Back in November I wrote a post about my parents and the woes of aging. I just wanted to give a little bit of an update about everything. My mom is doing well. He calf has healed and she is back on the tennis courts kicking butt and taking names. After all of the appointments with my dad, he decided that he would have surgery. He went into the hospital this past Friday and he had three areas of his spine fused, and areas that didn’t heal from the last surgery were repaired. It was a pretty nerve-wracking experience because in the back of my mind I kept thinking about how that could be the day that I could lose my dad. I guess, in that moment I was exhibiting a lack of faith, though I had been praying that God do a miracle with this surgery. Once I started getting calls from the OR from the correspondence nurse, I started to feel better and I just let go. God’s peace was washing over me.
I did get to see several of my aunts and an uncle (my dad has like 10 or 11 siblings), which is always a good thing. After the surgery was over, the residing surgeon came out to speak with me personally and it was very reassuring. What I liked most was that the hospital was very quiet. My dad had his surgery at Emory Orthopaedic and Spinal Center. There weren’t a bunch of sick people or crazy emergencies. It was a serene and quiet place. The surgery lasted about five hours and my dad was in recovery for almost two hours. When we got up to the room, all of the nurses were awesome. Everyone was personable, respectful, helpful, and knowledgeable. Even the cleaning staff was so sweet. I could not detect an ounce of surliness.
Dad was a remarkable patient and he did well with the physical therapists that were residing over him during his stay. They all complimented him on how well he was doing. The nice thing that my father did for me was get a hotel for the entire stay. We drove down on Thursday night and we both stayed in the room. Then, I stayed in the room each night after his surgery while he was still in the hospital. Caregivers can many times run themselves ragged because the pumping adrenaline and the mindset is steadfast on the person who is hurt or ill. Being able to go to the hospital every morning after having a peaceful night of sleep was such a blessing. I was more alert and attentive to my dad because of it. He also was able to rest and not worry if I was ok in the hospital room with him. Now his girlfriend is another thing. She insisted on being right by his side in the room the entire time. I can tell she really loves and cares for my dad. hmm…
My dad was discharged today (Sunday), which is also a blessing because the weather is predicted to be absolutely miserable tomorrow. Snow, sleet, ice… weather I don’t want to drive in at all. Last year, Atlanta experienced one of the worst winter catastrophes since the blizzard of 1993. Basically, the weather was predicted to be crappy – not a lot of snow, but freezing temperatures. because Atlanta was not really prepared to handle it and people just didn’t listen, all of the major roadways because a parking lot at around 5pm. People were stranded in their cars, people were hitchhiking, people were stuck in restaurants and hotel lobbies overnight. I think there were even a few news reports of babies being born on side of the road. I mean, it was just bad. The last thing I wanted to do was to possibly get stuck in a repeat of that and be without dad’s meds or worse, have an accident and risk him getting in worse shape. God really had his hand in everything. My dad continued to get better and better each day, and we got to go home a day earlier than expected.
It was nice to get home, get him settled, and go workout. I made the mistake of going to Wal-Mart on a Sunday afternoon…oy vey! I am blessed to be able to complain about being in a crazy crowded store, so let me take all this in for now. While it’s still scary to see my parents age and have health issues, I am so thankful again that I was obedient to God’s calling for me to come home when I did. I am so thankful to work from home so that I can be with my dad for a week while he gets stronger each day. I am just a spoiled daughter right now. My heavenly father loves me so much and I am feeling it very strongly at this moment. What blows my mind is that God is doing this simultaneously for all of his children. So my blessed weekend is also someone else’s blessed weekend in a totally unique situation.
Here’s a picture of dad as he was being released. I am very blessed to have more time with him. Thank you Lord…Thanks Dr. Rhee and all of the hospital staff!