Day 2 of my parents’ visit
“You have the friendliest church, Herbie.”
“Some of them people still remembered us from last time. They were real nice.”
So the day started pretty good, although mom got winded and tired out going from the handicapped parking to the first bank of pews. I am really poor about eyeballing distances, but I know it’s not a hundred yards, maybe fifty … sixty feet? Anyway, she had to sit down. Later on in the day Margaret noticed she seemed to be having some problems breathing and decided to call the paramedics to check her oxygen. Up here there is a problem some people develop called “altitude sickness” which comes from the sudden changes in air pressure and oxygen as you go from sea level to 6000+ feet. They arrived and checked her O2 level and listened to her breathing.
“It doesn’t sound like there’s any air getting into the lower part of her lungs. She should probably go to the E.R. to be checked out further. I really can’t tell.”
So off to the E.R. we go. I do have to say that Memorial Hospital’s E.R. triaged her pretty well and got her in fairly quickly. For an E.R. at any rate.
Chest x-rays show fluid in the left lung. Margaret is in with her because she is the best of all of us at translating medspeak to everyday language. A very efficient, pleasant, respectful young doctor with a foreign accent says this needs to be drained immediately. He preps her and then lets Margaret observe as he takes an instrument and “stabs her in the back” making a nice size hole. He inserts a catheter and winds up draining 1400 CCs (47+ oz or almost 2 qts! I didn’t even know lungs are that big.) Of fluid from the lung. This is not good. He decides, since she is here to visit family and the circumstances, that he won’t keep her overnight but makes a follow-up appointment for her at his office for Thursday. She needs to go Thursday to have another x-ray done to take to the visit.
Dad is an emotional sort. Before he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost he was a mean, angry man who was not afraid to let you know verbally or physically what his feelings were. He’s been in the church for 31 years now and there is not a mean or (unreasonably) angry bone in his body and his emotions are now of a caring and compassionate nature, so it was no surprise to me that his voice cracked and his eyes welled up, (he does when he quotes scriptures, too) as he and I drove along by ourselves at one point and he said, “You know, maybe Pastor knows something we don’t know and that’s why he sent us out here.”
“Yeah, dad, well, maybe he does. Or maybe he has just figured out some things from his years of experience that we haven’t yet.”
“I’ve been trying to save a little money for cemetery plots. I think it’s time to start thinking about some of that kind of stuff. They let me take out a small life insurance policy on your ma and I did it. Maybe that was a good idea now.”
Remember, The Good Book Says, “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun.”
Tomorrow some fun.