Friday, January 30, 2009


Here's the weird thing: Today, driving on the 2 towards the 134 at dusk, after dropping off Minks at a friend's house, I almost pulled over to stare in disbelief at the view, the melon-pink sky, the silver ocean illuminated by the sun, over 30 miles away but in brilliant relief next to the purple of Rolling Hills. This has been the worst day ever in the hospital but then the earth gives up its best at the end of it. I drove home and listened to Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill loudly, all around the house, echoing on each speaker. My friend M loves that song too and so I feel even more bonded to her. It makes me giggle that we love it from the first "Daaah-da-Da-Daaah."

So the hospital. Apart from our pulmonary doctor Dr Andrew Schroeder, who is, truly a godsend -- a funny, charming, competent guy -- the rest behave as if they're in a Carry On film. J's father was moved out of the ICU yesterday into a pulmonary room, but this morning after they discovered blood in his stool, a lot of it, he was whisked back to ICU and prodded and poked for a vein where they could give him a few pints of blood. The veins are shot. I'd joked to him a few days earlier that he'd end up like Amy Winehouse, having to shoot up between his toes, and no joke, they tried his feet for an hour before realizing that the veins just weren't big enough to carry the new blood into his body. Then the neck, but no, the neck won't work because of the blood clot near his shoulder. Finally, they went in through the groin, which entails surgical conditions to insert the tube (as it's the stomach there is far more risk of infection). The blood thinner Heperin has been stopped and they're going in through his nose for an endoscopy (I believe it's called) to see what is going on in his upper stomach; they think they may find an ulcer, or something similar. If that won't work they will go the other way via a colonscopy. The man hasn't had any food since Sunday. He's weak, his blood pressure is high and then very low, but the Good News is that he is breathing on his own. Fingers crossed & prayers said. At one of the weaker moments today when he was unable to make himself understood (he's on dilaudid, and weak, and anaemic and he still has to mouth the words - I mean how effing frustrating must that be?) and his glassy blue eyes were staring at me desperate for me to hear him, I so wanted to say the Lord's Prayer, but realized that if I did he may in fact think it was the end or Last Rites or something Awe-ful. So I held his hand and muttered it in my head and hoped it would telepathically transfer to him (we clutch at straws, don't we, so much so that it's comical). I mean, don't we need all the help we can get? He blows me a kiss, in this fragile state, and forces a wan smile.
**Gotta say, I LOVE the Moody Blues. They have an inherent sweetness that I need today :-)**


thelma said...

You and your family must be going through a terrible time with your father-in-law, my thoughts are with you.....
Thelma x

Miss Whistle said...

Thank you Thelma! That's incredibly kind of you. And thanks to you from reminding me of that wonderful song. It truly cheered me up!