Monday, October 31, 2022

notes & things | all hallows eve

It's been a week. Which is to say it's been the kind of week I've been dreading but felt was kind of inevitable in greater or lesser degrees. My dad wound up in the hospital with an infection that had made him weaker than usual after a few months of more limited mobility that had been building the past year. He had been talking of pain in his legs and back that he'd written off as part of the sciatica that had plagued him for a while, requiring a cane and a walker most of the time (which apparently is more arthritic in nature as it turns out.). He'd complained about food just not being as desirable in the past few months, so had been steadily getting thinner, but not yet alarmingly so until recently. 

His condition had worsened in past couple of weeks to the point that my sister successfully tricked him into a trip to the emergency room under the guise of taking his stubborn ass to the hospital. The actual problem for his weakness and unsteadiness that resulted in a couple falls was dealt with quickly, but I arrived to find him a smaller, frailer version than I'd last left him. He seemed to be doing well all day Friday, but a seizure maybe (these are not new to him, and something he is medicated for, but very infrequent with more than a decade since the last) resulted in some aspiration and lung issues that led to him being put on a ventilator, which thankfully due to low covid infections right now was readily available.  He's been in a holding pattern since, sedated and intubated. and the doctor seems optimistic, they will take him off and go back to trying to get him ready for some rehab and physical therapy  

On one hand, for all their hope, I am being cautious with mine. My mother was sick in greater or lesser degrees for months, and yet her death shocked me to the core since I really believed she would pull through.  The visuals on this one scare looks terrible, this small, frail man hooked to a machine that is currently breathing for him (though the settings according to the nurse s are lower and more just augmenting his own breathing).  I have prepared myself for the worst. Well, am trying to while still hoping for the best.  A friend said via text today that hope is a tricky thing--difficult to have and difficult not to have. 

Since he is currently under heavy sedation and not missing me, I headed back to the city to finish up some deadline writing projects, tend to the cats, and get some warmer clothes for going back later in the week when he will hopefully be back awake and kicking or at the very least awake. The day before things went south he had seemed really good, still very frail, but up using his laptop (well as much as shitty hospital wi-fi allowed), watching television, and drinking coffee. He was sleepy, but could have a conversation. By that night, he'd started having some problems that got worse.

In many ways, my dad is a very different person than my mother, with none of the overall health problems that plagued her in terms of heart disease and diabetes. He is also just mentally and emotionally stronger on the whole. Age will still sink its teeth in though. As will fear.  One of the reasons he wanted to avoid the doctor was he was certain he had cancer--which he did not.  On Friday, when the doctor came through, he asked, partly joking,. partly serious, "So I'm not going to die?" We all laughed.  Hours later, he came close to it. 

Tonight, the veil is supposedly thin, and I feel anxious that its so thin he could just slip through without a sound. Though I suppose any of us could. It's that weird time of year when the clocks will be changing and the trees bare and I want to crawl out of my skin. November is not my favorite month, never was-- and even less so the past few years since my mother's death at the beginning of it. Tonight, we are going to watch some horror movies and eat chocolate and appease the spirits. Hopefully they won't steal us in the night. 

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