Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lots and Lots of Waiting

What do you do when someone you love (Dad) has major surgery? Other than help take care of him, and take care of the primary caregiver (Mom)? Since Dad was in the hospital 9 days and Mom only left the hospital twice to wash her hair (Dad had a shower in his room) I spent a lot of time just sitting at the hospital while Dad and sometimes Mom slept. Quiet activities were a necessity.

Here's what I accomplished:

Two baby afghans. The pink for one of my Moody cousins who is due to have her first baby any day. (And the first great-grandchild for Dick and Jean). The blue one for my old college roommate who is also having her first baby this summer.

I started a "Welcome Home"/recovery/Father's Day afghan for Dad. When I told him that my next crochet project was for him he said, "That'll be SWEET!" He chose the color and pattern.

When I wasn't crocheting my life away I was reading. Here's a list of what I read. (And a few reviews, too).

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I read this book in high school, but couldn't remember a thing about it. I've wanted to re-read it for a few years now and was quite pleased that I could get it on iBooks for free. It is extremely depressing. Well written, but I wouldn't recommend it. I was telling Mom about it and Dad says from his ICU bed, "What book is this? Just so that I know never to read it."

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum. They say that books are ALWAYS better than the movie, not in this case. Where are the ruby slippers?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. Didn't like 'em. Through the Looking-Glass was the better of the two, but I'd rather see the movie or the cartoon.

Three strikes and you're out. I needed something I could enjoy. So I read Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery, last in the Anne of Green Gables series. Loved it.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, not too long, but eh.

The Importance of Being Ernest, was a play. If you like the movie with Colin Firth you'll like reading it. The screenplay is very close to the real thing. The Canterville Ghost, also by Oscar Wilde (no relation) was funny and quite good. And short.

I read a couple of Agatha Christie's and tried to read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, but had to give up after the first page. This was another "read it in high school" experiments. I don't know what version we read as sophmores, but maybe I'm just getting stupid. Anyway, I saw no point in torturing myself further.

And I started Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. My FAVORITE book. I've read it every year since my junior year in high school. Except last year when I loaned it to my brother. He didn't read it. My family has a conspiracy against me: no one will read it. Their loss.

And that is how I survived the most stressful, emotional, terrifying, never-ending, exhausting time of my life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The REAL Thing

June 6, 2011
Surgery prep 7:00 am
Surgery 10:00 am

Cousin Jaymie said, "Your mom's face says it all."

After a 10.5 hour surgery, 2 days in ICU.

A private room with a view of Point Loma.

First walk down the hall.
"Baby steps," Dad says,
"I'm doin' the work."

After 9 days of no solid food, all Dad wanted was a Coke.
And a chocolate chip cookie doesn't hurt.

Roast beef and mashed potatoes as a farewell lunch. 
And chocolate pudding.
We're checking out.
June 14, 2011.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dry Run

Some of you may know my dad was scheduled for surgery this past Wednesday. MAJOR surgery. What a fiasco. The poor guy fasted for two days and took the antibiotics he was prescribed. After two hours of prep, he was just about to be wheeled into the operating room, when the head surgeon cancelled the surgery. Apparently the nurses aid screwed up the medications, didn't get them called in on time, so dad couldn't take them. He didn't even know what he was supposed to be taking because the moron also didn't give him a checklist. He had FIVE medicines to take to make sure his intestines were sterile. Sooooo, we're going through the entire ordeal again, for real this time, Monday June 6.

Organs to be removed: Bladder, Prostate, Lymph Nodes, Urethra, Appendix.

He's doing the medical prep. We're attempting to prepare emotionally (again). We also found out that the surgery is expected to take 8-10 hours, we were told 4-6. He will be in ICU at least 3 days. And he will be in the hospital recovering for 10-14 days, we had been told 5-7. Now we have a more realistic picture and it's a little bit scarier. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

*Sorry no pictures. I will be chastised for it. But when the real thing takes place I hope to keep folks updated on facebook, with some photos. (Obviously not of the actual surgery).