I’m balding, separated from my wife, and living in the back bedroom of my parents’ house. Sure, two of those things are only temporary setbacks, but this isn’t how I’d imagined life at 51.

Still, I know I’m right where I need to be right now.

My dad slipped and broke his hip last week, so I packed my car with the essentials (like my dog) and headed to Idaho to help get him back onto his feet, literally. In the days since then, he’s gone from raucously complaining about hospital food to surviving on a ventilator. Yes, it’s totally sucked. My role, thus far, has been to hang around my dad’s room in the ICU and ask the nurses questions about all his input/output fluids and the consequences of adjusting the various settings on the surrounding machinery. In medieval times, I believe they’d refer to me as the Village Idiot. His vitals have been showing some signs of improvement, though, so it seems to be helping.

My mom and I are very grateful for everyone involved with his care, including our extended family who are doing everything possible to carry him through this. We’re intentionally keeping visitors to a bare minimum, including here at the house, to avoid any exposure to COVID-19. Instead, please send lots of positive thoughts to him and my mom. I know they’ll appreciate that.

4 thoughts on “Slipping”

  1. […] As you may recall, my 78-year-old father fell and shattered his hip five weeks ago. A few days after getting it repaired, he had an undiagnosed ulcer burst which led to another emergency surgery. In the month since then, his heart and kidneys have deteriorated and he’s needed a ventilator to help with his breathing. He’s had several blood transfusions, gone through multiple rounds of dialysis, and has had 750ml of liquid drained from his chest cavity four different times. He’s being treated for sepsis and something called stenotrophomonas maltophilia which I think is something the doctors just made up. He also had to have a third emergency surgery to remove part of his stomach and will eventually need a fourth to repair a torn rotator cuff. On Wednesday, he had a tracheostomy after his left lung collapsed and then the hospital cafeteria had the audacity to offer me MEATLOAF AND CREAMED PEAS FOR LUNCH BECAUSE THAT’S THE KIND OF HELL-ON-EARTH I’M LIVING IN RIGHT NOW. […]


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