My dad is in the hospital.

One of the things that has been preoccupying my mind lately—thusly preventing much posting—is that my dad is currently in the hospital. Something some of you may already know if you also follow my mom’s blog. He went on Tuesday for a double bypass, but it’s been delayed because it was discovered that he has pneumonia and it looks like they might just keep him in the hospital until it clears up and then go ahead with the surgery rather than send him home. That is, as long as the medical insurance people don’t throw a fit. To top it off his vision has once again gone out on him so in addition to being somewhat drugged up and stuck in a hospital bed he can’t see the TV and boredom is starting to get the better of him.

Originally I thought he’d be going home until he got well enough for the surgery so I hadn’t gotten around to calling. Then I read on mom’s blog last night that he was still in the hospital and my sister called this morning telling me that he was asking folks why I hadn’t called. Oops, I’m a bad son. So I gave him a ring this morning and we chatted for a little bit and he seems to be doing as well as can be expected for someone who’s in the situation he’s currently in. His speech is a bit slurred from some of the drugs, but he’s coherent and mainly just bored.

Now my dad is probably the biggest fan of SEB out of all of you. A fact that still surprises and delights me. He’s also a big fan of many of the regulars; in particular GeekMom, Elwed, Decrepit Old Fool, Brock, and Deadscott. Now here’s the kicker: Mom’s paying a little extra a day for a toll-free number to dad’s room because it’s a 64 mile trip to the hospital so she can’t afford to drive down every day and she really wants to get her money’s worth out of it. So I figured it would be fun to have some of you guys give my dad a ring and just chat with him a few moments. Nothing like having strangers you know only from comments on a blog call you up to see how you’re doing to help raise the spirits a bit, right? Dad doesn’t comment too often, but he’s a font of trivia and loves to talk endlessly about anything from cars to cooking with anyone who’ll sit and listen for awhile. Though his current condition may limit his chat times a bit.

Anyway, if any of you regulars think you’d like a chance to talk with my dad for a bit just and I’ll pass along the needed info in terms of his name and the phone number. I think he might get a big kick out of it though it’d probably confuse the hell out of him at first. If nothing else, mom would get her money’s worth out of that toll free number.

37 thoughts on “My dad is in the hospital.

  1. The fact that you had to include the sentence “That is, as long as the medical insurance people don’t throw a fit.” is what angers me about the American healthcare system. I’m so glad I live in a country where there’s a tax-funded welfare state which lets people have all kinds of medical treatment, no matter how poor they are. I just wish you guys had a similar system.

  2. To top it off his vision has once again gone out on him so in addition to being somewhat drugged up and stuck in a hospital bed he can’t see the TV and boredom is starting to get the better of him.

    Get him some audiobooks, either tapes or cds and something to play them on along with some headphones. The library is a great resourse for this.

  3. Those audio books; some libraries will even deliver them for you.  In my dad’s last few years, he couldn’t make his regular run to the library, which was about 30 miles from his trailer.  All he had to do was call the library, say what he wanted to read, and someone would bring him the books.  Very sorry to hear about your dad’s situation.  I hope he comes through this whole ordeal soon and as is back home.

  4. It must be so awesome for you to have your father be proud of you.  I hope he doesn’t encounter many complications & you & your mom can endure until he can return home.

  5. Stoic, way ahead of you on that one. Already checking with him and mom to see if he’s able to make use of audio books. The vision aspect is the most frustrating thing for him as he’s gotten older because he used to spend hours on end reading books. He has a collection of paperbacks that rivals many libraries.

    Only problem with getting a library to send him audio books while he’s in the hospital is that he’s not anywhere near home where he may have had a library card.

    Ellie, what makes it even more special is the fact that this is not my biological father. He’s technically my step-dad and yet you’d never know it if I didn’t say so. Thanks for the kind thoughts. Right now our biggest concern is him being bored to death. grin

  6. Les,

    You and your family have my best wishes.  I’m sure your dad will be up an about soon enough.  Maybe you could give him some books on tape to keep him entertained.  I think that the Daily Show’s, America: The Book, is out on tape.  That would probably be funny enough to bring up his spirits a little.

  7. “Dear Mr. Jenkins
    Thanks for creating the best Stupid Evil Bastard I know. You’ve done mankind a great service

    From San Francisco with love,

    The Bo$$

  8. Les, hope he’s doing better soon. I suppose being bored while waiting for major surgery isn’t the worst state of mind, but still…

  9. Spent a couple of hours with him this evening.  Doing okay, but even more then boredom he hates that mom is home by herself.  I kept telling him she’s a tough old bitch, not to worry.  But it’s kind to hear all your well wishes that you’re posting here!

  10. All men are created equal, but women are just AWESOME. Worrying about Mom being home by herself should be the least of his problems. Statistically women outlive us men by 5 or 10 years, so they must be tougher than us. Les, you or your Mom could get a library card in the area of the hospital and your Dad could check out tapes with that card. Hopefully, a lot of us will be phoning him and keeping him at least medium occupied. Pneumonia is pretty rough, but how many bypass surgeries has Dick Chenney lived through? I understand he even stopped smoking after the fifth heart attack!  grin

  11. Best wishes for your dad to have a speedy recovery.  I also have felt guilty for not promptly responding to a close family member’s serious illness.  Perhaps it was anger with myself for feeling helpless to be able to alleviate their pain.  When it’s your father, you expect him to always be strong and it is shocking to see him in a weak condition.  Dads, likewise, often don’t want their children to see them like that.  Maybe you did the better thing in calling your dad rather than immediately going to see him.  Try to call your dad often and relate to him jokes or funny anecdotes that you come across.  A visit would be good, but regular phone calls can be more productive. Good luck and best wishes to all of your family, as well as to your dad.

  12. All my best to your dad smile

    In addition to talking books, how about getting friends and family to make audio letters?

    Hope he makes a speedy recovery!

  13. Well, I have a lot of free time on my hands, and I WOULD call, but it’s doubtful he’d have any idea who I was even if I said I WAS calling him via contact info gained from the Blog.  I could always call and pretend to be a telemarketer, perhaps make him feel more at home?

  14. Les, a lot of libraries have inter-library loan programs so you may be able to find one in the area. There are also mobile book mobiles that may be in the area. Find a pink lady at the hospital who may know. Also, I would be more than happy to send him one or two. Just email a list of his wishes and where to send it and I’ll pick one. There are some out there that are real keepers so he may not want to give a loaner back!

  15. Thanks again everyone for the tips. My sister, Cindy, was up there yesterday reading to him from the paper and such and Mom’s going to be there today to do more of the same.

    Slick, he’s not going to know most of the folks who end up calling him to wish him well and distract him for a few minutes. Not until they say their pseudonym at least. I think he’s going to be touched that so many folks felt like giving him a ring regardless of whether or not he knows them from Adam’s cat. grin

  16. Wow, Les – I just found this entry (for some reason my live bookmarks to your site were not updating)  I have to second what Niel T. said about health insurance!

    Sure hope he feels better soon.  Hospitals are no fun at all – a shame we inflict them on people who are not feeling well.  tongue wink

  17. Should I come up in conversation (Oh Dad, there’s this weird guy who calls himself “The Bo$$”…) my real name is Seán.

  18. TheBo$$

    Should I come up in conversation…

    Dude, I hate to think what’s being said of ME in a conversation.

    “You’ll never believe what Brock said now!”

    But seriously, Jay’s a sharp guy and anytime you can say something that impresses him, you’re doing something right.

    Get home soon, sir and get well sooner.

  19. Thanks everyone for the good wishes.  I printed out three pages of them and read them to him today.  He got a little teary but he does appreciate them!  Momma

  20. I, much like DOF, am sorry that I just now got over to this entry. Jay is probably right where he needs to be and all anyone can do is make him as comfortable as possible.

    Since he’s 60+ miles from home, I figure I’ll up and have some strippers sent over to his room.  That should take care of the boredom for a while.  Maybe I can get Les to setup some ‘hospital cams’ so we can capture the moment.

    Best wishes to you and your family and a speedy recovery for your Dad.  I can’t wait to see how this phone call goes.

  21. Maybe a little medical humor is in order:
    Three Texas plastic surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed.

    One of them said “I’m the best plastic surgeon in Texas. A concert pianist lost his left hand in an accident. I reattached it and eight months later he performed a private concert for the queen of England.”

    One of the others said “That’s nothing. A young man lost both legs in an accident. I reattached them, and two years later he won a gold medal running in the Olympics.”

    The third surgeon said “You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a yuppie cowboy who was high on cocaine and alcohol rode a horse head-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the horse’s ass and a cowboy hat. And today he’s President of the United States.”

  22. See? My sister and I work as a team. If I didn’t make the stripper comment first I knew I could rely on her to make it for me. And she did.

  23. I talked to your dad this afternoon, and he seemed in good spirits.  He was very gracious in spite of the fact that I interrupted his dinner.  He said his pneumonia is improving and sounded like the charm had worn off the whole hospital experience (which normally takes about 1 second anyway)  He had some rather uncomplimentary observations about what constitutes a “full portion” of hospital food.  I guess that’s a good sign because it suggests good appetite.  cheese

  24. I’m so sorry to hear your father is ill.  How is he doing now?
    You know, it’s funny—before you mentioned that he’s really your stepfather, I was thinking that you two looked alike.

    I’d call if I could but it’s not toll-free from here.  Besides that, I’m only awake when he’s prolly asleep.  But I think I can record stuff, so maybe I could read some sites aloud for him? I have a super telephone voice.  I’ll check it out when I get home.

  25. Sorry to hear about your father, Les. My thoughts are with him, you, and your family. Hope you get some good news soon.

  26. Wow Les’dad had a phone call from Zilch this afternon and had to tell everyone about it.  Decrepitoldfool yesterday and Zilch today made such a big difference in his attitude about having to stay in the hospital.  Thanks guys you really do help!

  27. Today it was a call from Guru in California for Jay.  He had to tell me when I called this morning.  Thank you Guru!

  28. A big thanks to K. Patrick Glover for the phone call.  Jay is originally from the Ralston-Onekema area and Kevin lives near there now so it was like old home week discussing the different places in the area.

  29. Momma,
    Like KPG. And, you’re probably not French-Canadian. I’m planning to call again Tuesday.

  30. tongue wink Not sure if the name is correct but Jay wanted me to acknowledge Laurie’s call from Orlando today.
    Also leguru called again today.  Many thanks to you both. It helps pass the time and makes Jay feel better.

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