Sunday, April 26, 2009


I've done this before.
Felt like a deja vu afternoon.
The only difference is - the Turbo station at the corner of Fraser Hwy and 158th is no longer a full serve. I used to fill up there a few times a week last year whenever I went to visit dad. Or mom. Or dad and mom.
Surrey Hospital had it's walkways lined with tulips again. An attempt at cheerful, I suppose. "A" for effort. But really? It's still a stinky hospital.

My dad is still in the ER.
Yesterday they had him sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway all day.
Today he's sharing a closet-sized room with an older male of Indian descent being watched over by an older woman from the same region who has a ceremonial dagger strapped to her waist. Do not mess with them.

The hallways were lined with dark skinned folks. The waiting rooms were overflowing with women in saris and pajama-clad men. All very colourful. Almost as good as traveling in a foreign country.


Dad has a very wet cough.
When asked if it hurts, he said no.
When asked if he knows what "hurt" means, he said no.
But he doesn't have any pain. And he's not sore anywhere. And he sure isn't complaining.
He has eaten all the food that has been delivered to his bed. (He has no bed-side table so the tray was put on the laundry hamper.) His room? Is small I tell you. They store supplies in there. And people. They store old people in there.

He still has a slight fever, and his legs look all tight and swollen, so he'll be in for a few more days. They are thinking it might be the early stages of pneumonia, so he'll be Surrey Hospital's guest until that clears up.

We chatted for awhile about our summer plans. And we talked a teensy bit about the grandkids. Mostly we (mom and I) reassured him that as soon as he felt better we'd let him wear his jeans and belt buckle again. His jeans, belt, and ring of keys dangling on the belt loop have become very important to him.

After he'd eaten his colourful hospital meal (yes, you read that right. He ate hospital food. Last year he wouldn't even lift the lid off the tray, saying the smell of it made him want to barf. And sometimes he did barf. We were bringing him 2 meals a day... Yay for him eating) he told mom and me that we could leave. And he said it in a strong dad-of-yesteryear-voice.
It was unexpected. I haven't heard that voice in 18 months.

I said, "No, dad. We'll hang out here til visiting hours are over."
He replied. "Nah. I'm fine. You and mom go."

Honestly, he was like his old self.

It's hard leaving him there, you know?
I mean, I know he's safe. But is he at peace? Does he understand? Is he scared or lonely? What does he think about?
Dementia is an awful decease.
If the old him foresaw this current him, he would have been devastated.
Maybe that's the gift of dementia ... if you've got it, you don't care. You don't know what it means. You're not frustrated. You're not embarrassed. You're not anxious about the future. You really just don't care. You take life as it comes. Accepting of your situation and content to watch 14 consecutive hours of your favorite movies every day, day after day.

Thanks for lifting him and my mom up in prayer.
Specific things that I can think to pray for would be:
1. That dad would be able to relax and rest in the hospital and that his cough would not lead to pneumonia.
2. That a normal bed in a normal room would open up for him on Sunday.
3. That his nurses would be attentive, patient, kind and thorough.
4. That he would continue to eat the meals the hospital prepares. And that he would get over his aversion to water, and agree to drink it.
5. That his doctor would have wisdom in how to treat dad.
6. That mom would feel peace about this situation.
7. That if the doctor determines that dad needs additional home-care, she would accept the help graciously.
8. That mom would continue to have patience and strength to care for the man who is nothing like the person she married.
9. That once this crisis is over, and dad is breathing normal again, that we can arrange for someone to drop by their house to hang out with dad once in awhile... play a game of pool. Take him for a drive. Go out for a milkshake. Stop by the beach for a short walk. Visit some of the houses that he used to live in. Drive by the cemeteries where his mom and friend, Butch are buried.

And. by His mighty power at work within dad and mom, we know that He is able to accomplish infinitely more than I would ever dare to ask or hope for. May my parents be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through the ages. Amen.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. I used the words "sari" and "gift" in this post.
2. I'm stronger now than I was last year at this time. Got through the whole day without crying.
3. Susan Boyle. I finally got around to watching this and tears of joy slipped out of my eyes listening to her. Her and I are both 47. And look alot alike. So inspiring.



Tricia said...

Your eyebrows are much nicer than hers:) I however have the same haircut as she does...I have only myself to blame since I cut it.

Too bad that hospital doesn't put their tulip money toward better health care.

Trev said...

"And look alot alike. So inspiring."

What?? Ok Jane, I believe all women are beautiful in their own right and Susan is no exception to the rule. And I know I'm going to get in trouble for saying this but I don't care.

You are MUCH better looking than Susan Boyle. She's not even in the same league as you. If you don't have any men in your life telling you this than I'm gonna say it 'cause every woman needs to hear this from time to time.

Jane, you are smart, attractive, beautiful, sensitive, kind, considerate, selfless and witty.

In other words Jane, you're hot! Yeah I said it (not in the "creepy, me going behind my wife's back" sense, but in the "hey, even married guys notice when a woman has amazing qualities!" sense).

So hold your head up high for goodness sake! You're one of a kind Jane!

Christine Lindsay said...

Still praying for you. Your strength---though you may not feel it---comes through in your choice of photos of the tulips. Renewed Life.

Jane said...

Hahahahaha. Oh, Trevor. What a fun thing to read first thing in the morning.

Angela? Give him a hug.