While I was in Grand Rapids for a few days vacation, my Dad developed some breathing issues which led to a trip to the ER, admission to the hospital and a return home six days later. As I drove him to the ER he mentioned he wanted credit for the fact that he had avoided being hospitalized around the holidays. I’ll give him extra credit for that!

Usually when my Dad goes to the hospital he isn’t feeling too awful but while in the ER things usually go south quite quickly. It is his pattern. He doesn’t feel pain, which believe me IS NOT a blessing. It taken us all of his older life to pick up on the fact that we get little warning and no normal warning that things are happening in his body.

So while at first they said they might send him home from the ER with antibiotics for his pneumonia (just some, caught early) the decision to keep him was the right decision because he got worse before he got better.

The thing we fight every time he is in the hospital is people’s perception of a 93 year-old-man. They see that age on the chart and they tend to not expect much and/or write him off. Neither of my parents seem like they are in their early 90’s. Good genes, I guess.

So Dad was getting IV antibiotics, a unit of blood and lots of tests. Oh, and not much rest, in spite of his private room right from the start. But he bounced back pretty fast this time. Okay, maybe not bounced, but steady progress was made. When it came time for them to talk about discharge the physical therapists told him he would need to climb ten stairs in order to be allowed to go home. He said, “where are the stairs?” They told him he could take it one stair at a time but instead he hiked up alternating feet for those ten steps. They asked if he was winded. He said, “no, but if you want me to do the next ten steps I might need to rest.” Oh Dad. Needless to say he was discharged.

Several days before he was released I needed to head back to work. I sat with my Mom and said, “okay, here is your job. You need to make sure you rest, sleep and eat good food. You need to have your cell phone with you (charged, please) at all times. You can’t go down in the basement or take a shower if no one is here.” She told my niece the next morning she was following all my rules. Good job Mom.

And so life continues. Dad is making up for lost time and getting lots of rest. Mom is puttzing and doing up the dishes. Great grandchildren, including the newest, come to visit. Grandchildren and kids visit and call and catch up on some lost sleep themselves.(Me) Dad says when he gets so sick he never quite comes all the way back but he doesn’t lose much. But he says life is full and rich.

We’ll go with that. Love you Mom and Dad.

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