Dispatches from the Up and Out and Right Back
Dad was finally moved from the ICU to a regular room on Thursday evening. His new nurse, Kim, was getting him situated in the chair and doing his intake evaluation – checking his sutures and other wound sites, but mostly hooking up his heart monitors and making sure his stats were registering at the nurse’s station. She looked at his legs and remarked about their bruised tint. “That must be the Chlorhexidine,” she said. “I wondered why your legs were so yellow.” “Whew,” Dad said, “I thought I was turning into a Mexican.”
“Aaaannnnnd, he’s back,” my brother and I trilled, in unison.
But here’s the weird part: just over twelve hours later, he was released from the hospital. And just over six hours after that he was back at the ER with labored breathing. No sooner had he gotten comfortable in his room on the heart floor than he got his release papers and was a free man. He came home, ate lunch, took a nap, and watched some golf. At one point I came around the corner into the den, where I thought he was sitting on the couch, and I saw him through the glass doors on the back porch holding a BB gun, which was not what I had expected. I walked out the back door and said, “Hey, what are you doing out here?” He fired a puff of air into some bushes and replied, “rabbit huntin’.” (Easy though it may be to mistake this for confusion returned, he had actually seen a rabbit hopping around the patio and had gone outside to rid the premises.)
Later in the afternoon Mom and I went to the grocery store to stock up on heart healthy foods. While we were shopping she got a call from my brother saying that he was taking Dad to the emergency room. He was having trouble breathing, and that’s what the cardiologist advised. Mom panicked. I told her to leave me and go to the hospital, which was just around the corner. “I’ll finish here and check out and find someone to come get me,” I said. No sooner had I gotten in a check out line than I saw her racing back toward me. “What’s wrong?” I asked, as she began to frantically remove her Kroger Plus card from her key ring, which made me shout a little too loudly, “You want a bargain!?”
So anyway, we’re back. Back in the ER, back to wondering, back to waiting.