June 2009
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Dad, Another day in the battle at LLUMC – Day 13

It is another day and another visit with Dad. Upon my arrival he was asleep with his mouth wide open. That seems to be his usual sleeping jaw position. I knew that his next radiation treatment was not for an hour so I thought I would catch a little nap. The first thing that caught my attention, as my eyes were closed and I was trying to drift off, was his neighbor’s bed. That thing squeals like a stuck pig when it goes up or down. His neighbor needed to get up out of bed so the bed squealed up. A few minutes later when his neighbor got back into bed, it squealed down. Dad kept sleeping away. I kept trying to drift off. There was always some noise, beep or voice that was creating noise. It became clearer in my mind why there is no real sleep to be had in a hospital.

As a nurse came into the room and Dad popped open his eyes and started to speak. His speech was fairly slurred to begin with. I responded with a smile and a good morning. He smiled back. He let the nurse and I know that he had business to take care of. We got his bed into position, got him into position and helped him up and over to the commode. When he was finished we helped him back to bed and got him tucked in. The nurse was concerned over how weak he was and if he would truly be safe. About then the doctor popped in and the nurse asked about Dad’s strength and ability to use the commode. The doctor said that with the feedings Dad should get stronger and it should not be a problem, that he wanted Dad to try to get stronger. He did not want Dad confined to a bed. The nurse looked at dad and said that will just be your daily exercise.

After dad was settled we had some time to talk. He asked about the kids. We talked about each one. He was happy to hear they are doing well. We talked about how children get big so fast. I let him know about the scout outing next weekend where we are going on a hike that will be more like climbing up stairs for over four miles. Of course, there is the four miles back down. Gee, I can’t wait. We even talked about the 117 bumps to his treatment. He rolled his eyes and asked how many time he would need to make the trip today. I let him know that I thought it would only be once. After some more conversation, Dad laid his head back and closed his eyes. I asked him if he wanted to take a nap and he nodded yes. I gave him a kiss and told him that I loved him and let him get some rest.

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