Chaos Attraction

The Disaster Happened

2005-07-12, 9:16 p.m.

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This morning, Jess e-mailed me, along the lines of "Hope nothing bad happened to you yesterday."

I wrote back to say, "Oh, no, for once nothing happened at all, except for the amusing Super Size Me incident."

I spoke too soon.

Around 10:30, I got e-mail from Mom, yelling at me for not turning on the cell last night.

Dad's in the hospital again, for a couple of nights, or so they say so far. I wouldn't be surprised if this changed.

He briefly went into a diabetic coma last night- was zoned out and unresponsive. (Mom is now beating herself up for "not taking care of him well enough" last night. Sounds like she did same as usual to me.) Mom called Ron (for whatever reason- I don't know why she'd call HIM to ask what the signs of diabetic coma were considering Ron's one of the few family members who isn't diabetic), and he told her to get some orange juice or candy into him. Which of course, she couldn't do, and his blood sugar was at 52 (v. bad). So she called 911.

Much to her surprise, Ron AND Laurie AND the kids AND Auntie Dolores and Uncle Bruce showed up at the house... at the same time as the amubulance. And apparently they all drove the EMT's batshit- I guess Auntie D decided to tell one of them he couldn't take blood from Dad's thumb, and he yelled at her to let him do his job already. Hah. Someone told Mom to next time just call 911, not the whole family- but in this case, she didn't. Though I guess they were pretty nice to her, going to the hospital along with them and all.

On a nicer note, one of the EMT's told Mom he wasn't going to die today, and I guess he wasn't in the coma all that long. But they hauled him out to Walnut Creek, and he's still in at least through overnight tonight. They're FINALLY bothering to figure out why he's still anemic and where he must have internal bleeding and treat him for a bedsore, rather than giving him another transfusion and sending him home the way they have twice in the last two weeks. Which, in my opinion, is something they should have done the FIRST time he came in, especially when Mom kept calling the doctors to say he wasn't any better, and this week she lost (or I should say, he lost?) the ability to be able to wrestle him into the van by herself without help.

I suppose some good things have come out of this, though. For one thing, Mom finally called a home health care nurse that she got the name of from some friend of hers whose husband had a stroke, and she was going to meet with him today at the hospital. (I don't know how it went, since I called Mom on the way home and her cell battery promptly died 15 seconds into the call.) I always knew it'd take a disaster for her to get that far, and this is it.

And for another thing...we finally had what these days can only be called "the Terri Schiavo conversation." Which I must admit, I wasn't expecting to have on the cell phone during my break time at work. She asked me what she should do about life support. I didn't know WHAT to say, given her previously stated "I wish Granddaddy had kept Grandmummy on the feeding tube" comment. I said, "Um, ask him."
"But what if I can't?"
"Um.......Mom, I think we have different opinions on this matter, and you don't want me to say-"
"I don't think we should put him on," she sobbed.
"Why should we extend his life when it's only going to get worse?"
"My God, you finally agree with me on this. No, I don't think we should either. I thought you didn't agree with me on this."
"After your grandparents... I've changed my mind. Seeing your father this last week..."
We quickly agreed that if the same situation happened to us, we'd also want it shut off. "I wouldn't want you to see me like this," she said. A-fucking-men to that.

I wonder if they'll want to put in a feeding tube now. I don't know. It seems likely to me, given the whole diabetes thing must be going insane when he isn't really eating/drinking much of anything.

We don't know how close to the end he might be at this point. It's freaking Mom out, though.

I'm not going over there right now- there's nothing I can do anyway. I'm not sure if I should change my plans (I was going to go to a Harry Potter party or two. Maybe it's a good thing I haven't preordered at one store or the other yet, now.) and go home this weekend or not. Whether or not I even could probably depends on how long he's in the hospital. I wonder if I'd get in trouble if I didn't go. It might help Mom to give her a target to yell at/cry on for a few days, might slightly help with Massive Parental Guilt issues. On the other hand, picking my ass up might be a colossal pain, plus, to be honest, I don't really want to go home right now and deal with it in person. I know, the days are counting down to the point where I never see my father again, and right now they may be a lot less than the two years we got told originally...but yet, I still don't want to see him like this. It kills me.

(I suspect nothing outright really really horrible will happen for a few days, though. Probably has to wait for Saturn in Leo to come into er, power this weekend, and then the Saturn Return starts, and then everything can go to hell.)

I suspect I'll mainly be relieved when he finally goes, that he isn't in such misery any more. Hell of a thing to say, but there you have it. Nobody should have to turn into a drooling vegetable.

Btw, I found this today. I've already pre-ordered this book, but the quote hit me:

"Guilt is a good friend, isn't it? It will stand at your back when every other friend has abandoned you, and in the face of all reason it will stay by your side, and even when you tell it, "I am moving on now," it will say "I shall never leave you; never." If only I could find a lover as faithful as guilt."

Update, 11 p.m.: Mom got home and called me. He may or may not be out tomorrow, she's hoping for Thursday. They may or may not do a nasty barium swallowing exam to see if he can still swallow. He hates the pureed hospital food. The speech therapist will put in for a $9000 Speak 'N Spell.

And Mom hired the home health care guy. His name is Clinton, and whenever Dad gets out of the hospital he will work from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. He bathes, does dishes, makes dinner, and does laundry. All for about $250 a day. Mom is having a cow and debating whether or not she should just stay home. I told her to talk to her boss, the accountant, about how to swing all of this.

On the one hand, am delighted she hired someone. On the other hand... now there's the money cow. You get with one hand, you lose with the other.

P.S. Another one of those days where the black cat (whose name is apparently Suzi) came running out to meet me. Is it a sign? Most likely.

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