Jan. 26, 2000

Dad-Update Update

The poor man spent the last two mornings being sedated and examined in the least dignified sort of way.

The ordeal began yesterday, as the doctor was unable to complete the scheduled colonoscopy because he found that Dad was inadequately cleaned out. This after two days of fluids-only and killer laxatives. He was sent home with two more bottles of cramp-inducers and given an appointment for 9:45 this morning.

We (Hubby, Step-Mom and I) dragged him back today, through the snow which thankfully didn't hit us nearly as hard as it did farther south (only about 3 inches as of this morning, which is a day at the beach for us.) This time the test was done but we were told that an "obstruction" was found and he needed to have a barium enema xray as well. To the hospital's credit, they fast-tracked him through to xray and it was done within an hour. We don't know the results yet.. it could be anything from an "inflammation or diverticular disease", according to the doctor, which while unpleasant isn't life-threatening as I understand it, to (the unspoken) something worse.

When you already have prostate cancer, can it get much worse? Unfortunately, yes.. in most men, prostate cancer is at least controllable if not curable. The idea is to stablize it until the patient dies of something else.

Dad turns 84 next week. Until recently, though, he didn't seem to be anywhere near it. He has a full head of white hair and a very youthful attitude. He was on NO medications before the hormone therapy. None. No high blood pressure, no heart problems, no cholesterol. Yes I am thankful he led a healthy life for as long as he did. I just have to keep reminding myself of that fact when it now takes two people to get him to his feet getting out of a car.

In regard to that, I'm declaring February as "be nice to a taxi driver" month.. Hubby had to leave so we took Dad home in a taxi, and the driver was understanding, compassionate, and even helped lift Dad out. So much for stereotypes.

Now for a little (more) navel-gazing.. I've been wondering why anyone would want to read about this. After all, we all have enough troubles in our own lives. This leads me into the tangent of whether I'm writing here for myself or for readers, and the answer is, both.. if I didn't want readers, this wouldn't be online, but since I have no other journal (due to INERTIA and laziness) this serves as an emotional outlet as well. The point was, however, not why I'm writing it but why you're reading it (if indeed you've plodded down this far.) I guess there are as many reasons as there are readers, and it must strike an emotional chord or something.

I'm reminded of a book I read several years ago; I think the title was "Paternity" and it was by Philip Roth. (I just checked.. I was close, it's "Patrimony: A True Story".) It's a chronicle of Roth's own father's life, final illness and death - absolutely riveting despite the morbid and depressing subject matter. I must find a copy and reread it.

Linque Du Jour:   Ethereal Grace

Yes, I know we all need another journal to get hooked on! But this one is worth it. I found it about an hour ago, through the Connected Recollections collab page for January, and was intrigued by the author's name, Tikvah. She's the wife and mother in a "typical Jewish family living a typical house in a typical city in the northeastern United States."

Her writing, however, is anything but typical. The journal is in its infancy.. only twelve entries are currently up.. but already there are several recurring interwoven themes - motherhood, career, friendship, books, religious observance, and regrettably, a broken ankle. All this and humor too.. I loved the "Chocolate Shoes" concept. Godiva pennyloafers! Ha.

The design is simple and elegant, and I'd love to know how that ribbon-frame thingy is done. It even looks good in Netscape!

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