Saturday, October 25, 2008

Coming Up for Air

It's been a wild couple of weeks. The wife and mother-in-law made it back safely from New York. They had a wonderful time. The refusal to carry along a digital camera continues to frustrate me. My mother-in-law sent her film to China or someplace to get her pictures developed. Welcome to the 21st century.
I hardly noticed they were gone, I was so overwhelmed with other personal matters. My father decided he couldn't see out of his left eye. Naturally, he went to the eye doctor who confirmed that he, in fact, could not see. It was physically impossible because his retina was detached.
After asking around about which eye surgeon to use, we had to convince him to actually endure the procedure to reattach his eye parts. The good news is, the good doctor lasered him back together. The bad news is, the recovery period is long and somewhat difficult.
For ten days, he had to keep his nose pointed to the ground for 45 minutes of every hour, 24 hours a day. This meant no leaning back, no standing up straight, no sleeping on his back. We rented a contraption to keep his head down and that was just misery.
Oh, and the medicine. You would think that keeping up with antibiotics, cough suppressants, pain pills, anxiety relief and three kinds of eye drops would be a challenge. You would be correct. When you're 82 and already on a dizzying array of cardiac meds, you might as well be doing advanced calculus. Throw in the blindness, the fear and the keeping your head down all the time and you've got trouble.
This means I've been making three or four trips a day across town to manage meds and to keep his well-intentioned but ill-informed elderly friends out of his noggin. Man, an old person with a wive's tale and notion can cook your noodle.
His ten-day ordeal has passed and he can stand up straight again. The doctor even says the return of his vision seems to be ahead of schedule.
He's old and his short term memory is shot. That's a bad thing because I'm being forced to explain things to him over and over again...sometimes dozens of times. It's a good thing becasue he doesn't remember that he has to have a folllow-up procedure on his eye in about 90 days. The doctor injected some heavy fluid into the eye to hold the reattached retina in place. At some point, that stuff has to be removed. Use you imagination about how that will be accomplished. Hey, I'm not telling. I'll just remind him the night before the procedure and pick him up the next morning.
In the meantime, I'm just trying to keep my head held high.

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