Friday, September 19, 2008

trips back .. in time and place

Yesterday, I took a trip back.
Let me start by telling you that my oldest daughter is having surgery on Monday. She called me to discuss it and another issue. Her surgery is in the same hospital where dad died. She started her quest by asking me if I blamed the hospital for dad's death.

While Dad was recovering from cancer surgery (they had removed one of his kidneys,) he began having trouble with fluid build up. This was a great concern for his doctors. They were afraid that the one kidney was not picking up the extra work. (I am paraphrasing and simplifying.) They scheduled more tests and procedures. The orderlies came to get dad to take him downstairs for the tests. They were not able to get him on a gurney, as dad was a large man. They eventually decide to just take him down in the bed he was in. They laid it down and wheeled him out. as he was leaving the room and going down the hall, I heard him tell the orderlies that he could breathe better if they sat him up a little.

While downstairs waiting on the test, dad stopped breathing. His heart stopped. It took them eight minuted to resuscitate him. He never fully recovered after that. There were fleeting moments when he would look at someone or squeeze a hand, but they were few. After two weeks, we removed him from the ventilator. Twenty-four hours later, surrounded by his family, dad left us.

Now, to the blame thing. I do feel that the hospital had some culpability in dad's death. I believe they were instrumental in the way he died. However, I also feel that it was dad's time. I am not one of those, "If it is your time, there is nothing you can do about it, so don't fight it" type of people. I am not going to step in front of a bus and say, "If it isn't my time, I'll be okay." Nope, not going to happen. So, do I blame the hospital ? Yes and no. I know, could I be a little more vague?

She (daughter) is having surgery at that same hospital. Her doctor does surgery at the two hospital of that group. The only one with the equipment she needs is that one. "A" was freaking out a little. She has not been back to that hospital since dad's death, either. She was scared. I told her that I would be there when she went in. I would be there when she went to sleep. (It is a one night stay at the very least.) I would be there when she woke up. I would be there when she went home. Monday was going to be the first time back for both of us.

We were at home Thursday, when my phone (in the bedroom .. away from me) rang. I didn't try to answer it. Most people have both numbers (mine and Tammy's) so if it is important, they know the second number to dial. Tammy's phone rang. It was one of the ladies from the church. Her mother was at the Bourbon County Hospital and they were getting ready to take her to the hospital in Lexington. They thought she had a blockage in her heart. Our pastor, Brother Rudd was having a medical procedure at the time and would not be able to be there. I told her that I would be there when they arrived. She was going to .. you guessed it .. the hospital where dad died.

We arrived before the ambulance. We were coming from different places. We stopped and grabbed some lunch, not knowing how long we might be here. We ate it in the parking lot of the hospital. I prepared myself for any onslaught of emotion that might happen when I went into the building. I did okay. I kept myself busy while waiting. the TV was on in part of the waiting area. The family arrived. I talked with them. Eventually we were able to go into the unit to see "C". We talked to her about healing and stubbornness. We prayed with her and daughter.

From there we went home, since Kyle was coming home from school. Later the family called us to say she was going home. They couldn't find anything wrong. They ran a second EKG and it was the total opposite of the one ran in the Bourbon County Hospital. I will let you draw your own conclusions.

I think, being there with a purpose made a difference. I did not sit and think about the last trip. "A" called me today to tell me she had to be there later that day for preliminaries. I offered to meet her there, but she assured me she would be okay. She called me tonight to tell me she only broke down twice. "A" .. if you are reading this .. know this .. your daddy loves you .. you worry too much .. but it is part of who you are .. and I wouldn't change ya .. oh yeah .. and I still talk to him too .. (dad)

so, my trip back .. in place and time .. was okay. It was a good warm up for Monday.

We will see what that will bring ..


1 comment:

audrey said...

daddy...i love u too..and thank you for the past week. you have been a great rock for me and its nice to have someone that understands. i couldnt have asked for a better daddy.