Back in ICU

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We went to visit my father today. He was resting comfortably in the ICU at Lancaster General. It didn’t even cross my mind that this was the same place Kevin’s father passed away last May, but after we got off the elevator it all came back, especially when we rounded the corner into the nurses’ area. I can’t tell you how many times I wonder what really happened with regard to Kevin’s dad. We were told one thing by the ER nurse and another when we went up to the ICU ten minutes later. We were told he was brain dead, yet when he was stuck with a needle and the nurse had difficulty getting blood and started “fishing”, he reacted physically. At one point he somehow bit down on the air tube, setting off an alarm, and this same nurse talked to him and told him to stop doing that. If a person is brain dead, do you talk to them? Yet there was no reaction to anything else, no squeezing the hand when you asked him to, no anything. And his pupils were fixed and dilated.

They say that the hearing is the last thing to go. I don’t believe he was gone when we first arrived. I believe he heard everything that was being said and was trying to communicate with us. He was probably mad as hell, too, knowing Mac. But we kept getting all this “information” and test results and studies, etc.etc., and his pupils were fixed and dilated. I believe he passed sometime during the night (probably when they were running a “test” to see if he could breathe on his own and he didn’t for five minutes–oh, and they did that twice, they said–I think that would be enough to make a person brain dead). So why keep him alive? Well, he was an organ donor. In the end, it was discovered that a mole had recently tested positive for malignant melanoma, so the liver they planned on harvesting never was.

So many regrets.

But there’s my dad, sitting up, looking healthy as a horse, laughing and joking with us. Tomorrow he is to have a couple of procedures done. Who knows, he could end up dying as well. Life is short. Hug your loved ones tightly.

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3 responses »

  1. Hey my new friend…. this is so detailed and moving. It’s a little unclear that you’re first talking about your father in law and then your own father. I am so glad your father is o.k. Together with your pieces on settling the estate perhaps you’re headed for a memoir you could call “Family Business”.

    I have been preoccupied with having gone out to see my mares today to discover that having been on straight alfalfa they are disdaining their grass hay and that too was blowing away in the wind. When they saw my truck they came running. I had to get my companion to put out more. Two more months until six acres of pasture starts coming up.

    Meanwhile my Golden Retriever Munch was looking a little gaunt and I mixed a tbsp of catfood into her kibble; I didn’t tell her it was catfood. I mixed warm water with it and devoured it. My companion is spaced out much of the time and I have to remind him to do things… I drafted a new post today and hope to upload it later. In all of this, as I have said, be sure to take care of you. Tomorrow morning make some coffee and take some object in your house that you’ve had for a long time and write about it– just free write. I think you will feel like you actually took some time to do some creating….. xj

  2. I remember eating dog food once just to see what it tasted like, lol. Took your advice, btw, though it’s not an object I’ve had for a long time. :)

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