Monday, December 7, 2009

Sniffle, Sniffle, Cough, Cough

I really couldn't tell you where the time goes between posts. I know I meant to blog about Thanksgiving, but I caught a cold right about the big day and it's not gone yet. It started as a teeny little innocent, mild cold and turned into a monsterous sinus-clogging doozy. I'm still keeping Daddy up if I sleep in the same room, so it's the guest room for me.

It was supposed to be a fun Thanksgiving because Aunt Karen and SPENCER! were driving up from San Diego for the week. Our dad (mine and Aunt Karen's) had lung surgery the Thursday before Thanksgiving, but that was supposed to be minor. He'd be in overnight and that was it.

Then, Aunt Karen caught a cold much nastier than the one I've been dealing with and although it was almost over by the time she got here, her cough was still horrible-sounding and she was banned from the hospital. And, all of the kids were already banned from the hospital for being the germy little vectors that they always are...and in hopes of curbing the H1N1 virus that so many people are worried about right now.

Of course, grandpa's surgery ended up being far more complicated that he'd been led to believe. Although the "anomalies" they removed were benign, his recovery was and continues to be a nightmare. Turns out, they removed a 9cm x 3cm portion of his lung...much more than he'd expected...and left him with a chest tube sticking out of his side, which was something he only learned about a day before the surgery. After 4 days in the hospital, which included this very cute moment:...they let him go home, but with the chest tube still in there to vent any air leaking from his lung into his chest cavity.

Of course, he's my dad. Once upon a time, he ran marathons. Now, he has to settle for jogging and coaching Smunch's baseball team, but sitting still to "recuperate" is not one of his skills. He was discharged on Monday, went to work on Tuesday (still with a chest tube!) and Wednesday. Played catch with Gavin and bocce ball with all the grandkids. By Thanksgiving Day, he was in pain. Smunch spent some time with him, lying on the bed and watching football.And although his surgery and its complications made Thanksgiving a little more meaningful to all of us, he felt too bad to eat. Before dessert, he was on the phone to the doctor (who was probably none too pleased to have his own holiday interrupted), who told him to take another pain pill and take it easy. He took another percoset and was happier and downed a bunch of pie. But before long, he was back in his room lying down again.

For me, and doubtlessly, my mom and sister, it put a pretty big damper on the holiday mood. It's truly unpleasant to watch someone doubled over in pain. The kids didn't seem to notice, fortunately. I'm glad they didn't feel as freaked out as I did!By 10 o'clock that night, my dad was in the ER and by morning, he'd been readmitted to the hospital for another 4 days. They released him again on with a fever replacing the chest tube. He's still in pain, he still has a fever. It's been a week. I'm now banned from seeing him because my own cold is so rotten.

It's hard to know just what to think. My dad, who always recovered from everything so quickly, suddenly seems very fragile. I'm painfully aware that a big turn for the worse could be right around the corner, and ever so hopeful that my feeling of dread is for naught.


Judy Stohl said...

So sorry to hear about your dad. Cammi has had way too many chest tubes in her life and we know they are not fun. She had six (three on each side) after her transplant.
We will send good thoughts his way. Get well yourself. Tell your mom "hi" for me.

Cammi said...

What an ordeal! Oh my goodness. The poor guy. I've NEVER heard of someone going home with a chest tube. OUCH. I hope he is on the mend soon. Is he at "S" Hospital or "EC"? Who is his pulmonary doctor? Good golly. I hope he feels better soon. I'll be sending good thoughts his way!

Barrett, Melinda, & Angel Trinity Adams said...

Oh stacey...I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's condition right now. Please keep us posted. Is there anything you guys need from us right now? Anything we can do? We love you guys and hope that your dad can pull through this tough time. Hang in there as best as you can and know that we're here!