Thursday, November 21, 2002

Hospital Visit

Thinking of my dad again -- the holidays must be bringing it on, Thanksgiving's a week away and this is the first without my dad -- this is from last March, he passed away in early April. It's about how hard it was to visit him some days.

March 13, 2002 -- I go to see my 83-year-old dad in the nursing home. You never know what to expect. Your heart falls when you look in his room and see an empty bed, you figure the worst has happened, but he's down the hall in a wheelchair, with a nurse fussing over him. Visit for a half hour, neither of us can take too much more. Say hi/bye to many seniors I know by name now, as I make my way towards the exit door. I type in the code -- the door is locked because the Alzheimers patients are a tricky crew. Later I write to a friend about it.

Also, just back from visiting my dad and I need to think/reflect on it. The most frightening moment is entering the room, not sure what you'll find. It's an emotional bungy jump, and always semi-terrifies me
> --
> but of course, it's always okay, once I see him and start to comfort him.
> Today, my dad was tightly grasping the corner of his blankie, sucking on it like an infant. With dementia and slurred speech (dentures out) and fatigue, it's hard to get any coherent words from him. I think he was scared, sad, cold. I wrapped him in two fuzzy polartec blankets, one grey, one burgundy, I bought him at Target and hugged him. He was beaming when I left.

I feel sad when I come home. Pick up a magazine, new Fast Company, see David Weinberger's office — if it is his actual office — think, "David, your office is a mess." Look at my home office. Start laughing — it's ten times worse. Decide to clean up my office. Change out of "tough mom" blue jeans and black cashmere sweater into exercise clothes. Make a cup of Twinings Earl Grey tea.

Really clean my office. Stem to stern. Vacuum. Feeling much better. Find my dictionary — wondered where it went. Check email to see if I've gotten a YES from a company I've pitched a project to — nothing. Worry about getting some real live paying work soon. Decide to stop worrying. Thank God my husband's working. Read, write, blog, read other's blogs, read web news, do email. Think about exercising. Go out to see if the mail's come. It hasn't.

Read, write, blog, do email. Make Progresso Chickarina soup for lunch. Eat Manischewitz Savory Garlic Matzos and drink more Twinings Earl Grey tea, read The New York Times. Cheering up considerably with a clean office and good lunch. Pay some bills, mail them.

Read, write, blog, get an email from a friend I haven't seen since junior high school! What a treat! Do laundry. Answer more email. Don't exercise. Feel happy to be home. Feel like I have a perfectly wonderful life.