Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Taking a break ...

Life around here is kinda crazy, and I need to take a blog break for a while. I can’t keep up with reading all of yours, let alone update mine and sometimes backing away is saner than trying to do it all.

Did I say that? I must be growing up. Heh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Many, many thanks

To all of you who sent your good wishes and kept my dad in your thoughts and prayers last week – thank you so much. He has a lot of strength and will and heart, but I know prayer works and yours meant (and mean) so much to me. He’s happy to be home now, and I hope to visit him next month when he’s not in the hospital.

My mother-in-law is going home from her extended hospitalization this morning. My husband and I aren’t quite sure what we’ll do with the extra time we’ll have not worrying about a sick parent. His mother will continue to receive physical therapy for her fractured arm on an outpatient basis.

Yesterday my husband reached a major life milestone – he got old. (That’s what he says; he is sooooo not old.) He’s now 65, but is the youngest 65 I’ve ever known. And healthiest. His weight is normal, he walks six miles every day (6.2, actually) and the only factor limiting his reach for perfection is that he smokes cigarettes. He has smoked since he was 16; I doubt if he’ll ever quit. As he says, the damage is done. He’s one of those people who doesn’t even have a smoker’s cough. I certainly wouldn’t wish dire consequences on him, but I do wish he could put it down. Think of the money we’d save!

My training program gets back on track tomorrow. I ended up having to just skip last week. (I did an unimpressive 2.7 miles in Florida, and that was the total mileage for the week.) Instead of 16 weeks of training, it’s now 15 and I don’t anticipate that it will cause any problems in – ahem – the long run. Heh.

Only three weeks until election day. Are you registered?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

He is, perhaps, a cat

I’m thrilled to report that my dad has been improving rapidly and steadily since Tuesday afternoon. Monday was touch-and-go, but the doctors decided Tuesday to stop sedating him, remove the breathing machine and see what happened. What happened was miraculous, if you ask me. He went from total sedation to complete consciousness in less than half an hour, and by the end of the day he was flirting with his nurses – a sure sign that he was on the mend.

This is the second time this year he’s come back from the brink. The earlier situation, in June, was due to septicemic shock, and I think everyone thought that’s what this was, as well. Turns out he was drowning due to pulmonary edema – he released 14 liters of fluid in two days.

The list of Things Wrong With Dad continues to grow. In addition to diabetes and the attendant leg problems, bad knees, sleep apnea and obesity (he’s lost almost 70 pounds since June), he now has heart problems and COPD. (If you smoke, please stop. He stopped smoking when cigarettes went from 20¢ to 21¢ a pack, but is still paying the price.)

The good thing is that everything is treatable, for now. And he has the absolute best attitude about life – his, specifically, and life in general – of anyone I know. He’s so grateful for his wife (who is so good for him), his family, his church and his friends. Nothing seems to get him down; he lives a life of gratitude.

A couple of funny things, keeping in mind that he’s a lifelong Democrat: On Wednesday, he called his county’s Board of Elections to get an absentee ballot, just in case he’s not able to get to the polls. And he’s wearing my “Obama-Biden” button on his hospital gown.

Until tomorrow. He gets to go home!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Does it ever cool off in Florida?

Well, I said I was going to keep up with the laundry in case I had to make a quick trip south, but I neglected to do that and will have to use my dad's facilities while I'm here.

He's been having pretty good days, but very uncomfortable nights. Sunday night they moved him from a regular medical floor into Intensive Care. His wife called yestserday at 7:30 a.m., I left West Virginia at 9:20 and I saw him about 12 hours later.

I may have violated the speed limit getting here. And I certainly wasn't conserving fuel.

When I stepped out of the car at the hospital, I was immediately struck by the thought that my blue jeans were probably too heavy to wear in this climate. How long does it take you southerners to adapt? We can see our breath when we walk outside in the early morning in WV; about all I can see here are palm fronds waving in the sea breeze.

We don't know what's wrong with my dad. It's not the systemic infection we first feared; it appears to be heart-related and right now it doesn't look good. His breathing is being assisted and he's sedated, but is, as the nurses say, appropriate when they turn him or try to wake him.

Which is to say, he can squeeze my hand, but doesn't know I'm there. Please keep dear old Dad in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days. He needs a lot of help.

And so do I.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Too busy for words

Being a daughter, wife, runner and political activist takes up a lot of time, lemme tell ya. (That “lemme tell ya” phrase was typed in my best Sarah Palin voice.)

My dad remains hospitalized and he says the doctors aren’t sure what they’re going to do. He’s not critical, as he was in June, and I don’t need to be there. Yet. They’ve done exhaustive testing and discovered both infection and atrial fibrillation. The knee replacement may need to come out after all, but they have to address the cardiac issue first. And through it all, Dad says whatever they do they’d better be finished by November 4 because he has to vote. In case they aren’t, he’s applying for an absentee ballot.

Obama’s Campaign for Change at first decided not to spend much money in West Virginia, then upgraded us to a battleground state and we are scrambling for campaign materials. Shipment of materials is expected ‘soon.’ A surprising number of people visit our county Democratic headquarters every day begging for bumper stickers and yard signs. I can’t do much about the latter, but I spent all yesterday afternoon working with another woman to print, cut and laminate a variety of window signs and bumper stickers. Badge making machines and supplies are being shipped; we’ll be cranking out political buttons on Tuesday.

Yesterday morning’s race training was an eight-mile tempo run. The usual warm-up and cooldown with four 10:18 miles alternating with half-mile jogs. I can run a 10:18 quarter mile, probably, but the best I did for a full mile was 10:35. And I was DYING! But at least I was out there. I only have to fit an easy three miles in this morning.

Last night my husband and I had friends over to watch the debate. According to CNN, Biden won 51% to 36%. I want to know who the 36% were. Palin had a good time steering the conversation away from the issues the moderator brought up, and back to her rehearsed talking points. And it was maddening watching her do that. Perhaps that’s good debate strategy, as one Republican pundit remarked, but I wasn’t impressed.

In between all of that, I’ve done most of the normal stuff that needs to be done to keep things running around here. We’re not starving or eating fast food, we have clean clothes and the dog hair hasn’t piled up too thickly along the baseboards. What I’ve obviously slacked on is computering – very little e-mail or blogging has happened this week.

Today is more of the same: running, taking care of my mother-in-law’s bills this morning (she and her broken arm are still in the hospital), baking cookies to take to a political event tomorrow, making more signs, laundry, cooking, cleaning.

Have a good weekend. Hopefully I’ll be back on Monday.