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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A series of unfortunate events (part the first)

Some people might prefer posts with birds chirping and happy little elves…this is not the post for you. Feel free to read on, but you’ve been warned. (with apologies to the Lemony Snicket movie, the only bright spot I’ve had in the last couple of days.)

So, Christmas went ok. I got gifts I like, and people seemed to like the gifts I bought them. All in all, I was feeling pretty chipper. Sunday came, and we had a decent dinner with my Dad with only light to moderate weirdness.

On Monday morning, I was preparing to start my vacation. My time to relax, do stuff around the house, hang out with my husband and my dog, get the new blog all set up. And then I got the phone call. My dad had collapsed and they had taken him to the emergency room. They didn’t know what the problem was, but he was in and out of consciousness and couldn’t tell them what was going on – it could be a stroke or a heart attack.

**Before I go any farther, just so you know, my Dad is now fine. He went home from the hospital this evening**

Naturally, John had just left with the car five minutes before I got the call. And just as naturally, when I called my mom for a ride, she had to be difficult, and decided to send my brother to come get me instead. But before he could get here, John came home and we headed to the hospital.

Where I learned several things:

1. my father, the doctor, has diabetes, which he suspected, but didn’t bother to get checked out. On Monday it was so out of control, his blood sugar was 553 (for reference it should be between 60 and 90)
2. when your blood sugar gets that high, you can have a stroke or go into a coma
3. my dad had chest pain on Saturday night, but decided it was nothing and took a Percocet he had left over from going to the dentist (as an aside, we have the same dentist, and that man has never given me so much as a Tylenol. Where’s my fucking Percocet?)
4. My dad has a girlfriend. Named Margaret. She seems very nice.

The extremely efficient people in the ER established that he had not had a heart attack or a stroke, and started giving him insulin. And as his blood sugar came down, my dad became coherent and conscious again, which was nice to see.

He claims this was the wakeup call that he needed and he will change his diet, and exercise and take his Glucotrol. He did those things for a while after he had his bypass surgery when I was in college, so, maybe he will.

But the past two days have been a rollercoaster for me. Worry, of course. Guilt – when the nurse was asking me questions about my dad, I didn’t know the answers. Does he drink? Well, he never drank much, but for all I know, he downs a bottle of whiskey every night now. I mean, I didn’t see him for six months this year. Resentment. Resenting my mom for being unhelpful and bitchy throughout this whole episode. Resenting my dad for not taking care of himself. And then there’s the depressing realization that my parents are getting older, and this is probably just the first of many times I’m going to end up racing to the hospital because one or the other of them is sick.