March 2, 2000

Making Progress

Dad was admitted to the hospital today. Finally!

(To sum up his illness, he has diverticulitis with a fistula to the bladder. That's outpouchings of the bowel lining which are inflamed and in his case infected, so much so that it's eaten into the bladder with the ensuing result as you can imagine. This on top of prostate cancer.)

After a month of oral antibiotics and a weight loss of another 15 pounds (on top of the 25 he'd already lost last fall) I guess the doctor figured enough is enough. I can see where they don't relish operating on an 84 year old man but besides the above he really is in pretty good health. They can't just LEAVE him like that, and risk the complications of kidney infection, obstructed bladder, abdominal infections (peritonitis) and whatever else.

So I'm less frustrated.. I was really beginning to panic that this wasn't been taken seriously. I'm more scared, nervous and wound up of course. They admitted him on the spot.. my stepmother and I went back home to pack some of his things, later. He has a CAT scan planned for tomorrow and they expect to operate sometime next week (I think. That doctor wouldn't say exactly but he did say Dad would be in hospital for "awhile".) This evening they put him on intravenous antibiotics, too. At least we're getting some attention here.

Stepmom is another problem. Her short-term memory is practically gone. She's ok with Dad taking care of her (and she taking care of his physical needs) but she'd be lost, alone. Luckily one of her daughters lives in town and will stay with her for the time being. If I had to I'd take her home with me or stay with her myself. Her devotion to my father (who is NOT always easy to tolerate) is awesome. They have been married for almost 16 years and have rarely spent more than a couple of hours apart. It was even difficult to pack for him, since they share the same shampoo bottle and toothpaste tube! She has catered to his whims and done things his way from the beginning. That's unusual enough, but I think it's even more so because they each had a long and devoted first marriage. I'd think it would be harder to fit together with someone else so naturally and completely the second time. (But what do I know..)

And of course some good can come out of any bad situation.. I heard from my youngest stepsister who lives in New Jersey. She lived with Dad and her mother for a few years when they first married and she claims Dad is "the only father she's ever known", as her father died when she was a baby. We've been emailing and/or phoning daily and I don't feel nearly so alone now.

Linque Du Jour: Web MD

Since I can't seem to get my mind to go anywhere else tonight, might as well list my favourite health resource. Everything you ever wanted to know, and then some. Better you should never need it!

Yesterday's Bowling scores: 142 145 145 Total = 432.
Not bad, considering!
Last year's average: 132
This year's average: 124

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