciate it.

  4. I wish I had something more helpful than this to say, but you and your father are in our thoughts.

    • Actually – any comments or e-mail at all about positive thoughts are helpful.

  5. My thoughts and good vibes are headed in your general direction along with healing enrgy to your Dad. I know how hard it is to have a sick parent. Hang in there and do what you can. That is all you can do. make hi smile and laught if you can!



    • Caitlin –
      It’s good to hear from you. I don’t think we’ve been in touch since the War. How is life treating you?

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