Happy birthday to my Baby Sister.
Your father woke up in a new dimension today. He was awfully chatty. Sadly, neither I nor the hospital staff could understand what he was saying. Maybe it was some weird combination of English, German and Hungarian; I really couldn’t tell.
Pop is now on a soft food diet which, for breakfast, meant scrambled eggs. I tried to get him to eat, but he didn’t seem to know what to do with the fork. So I fed him a bite; and he chewed and chewed long past the egg’s existence in his mouth. He wouldn’t let me put another bite in. Twenty minutes after the first bite, he was still chewing. A nurse tried to get another bite into him without success. She also had meds for him to take. No dice.
So his mentation (I learned a new word today — It means mental functioning) was poor, but the big shocker was that his white cell count which had been improving yesterday was increasing again today despite the IV meds. An x-ray was taken of his chest to see if they could see why. Results will be known tomorrow.
A nurse managed to get a few bites of lunch into Pop along with some crushed pills. This exhausted him, of course, and he slept. At 1pm, his eyes opened – he still has that empty stare – and he asked me, “So, how am I doing?” I gave him a sixty-second version, and back to sleep he went. He wouldn’t eat dinner at all and is still fussy about taking pills.
Expectedly, the doctor wouldn’t speculate about Pop’s future saying only that he was here (in the hospital) day-to-day. I took a little trip to Piedmont Place today, and Pop’s nurse listened to the latest details with great personal and professional interest. “It doesn’t look good,” she said.
I spent time with Mom explaining the many things going on in Pop’s mind and body. I layed out the various scenarios that could play out – except for Pop’s possible death. Any way it comes down, I said, “Your days of taking care of Pop are over.” She took it all calmly and, on the last point, expressed much relief. Then I gave her a summary of what we had discussed hoping that maybe it would help to keep things straight in her own oft-confused mind.
Before all that, however, Mom had awakened at 2:30am because her “mind was going too fast.” This was her way of saying that she was anxious and worried, and said she “felt alone.” She laid in bed for the remainder of the night and resolved to avail herself of whatever opportunities or therapies might be available at Piedmont Place. The result is a prescription for Ativan, an anxiety reducer. It’s the lowest possible dose, given as needed. When I got there, Mom claimed to have a calm mind and she promised not to be bashful about asking for the medication.
So, Baby Sister, we can add your birthday to the list of auspicious occasions on which we find one of your parents in the hospital. Next up: M&P’s 59th anniversary.
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