Friday, December 12, 2008

Quiet Day, More or Less

I actually had a fairly peaceful day today; since Dad's safely in Palo Alto, I didn't have to zip hither and yon to visit him (that will come when we manage to get over the hill, which could take a few days, given current weather conditions).

I woke up feeling more human than I have in a while. I drank coffee, graded, wrote my final exam, ordered spring textbooks, and then went swimming before the final. During the final, I knit. Then I came home, had supper, graded exams, and watched an episode of The Wire with Gary.

Of course, there were various phone calls throughout the day:

After a merry game of phone tag, I conferred with one of my father's Palo Alto doctors about his medical history. According to her, he'll be getting one test on Monday, something about measuring valve gradients. I'm not going to attempt to understand this, even if I've found an explanatory website. What matters is that it's the test that will determine if Dad's a candidate for the clinical trial, so please all keep your fingers crossed.

I also played phone tag with Dad, but never did get in touch with him after a very brief conversation this morning. He was tired from traveling, but otherwise seemed in decent spirits. Whenever I've called Dad's floor to try to speak to him, or speak to his doctor, the person who answers has asked me to spell his name, and every single time, I'm only a few letters into it when the person says, "Oh! Mr. Palwick!" So it sounds like he's making some kind of impression over there.

I also talked on the phone with #1 Dinosaur, who lives in the Philly area and is going to confer with my sister about arranging some informal pet therapy for Mom this weekend. This is an incredibly kind gesture, and I'm really touched. And it's all because of the blogosphere!

Mom will definitely be spending the weekend in the hospital. They drew 200 cc (or "half a mayonnaise jar," as she put it) of fluid from her left lung this morning; we should have preliminary lab results on that tomorrow. Unfortunately, draining the fluid didn't make her feel better. Meanwhile, the stress test had to be cut short because Mom's blood-pressure plummeted and her fingers turned blue -- this according to my sister -- so they're going to try to do another one on Monday.

When I spoke to Mom this morning, she didn't know why the stress test had been cut short. She confirmed my sister's report that she had another nightmare episode this morning, though. I asked her to describe it, and she said, "The room reshapes itself, and I'm yelling 'Help me, help me,' and I don't know why, and no one comes and finally someone does." She said it was "terrible."

Her 02 was low again, and I asked her if they thought that was causing the nightmares, and she said, "They seem to think it's more the diabetes." (Have I mentioned that she's Type 2?) I've seen various things on the web, that oh-so-reliable resource, indicating that low blood sugar can spark nightmares, but Mom says hers was high -- although she's had episodes of low sugar while she's been in the hospital -- so I'm not sure what the explanation is. I just hope the pet therapy, if it happens, gives her a happy interlude.

Speaking of pet therapy, all three cats have been unusually affectionate to me today. They know when one of their food providers needs to be cheered up!

On a very sad note, I learned today that a friend's mother died from cancer. It was expected (she was in hospice), but it's still a blow. She and I met a few years ago, and discovered that we both went to the New York City Star Trek convention in 1973. I didn't know her well, but I was fond of her, and I'm sad she's gone.

While it was a somewhat mixed day, I still felt like I could breathe, more or less. This is a good thing. I hope it lasts a while.


  1. Susan,
    It's so good that you had a nice restful day and that your Dad made it to Palo Alto and is settling in well. I'm sorry for your friend's loss. Pet therapy sounds like a great idea and I hope your Mom has a good time cuddling her four footed visitor. Bet your sister will be glad to have see that too.

    I'll pray that this kind of day continues to happen for you and more frequently. Also for safe travel!

    Now I'm going to go find the starting episode of The Wire because you mentioned it, I googled it, found full episodes online, and have never seen it. Thanks for the idea.

    Peace! Hope! & Joy!

  2. Susan,
    boy, you're getting it on both fronts, aren't you? Your mother is an amazing woman, which is proven, in part, by how involved her daughters are with the current crisis. Always praying for all of you. If I were any where near, I'd have Violet dog in to see her in a flash.

  3. Indeed, hoping for some more (relatively) calm days for you all. Prayers continuing.


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