Friday, October 24, 2008


Well, things mostly worked out today. The package arrived, and we got the extra keys we needed, and Dad made it through the second, exploratory procedure. One of his nurses told me that they removed "three or four golfball-sized blood clots" (yes, that's an exact quotation) and cauterized the arteries they'd come from. Some veins were still oozing, and the nurse says those can't be cauterized -- although she doesn't know why -- but with luck, the bleeding will stop now, so Dad can be transferred to the skilled-nursing place on Sunday. The new facility is much farther away than the one where they'd originally planned to send him, but it's also in an exceptionally pretty part of town. Dad likes nice views, and he has a lovely one from his hospital bed, so I'm hoping he'll have a nice one at the other place, too.

I punted on my second meeting at work, but went to the first, in a fashion. I was meeting with a med student who's studying narrative medicine, and I'm afraid I spent too much time talking about Dad, but she was very patient and understanding (hey! I was giving her a chance to practice NM!). She gave me a stern little lecture about protecting my own boundaries. That really is important; I haven't been sleeping very well this week, although I've eaten well, thanks to Gary. I haven't exercised, though, and I keep forgetting to take meds -- including, at least once, my antidepressant -- and my classic depression chest-pain symptoms have come back. So tomorrow, my first priority is to get back to the pool!

Today I got a lovely e-mail from one of our parish priests, asking for an update on Dad. I called her this evening and we had a nice talk. She's visited people in the place Dad will be going, and says it's pretty nice (although she prefers the original place), and that the staff there have always been exceptionally kind. She's going to try to visit Dad in the hospital this weekend, just to give him someone new to talk to: he thrives on social interaction, and I'm anxious to use that to keep him from any cognitive deterioration. Right now, he's sharp as the proverbial tack, but institutional settings take their toll, especially on the elderly, and Fran and I run out of things to say after a while.

Everyone at work has been great: colleagues have given me hugs, offered tea and sympathy and class coverage (which I hope I won't have to use), and affirmed that this is anything but a business-as-usual situation.

Speaking of which, I have no idea how I'm going to get all my grading done this weekend . . . but my students would probably be understanding too, if it came to that.

Stay tuned.


  1. Susan, when I was in college sometimes teachers had a student as an assistant to grade papers and do copying and such. Is that an option for you while you are taking care of all this?

    Prayers for your Dad's continued improvement and have a great swim!


  2. Anonymous5:42 AM

    Big hug, Susan.

    Love, Sharon

  3. Just a quick note to say I'm thinking of you in this stressful time. Your student is right; boundaries. Remember that you cannot care for your father if you don't take care of yourself. In the event of an emergency, place your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.

  4. Thanks so much, everybody!


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