Sunday, November 26, 2006

Dad Update

Dad's still in MICU, probably until tomorrow. He's doing well, but they want to make sure that he's absolutely stable before they transfer him to a less monitor-intensive part of the hospital.

My contact with him has been sporadic. The day before yesterday, I talked to him and he said that his nurse hadn't even had to move the bed to get the phone to reach. Yesterday I called and got a nurse who told me that it wasn't possible to get the phone to reach "because we're having emergencies here." (That can't be good. I hope they have a chaplain.) I wished her luck, and told her to tell my father that I'd called and that I love him.

This morning I called and couldn't get anyone to pick up the phone at all; I must have let it ring forty times. I'll try again in a little while. I hope they aren't having more emergencies (and most definitely that any emergencies don't involve Dad, although that doesn't sound too likely at this point).

Meanwhile, my sister's been visiting every day. Yesterday, she and my nephew met the nice doctor I talked to on the phone the other night, the doctor who was so kind and patient with my HIPAA meltdown. They were extremely impressed with him. They said he was thorough, very good at directing all of his questions at Dad while still including them, and very good at asking Dad questions to make sure he understood what he'd just been told.

The doctor said to my sister, "I think I spoke to you on the phone," and she explained that no, that had been another daughter from Reno. I can just imagine his relief at learning that he didn't have to be in the same room with the crazy anti-HIPAA lady!

A little later:

I've now talked to Dad, and he sounds good, much more alert and like himself than he has since this whole thing started. He's bored, though, because he can't see well enough to watch television or read. Supposedly there's a radio setting on his TV, but it's broken. He wanted to know what was happening in the news, so I read him some AP headlines and portions of articles.

My father dislikes cats; my sister and I both love them, and my sister has six. A friend of my father's sent my sister a poinsettia for the holidays, which was lovely, except that poinsettias are poisonous to cats. (My sister says they've had poinsettias in the house before with no problem, but when I was on the phone with her yesterday, I heard her saying, "No, no, shoo, scat, get away from there!")

My father hadn't known this bit of feline trivia, and even though he doesn't like cats -- and couldn't resist a crack about "well, that's one way to get rid of them" -- his lawyer brain immediately kicked into gear. "How can they not tell people that?"

"Dad, the florist didn't know your friend was buying the plant for a cat-intensive household."

"But there should be a warning label on the plants, the way there is on cans. A lot of people have cats. I can imagine a lawsuit over this."

Yup, he's definitely feeling better!


A Google search informs me that poinsettias are actually only mildly toxic to cats, although some plants have been treated with pesticides that could be much more toxic. Most of the time, eating a poinsettia will only make the cat barf, as eating any other houseplant would. On the other hand, none of us need to clean up extra kitty messes, do we? So it's still a good idea to keep the plants away from pets.


  1. Hi, Susan! Good to hear your dad is feeling better. Hope he doesn't have to stay in the hospital much longer.

    I agree with him! There should be warning labels on plants for pets, kids, and also anyone with sensitivities to some of them.


  2. pixelRN7:26 AM

    Glad to hear your Dad is doing better...

    As a MICU nurse i have to say that I always feel bad about the patients who are in similar situations as your father (sick enough to be in the MICU but well enough to be aware of their surroundings.) The ICU can be such a hectic, loud, scary, place. I always wish we could do more to make the cognizant patient comfortable.


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