Monday, May 2, 2016

Tougher than old boot leather

My phone rang at 6:30 this morning and I didn't recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail. Rarely do people leave me messages so I was surprised when the message alert beeped. You know that feeling of dread? Yep I had it as I dialed voicemail and listened to my mom's voice tell me that she'd driven Poppy to the ER in Amarillo at 2 am and they were about to take him to surgery. She sounded tired and scared and unusually lost. My mom is a force of Nature, hearing her like that told me this was serious. I caught the words "sepsis" and "bowel", and my heart sank. Poppy just turned 80, he's had his share of battles including prostate cancer and two fake knees, but he was much younger. This is serious at any age, but 80?

I had to take the Cute Chicks to their doctor's appointment at 9:45, take them home (spouse was home to watch them) and make it back to Amarillo and the hospital. Walked into ICU waiting room at 11:45 and found mom, sitting alone, looking small and lost. Nothing scares you like seeing your parents in a moment of weakness. I hugged her, realized she was sitting there in her pjs and a sweatshirt and tennis shoes without socks, and got more scared. Mom never leaves the house undressed and, in her words, unkempt. They must have flown out the door.

We sat there for just a few minutes, waiting for the nurse to take us to Poppy's room, and she pulled a piece of paper out of her purse, unfolded it and handed it to me.

"The doctor asked if I wanted to see what they removed, I was afraid he had it in a glass jar or something." Thank God, she still has her twisted sense of humor. But, oh dear God in Heaven.


I'm not entirely sure what I'm seeing there, I know it's part of his intestines and I know about necrosis, I know that's very very serious, but I don't know what part. Now I'm terrified. About this time, the nurse comes to get us, "Mary? Leslie? Bill is waiting for you, he's an incredible man. He said he just turned 80 and you've been married for 53 years? That's amazing!" 

OMG! He's that lucid? We walked into his ICU room to find him sitting up in bed, oxygen in his nose, nasogastric tube draining bile and blood from his stomach, monitors beeping and blinking, and he grinned at us. He's got a 5'2 big-busted redheaded nurse who he's actively harassing. He's figuring out how he can manipulate the monitors on his body to make the display go nuts. Pulse, blood pressure, blood oxygen, respirations. 72, 115/70, 97, 25. I'm looking around the room and see he's got
the picture taped up on his bulletin board next to the names of his nurses. Damn that's ugly.

We were talking and joking, making him laugh, when the ICU doctor on duty came in to check him over, get a history from him, I think testing his lucidity. After he asks for medical history, he asked, "So what did you have done this morning?" To which Poppy replied, "That" and pointed to the picture. I've never seen a Pakistani doctor turn so white. Don't think he was a surgeon. "When did you start feeling ill?" Poppy, in his usual laconic manner, "Well, I've had a bit of indigestion for a few days and I felt a little nauseous yesterday when I was pulling weeds." The man is tough as nails.

So here's the prognosis, one night in ICU at least. If he keeps doing well, he'll be moved to regular room for a few days. We think he'll be home by Friday, and back in his garden in a couple of weeks.

I'm going to be offline for a few days, and we'd appreciate prayers and happy thoughts.

28 comments:

drjim said...

Prayers on the way, Angel!

Anonymous said...

Praying for your family.

-CM

pigpen51 said...

Now we know where you get all of your grit. You stay away for however long you need. Even though he is one tough old guy, the next few days he will need someone to make sure he doesn't catch any of the pretty nurses I am sure he will chase.

And you can bet that prayers are being said for everyone involved. May God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

You have my prayers.

Exile1981

J Bogan said...

Best o luck to all of the Angel family. Prayers for you all.

Anonymous said...

You got it.
Steve in KY

Sarthurk said...

thanks for sharing. Well, except for the photo. I'll praying everything goes well.

Anonymous said...

Prayers and God Bless.
Terry
Fla.

Keith Pearson said...

I'm happy for you all that it went as well as it did. Yeah, that sort of call is terrifying. Good man, and good wimmenz around him.

HeroHog said...

Tough old goats are the best! God bless and look over him and your family!

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers from us in Weimar. Let the healing be uneventful and quick.

RTinWeimar

East Of The Pecos said...

Built Texas Tough! Yea, your Pops has it!

Putting in some good words to the Man upstairs as well.

Stretch said...

I'll recite the prayer for the sick from the BCP and The Smarter Half will do a lap around the beads for your father.

Anonymous said...

prayers for Poppy...and for Mrs Mary....and YOU, and the Chicks and everyone.....we need him around for as long as possible so maybe some of what he has will rub off on more people.....


vaquero viejo

Secesh said...

Prayers and happy thoughts on the way! Three cheers for Poppy.

Anonymous said...

Prayers to ya'll...can I meet your Pop? I wanna be like him when I grow up!!!
Steve

Jennifer said...

Praying that his recovery continues! Hang in there.

Dan said...

Prayers and well wishes are always in order.
If your dad makes it through the week he's
got a good chance of making it home. But at
his age a lot of things can happen, many of them
bad. Been in healthcare near 40 years and have
seen people I thought were dead walk out and have
seen people I thought were not seriously ill dead
24 hours later. Spend as much time with him as
possible. You can't know for sure if he will recover.
His attitude however is his biggest asset, it's
probably the number one factor in a patients recovery.

Leigh said...

Hope your father recovers soon. best wishes to everyone.

Leigh
Whitehall, NY

RabidAlien said...

You got 'em. Prayers for your father, and yourself and family.

Anonymous said...

God Bless You and your Family, your Dad sounds like an awesome guy. I hope he recovers and gets on with getting on.

Sounds like his nurses have their hands full - I'll bet they are loving all the attention. Doctors diagnose - Nurses heal, they deserve a lot of praise for the hard work they do.

57790 said...

Well, the big-busted redhead nurse helps !

tough man, your Dad

Chickenmom said...

Prayers for a complete and speedy recovery for your wonderful, funny Dad!

bayouwulf said...

I pray for Mr. Poppy's speedy recovery. Sounds like his disposition is in his favor and he's not about to give up. I hope to live long enough to be a tough ol' bird. May the Lord Bless you and keep you.

juvat said...

Angel, you and yours are in my prayers. Best to all of you.

rickn8or said...

Take care of Mom and Poppy. The rest of us will man the crank to keep the world turning in the meantime.

Note to Poppy: Never harass people that can stick sharp pointy objects in you for any reason or no reason at all.

Tom said...

He's a heck of a lot more importany than my reading , I love your blog and will still be here when you get back to it

Anonymous said...

Holding your whole family in the Light.