Monday, May 07, 2007

Because Sometimes It's Laugh or Cry

My dad looked sooo much better yesterday. He looks stronger. He's talking now. I mean, not talking normally - through the hole in his throat, but still. He can talk.

I hadn't seen him since Friday evening, and the change was dramatic. And so positive.

His surgery is scheduled for first thing tomorrow morning. And actually, I think it's a good thing it got delayed. He's stronger now, more positive. Friday was awful.

On Friday night my mom called. She said she was going back to the hospital, because my dad was refusing to let them put the new tube in his nose.

I offered to drive out, but she said she'd call if she needed me. I wanted to take a sleeping pill and knock myself out, but I also needed to be alert for driving. So I just waited, on the verge of hysteria.

I was just so upset and needed to be talked down. I called my dear friend Jane, who lives in LA (and who will be visiting this weekend - yay!). Her family and mine are incredibly close. She knows my dad well.

I told her about the feeding tube and that Betty was on her way out to the hospital.

I said, "Does he think for one second we're going to let him starve?"

"He's not thinking clearly right now, Lis."

I wailed, "Is he out of his fucking mind???"

Long pause.

And then we started to laugh. We laughed so hard. And we both kept saying, "It's not funny." But laughing just felt so good.

It turns out that my dad hadn't understood why they wanted to put the new tube in. Betty got out there, steeling herself for a struggle, but outwardly very calm.

She told me she said, "Sweetheart, do you know why they want to put the other tube in your nose?"

My dad shook his head.

"They just want to make you more comfortable. The other one was getting uncomfortable."

And my dad said, "Oh. OK. Go ahead."

And that was that.


  1. Lemon, I'm so glad things are looking up. It's good to be able to find a laugh or two in a tragic situation. Laughter is therapy. My thoughts have been, and will continue to be, with you and your family.

  2. Thanks, Stacy. It's true - laughter is therapy. Thanks for the kind thoughts for all of us.

  3. It's kind of funny how medical people sometimes categorize women as being stubborn/fussy patients, when often it's the men who are like this (and it does seem like the more attention that some of them get, the more they feel free to act up/out).

    Anyway, I'm glad that things are going better for you both!

  4. That sounds like great news, and I'm so glad to hear it!

    It's funny how much simpler things can get with a little explanation - true in so many different aspects of life.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

  5. Lisa, you are THE strongest person!! Your bravery continues to amaze me. Hang in there, it looks like there's light at the end of the tunnel.

  6. Sunchaser - Thank you! I think in this case he just didn't understand what they wanted. You can tell when there's a nurse he doesn't like, though. He gets this baleful look in his eye. Most of them he gets along with really well, though, and they like him.

    Dagny - You are right. It's amazing how much difference an explanation can make. As ever, thanks for the support!

    G&D - Thank you. I'm learning that I am actually pretty strong - stronger than I'd expect. It's so nice to hear. Thanks so much. I was thinking of you this weekend and how you suggested that it could work out better that he was given time to get stronger before the surgery. I think you were right. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.


Tell me about it.