Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Latest Adventures in Dadland

I told my dad I would call him in the morning and remind him what time I was going to come and pick him up for his X ray and Ortho appointment at our favorite place, the VA Hospital.

So at 9 I try to call him, no answer. I think aww, maybe he's still at breakfast. I try him every 10 mins until 9:45, then I decide maybe the ringer on his phone is off - AGAIN - and call the front desk at his Assisted Living place.

"Assisted Living at XYZ, this is Liz...."

"Hi Liz, this is Sara, John B's daughter..."

"Oh yeah, he's sitting up here waiting for you."

"What? Why?"

"He says you were supposed to pick him up at nine to go to the doctor."

"Tell him I'll be there just after 11."

I worry this is an indicator as to how today will be. Ugh. I got a call from the VA yesterday - his bloodwork for his clot meds came back very high to the point where they are alarmed about it, and I am thinking his extra loopiness is probably because his blood chemistry is all jacked right now.

I get there shortly after 11, he's in his apartment. He has his shoes on and the godawful tan 1970's leather jacket with the butterfly collar on that he wore on HIS HONEYMOON WITH MY MOTHER. What is it with men and their obsession with ugly jackets, anyway? I mean, the thing is THIRTY YEARS OLD.

Anyway, he says "Oh, so you decided to show up, huh?"

I give him the don't fuck with me you crabby old ass look and say, "I told you I would call you. You must have forgotten."

"Well I suppose we're going to be late now."

Fuck you too, Dad, I think. Instead I say "Nope, appointment is at 12:15 - we have an hour to get there, it will be fine.

He literally doesn't say a word to me in the car on the way over. I don't really care because talking hurts my stupid throat so I just sit and listen to the radio. Drop him off in front and circle the parking lot for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot. This parking lot is the worst one EVER, the thought of it makes my blood rise. And 90 percent off the parking spots are for compact cars.

Now how many old Veterans do you know that drive compact cars? My hauling my dad's decrepit old ass around is exactly why I don't have a compact car - he literally couldn't get in it.
Anyway, I manage to park, scrape one of my mirrors pulling in, I don't care, its 12:10 and I have 5 minutes to get him up to the 8th floor.

The X ray goes off without a hitch, I go get us sandwiches downstairs in the cafeteria (which are phenomenally good, surprisingly...) and go to the Ortho appointment.

Get a decent doc this time, she basically doesn't try to whitewash everything and tell us the hip is 100 percent fine. It's healed, but its not 100 percent stable. To make a long story short, the pin collapsed into the socket, and bone grew around all of it - which in turn shortens all the muscles in the thigh, leading to extreme weakness and instability on that side. Great news for an already unstable Parkinson's patient.

She orders physical therapy for him, which was supposed to start in October when he got out of the hospital - but they screwed the pooch on that one initially. So that I'm happy for. Hopefully it will help.

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