It’s about 0340 on a Friday morning and I’m sitting on a hard plastic chair In the ER watching my father drift in and out sleep listening to him having a difficult time breathing. He’s much better then when he arrived, but it’s still a massive slap on the face from mortality and aging being here In the ER with him. When I arrived dad could hardly talk, his lips were dry, chapped, and white, he did not know where he was and he was completely naked. He was totally uncovered with his dick in an RNs hand and the RN, Duane, was inserting a tub into his bladder to allow the opportunity to urinate some vile brown fluids without standing up and falling over.
Hi dad, sorry I’ve not visited you the last 7 or 8 days you’ve been home sick with a cough that turned into pneumonia and lead you to the point of hallucinating. – I’m not totally horrible; I’ve been in contact with mom whose been managing his health. But the second time she took him to the doctors after telling me she was scared and had never seen him this sick In their 40+ years of marriage, maybe a light should have gone off in my head telling me I should check in on them in person
the call from mom
Instead I wait for mom to call me at work telling me dad does not know his name, he coughed up some blood, and my brother is there taking her and dad to the ER. Being logical, obsessed with time and logistics, and not being one who panics; I Figuring the ER would take a bit to admit dad. I didn’t rush out of work right away. Instead I mostly finished my shift, resisted the urge to stress eat, downloaded book 6 of the Dresden files and slowly made my way to the hospital conveniently located on my way home about 12 minutes from home.
After the, hey look that’s my dads dick, and yes his sack is saggier then mine shock. I had the pleasure of hearing dad try to make words and listen to him breath. He was confused, on the edge of hallucinating and his breath was labored. I read his charts chated with the nurse then sent mom and Darren home. They both looked exhausted after a week of trying to take care for and cover for dad. Figured it was my turn to do some work.
I’ve been here ever since watching the man who is my super man and who should be invincible slowly become less confused, finally sleep, cough, expose himself and, gradually improve his condition. We’re four bags of fluids, 2 bags of antibiotics, and two CT scans later and dad now knows where we are, who he is, and ever told me a few stories about his week of being sick – he told me the stories while we had the second CT scan. Now he’s back to sleeping.
The CT scan shows a level of fluids slightly below, oh fuck this be bad. It’s more like dam that’s not best case scenario and it’s going to take a while to clean up level of fluids. From my crappy butt numbing chair across the room I’m able to hear the fluids in his lungs while he’s breathing. Also able to hear it when’s he hacking and coughing between boughts of sleep.
It’s been almost 22 years since I saw my father in a hospital bed unable to think clearly enough to know who and where he was. Back then I was 18 and invincible myself. Back the it did not hit me as hard because I rationalized dad being as invincible as me. Now I’m almost 40 and literally had a panic attack reading the time travelers wife a few weeks ago. The part where he finds out he is going to die and leave his family on their own about ruined me the night I read it. Now that my mind is capable of seeing a finality to life, and what might happen to those left behind. Seeing my father on a bed displaying extreme mortality is hiting me a great deal harder.
Thankfully all of the negative bits remain where they belong, in my imagination, and are not being played out in front of me on reality, this your life tv. Dads alert enough now when he wakes up to ask why mom stole his cloths and have the modesty to ask for a gown untill she comes back with his socks; My dads on his way back
For now, writing these words made me feel slightly better and distracted me from Listening to my father breathe. I believe it’s time to return to finding the end of REDDIT.