Thursday, March 08, 2018

Why I Haven't Been Around

I've been scarce lately because my dad had a stroke just after Valentine's Day, and I've spent much of the past 3 weeks in a hospital near my hometown trading off days and nights with my family. (Thankfully, my bosses are fine with me working remotely, and the wifi is adequate.)

I'll spare you (and myself) the medical details. After a night in the ER, dad was moved to the Critical Care Unit, surrounded by tubes, wires, sensors, a rotating staff of nurses and doctors, and a general sense of helplessness felt by the rest of us.

A series of tubes.
After a week, he was moved up to a regular room, where we remain (with a brief diversion to sub-acute care until a complication popped up).

Right now, NJ just went through a winter storm (parts of the state got over 2 feet of snow, though our area didn't get nearly that much), so I figured I'd catch up on a few things.

I guess I've been lucky up until now, as even at my age, I haven't had to spend much time in hospitals, either as a patient or a visitor. Though I'm definitely catching up now: Over the years, I guess hospitals figured out that it was better to let a family member stay overnight. Hospitals are disorienting enough as it is; after a while, I was having trouble keeping track of the days.

They're also pretty difficult places to get actual rest, with all the tests, scheduled medications, position changes, and beeping machines. (So much beeping.) A recliner helps, though.

Dad's is pretty much out of the acute phase of things, and we're all trying to figure out what happens next. I won't get into his prognosis, though we're trying to be optimistic and realistic.

Anyway, I figure I'll be spending a whole lot more time in NJ and traveling back and forth. I'm also trying not to commit to anything I can't easily get out of over the next few months.