Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Saying Thanks

Several of you have commented on my posts, saying although you're tuning in a bit late, you're still thinking of me...of my family...of my father, and davening for him.

Although I'm not commenting on the comments, you deserve a post specifically to say THANK YOU for your warm messages and your good thoughts.

It will be four weeks tomorrow evening that my father went into the Emergency department. He's been shuffled over those four weeks from different floors where beds were available. Apparently the hospital had its own outbreak of Norwalk Virus (upper respiratory disease that can kill...especially among the elderly) and beds were in great demand throughout the hospital. Wherever there's a bed, that's where they've sent my dad: Emergency,Cardiology, Rehab, General Medicine. It's been difficult to get used to a nursing staff, through several changing shifts, and then be transferred elsewhere and start all over again...repeating medical histories to nurses and hospital night sitters and roommates, etc.

In many ways, my father seemed better weeks ago, in the early part of his hospital stay. It has now been said that it may not be a short-term rehab after all, but rather a slow and lengthy rehab -- difficult to digest for all of us involved. But G-d willing, with rehab, my father might be able to go home again and resume his life in some semblance of normalcy.

As I've said before, the brain is a wondrous thing: the capacity for what it knows and what it can't discern. My father can have a 20 minute conversation in Russian with the relative of a roommate (Russian was spoken by him between 1940-45 when he spent the war years in Siberia. He has been told he speaks like a native, and with no accent.), giving all detailed information of when he was in Russia, where he was in Russia during the war, what he did, etc. But when asked when he came to Toronto, he couldn't remember that!

Night becomes day; day becomes night. Concern with "what time is it?" is at the forefront. With daytime, and especially morning, comes much more clarity of mind, and a sharp memory, but the later in the day it gets, weakness, inertia and confusion sink in.

I prefer to visit my dad in the late morning, and then if possible, again in the evening between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. -- when nighttime sets in and settles down...yet leaves my father somewhat unsettled.

Some people don't understand family bonds and concerns. Apparently a friend of mine checked in a couple of weeks ago with another friend of mine to hear how my dad is doing. The friend said that I'm visiting as much as I can -- even if just to be company for my mother -- and my dad is sleeping a lot. The friend who was checking up on me couldn't understand why someone would sit and bother to watch someone sleep.

And this comes from a person whose own father has had serious back surgery and a slow and difficult recovery!

I was aghast that someone could think like this. What if it wasn't pure drug-induced sleep, but a coma that my father was in? Isn't that a form of sleep? Am I expected to choose to not sit around "just because he's sleeping?"

People mean well, but sometimes just don't think, do they?

I know that several of you have had to know of unfortunate medical circumstances in your families, and we continue to hope and pray that good health will prevail.

Again, I thank you for your concern, and as my father continues to say: "Let's hope for the best..."