So last night at 9:30, I headed to Greenville, SC. A silly hour for a road trip, I know, but that's what I did. Later today my Daddy's going to have surgery on his foot (back story over here,) and I decided I wanted to be there. As is usual and customary when an adult returns home for a visit, things have fallen immediately into the old patterns that are typical of a trip to visit my particular family:
- My mom seems to have this deeply-felt need for me to actually look at my dad's injuries. She's not let up since I arrived. So I've granted one peek at the photo of the time when his eyes were shockingly black and blue (nothing you ever want to see on your father's face, if you can help it, I have to say.) But in these subtle So Very Mom ways of hers, she'll suggest I go into the bedroom where Dad is resting, to retrieve something. "It's okay. He's not asleep!" To which I reply, "But didn't you just remove his bandage? Have you replaced it yet?" She sneers at me, "Chicken!"
- I'm talking to my father, telling him that I may meet an old high school friend or two for coffee tomorrow, in the hospital cafeteria. He asks about one, "What does she do now?" I share that this one friend is the mother of 3 children. Daddy's response, "It's hard to believe these young kids are old enough to have all those children."
- Mom had been brewing a plot. Apparently someone dropped a pair of black kittens off near their home in the country and she's been feeding and falling in love with them. And since I've been fresh out of Dearly Loved Black Kitties for a couple of years now, she's been scheming to have me go home with - if not two, then one of these little darlings. And it was working, too. I was bonding with "Lola" (Mom said I could help with names, and that's my vote anyway,) trying to decide if this was, indeed, the time for me to adopt a new wee one. Hmmm!
Then I went to take out my contacts, and only did a cursory hand rinse, frankly forgetting - in my 2am exhaustion - that I'd been even holding an animal. Remember a few months ago when I developed an inexplicable allergy to my friend's new cat? After Having Been Surrounded By Kitties My Whole Life Long? Yea, my eyes aren't looking so good this morning. This time was way worse than last time. I'm hoping to be able to put in contacts before we leave for the hospital at 4. Lola won't be coming home with me this week.
- And then there's my Spoiled By My Own Technology issue. I've finally removed about a gig of photos from Mom's hard drive, and upgraded her Firefox from what may well have been the original version. Next I'll be getting some new IE to replace the Who Knows How Old version they're running there, too. There's no need for wireless in their home, so although I've brought my laptop for use at the hospital where I understand WiFi will be waiting for me, computing is slightly wonkier than is customary for me. Which is fine. I'll find a work groove later. For now, I think I'll get back to letting this morning not be All About Me. Which it can be on my very own blog, but that's enough.
Please send prayers. Daddy's quite ready for this to be over with.
After the nurse told us, 20 minutes before they took my Dad to surgery - at 9:15 or so - that the surgeon started his day at 8am, she paused then said, "They get used to these kinds of hours. I hear there's an adrenaline rush." I got the feeling I was supposed to forget about the fact that the man who was going to be cutting on my Daddy was on the last leg of a 12+ hour work day. Alas, I did not forget. I'm sure he'll be fine, of course, since everybody told us he's the best. But it'll be a whole lot better when this part of the longer-than-I-expected day is over.
In other news, since my dad is a chaplain at this hospital and is apparently as loved here as he is in our family, he got lots and lots of visitors from "insiders" today. All happy to see him. Lots of them full of jokes about how they can't believe he let that house "whip him." Somebody even said, "Maybe you should let these women build that house."
Oh the jokes...
Discovered something last night: even if you get news you don't necessarily want to hear, it can be way, waaay better than the news you cannot bear to hear. Which is to say my dad's foot has some pretty significant injuries, some of the skin has died, and during yesterday's "debridement" the surgeon found himself down to tendons. Not good. But he also said he's very close to certain Daddy won't be losing his foot. Hey! Now that's good news!!!
Apparently if this had happened 10 years ago, Daddy would have lost his foot. Fortunately there's this great technology that includes something called a "wound vac" which will be implemented in the treatment. And although it will take more time to heal than anybody would like, the expectation is that this technology will help increase oxygen flow to the wounded areas and encourage new skin growth. So he'll be in the hospital at least through the weekend, with another procedure occurring on Friday.
Mom and I got home after midnight last night, and I'm helping out not at the hospital by using a few of my computer skills to make some updates that will hopefully clean up some space and resources and make my parents' lives move more smoothly. Then back to the hospital in a little while.
I'll return to Greensboro tomorrow. If I haven't been in touch with you personally, no worries - I'll be in touch again asap. Although home and hospital both have internet connections, it's trickier than I'd planned on to just sit and do email and work. Lots of other things to handle. Naturally.
Thanks for your notes and thoughts and prayers and calls. More updates forthcoming!
Related post here. AKA "the back story."