My Dad has been having a rough go of it.  He picked up some kind of bug and has been fighting it for over a week.  He hasn’t been eating much which at 94 leaves you pretty weak.  Yesterday he mentioned he was having some abdominal pain.  That made the hospice nurse take notice because this is the man who doesn’t feel pain. Ever.  (Unless he has a gangrene gallbladder and then he mentions feeling a “bit” of pain)

So yesterday they tried several things for pain and finally tried a level 2 narcotic.  (Oh yes, and he is super sensitive to most medications.)  He reluctantly agreed to exchanging his own bed for a hospital bed they brought in.  And he was told he couldn’t get out of bed by himself because his blood pressure drops too much.  All night long, my niece would check on him when she woke up (which I’m thinking was fairly often).  She would tiptoe in his room, not wanting to wake him but checking.

It was tough sleeping last night.  I woke up numerous times and checked my phone to see if there were any texts.  This morning I texted my sister-in-law and asked how Dad was.  She replied, “great!  Nurse here.  I’ll call in a bit.”  I puzzled over that.  Great…he was great?  Last night we were all making plans in our minds and now he was great?

In fact he woke up this morning feeling great.  He said during the night he could feel “something” happening.  Like he was getting better.  The hospice nurse today was…happy…puzzled.  He asked for “milk toast”, something my parents have always eaten after they have been sick.  In fact I warned my niece he would ask for that.  (Personally I think milk toast would push me right over the edge but hey, whatever, right?) Another good sign.

I don’t know why it surprises me/us so much.  He has done this time and time again.  He calls it stepping back from the abyss.  I call it having more lives than a black cat.  But every time he cautions us that “one of these times…” as if we could forget that reality.  My brother called from Virginia.  My niece from Philly and I both Face Timed with him.  The family there in GR was around.  We were all a bit giddy with relief.  (I interrupt for a PSA for iPhone and the technology it brings at times just like this.  I would not have believed what they were telling me from Michigan had i not seen his smiling face and heard his voice.  I love technology!)

I told him again, that we know his reality.  He has a 94 year-old body that is wearing down.  It is our reality too.  But for today, we are grateful and allowing ourselves to breath in and out and even look ahead.

Go Dad go.  Rest Dad rest.  We all love you so very much.