Friday, October 23, 2009

This has been a crazy week, but the first tests show my dad doesn't have bladder cancer. He definitely has some other problem, although he doesn't understand this. Next week he will have a renal ultrasound. In mid-November he'll have a cystoscopy. That seems to be a day surgery (with anesthesia) poking around in his bladder. His last anesthesia experience sent him into another galaxy for five days, so this is scary. Of course, he spends much of his time in an alternate galaxy now. Please send good vibes and white light!

In my limited experience, having a doctor jam a scope up my deviated septum to view my sinuses is grounds for murder. I'm sure Dad will want to yell, "STEP AWAY FROM THE BLADDER, AND NOBODY GETS HURT."

A couple years ago Dad fell and hit his head. Having a brain scan, lying immobile in the tube with beeping sounds and light flashes gave Dad a vivid, terrible flashback to foxhole experiences in World War II.

I hope he has a little bit of Clint Eastwood in him to get him through that day.

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder

Monday, October 05, 2009

Screenplay of the intermediate place

Not for the first time, I got off the phone with my father and pushed the VHS cassette of "Amadeus" into the VCR. I'm writing another scene in my imaginary screenplay, and F. Murray Abraham is playing the lead role.

Dad fell again today, but wasn't injured. He "screamed bloody murder for a long time, waking people up but getting no help". Eventually he pushed his call button. Once the aide arrived, the nurse had to be called before Dad could be lifted off the floor. Dad seems to have read the riot act to the poor aide about the sorry excuse for an "intermediate place" he was in. For Dad, assisted living probably feels like an intermediate place, a sort of limbo. I can only begin to imagine Dad's internal discussions about his current abilities and ultimate mortality.

The aide took Dad's temp, blood pressure, and pulse. Dad ranted because his socks weren't even a real pair. One sock was a Gold Toe and the other wasn't.

I started to say that the aides can't move him when he falls so they don't aggravate a break. Dad started swearing at me, that yes he understands this. Eventually he told me he was embarrassed now about his reaction and behavior. He is glad they were taking care of him, but it was pretty exasperating at the time.

I'm in the doghouse. I contacted the church to change Dad's mailing address for the pledge statements. Because of that, I "sicced" the visitation minister on him. The minister visited Dad today. They seem to have conversed about postage rates. I pray it was not like the priest's visits to Salieri in the mad house.

© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder