Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Next?

I took Dad to the surgical center so they could check on his healing wound. His caregiver brought him over from the house and I met them at the hospital in the bright, new, glassed-in surgical center. We waited and waited, then were taken to a private room where we waited some more. To pass the time, the caregiver, who is from a former Soviet country, and I chatted about his past and experiences in America. We did a few stretching exercises with Dad and tried to engage him in conversation a little bit. He seemed to be in a good mood.
The caregiver was concerned about what he thought was a hernia in Dad's groin, so when the surgeon finally came in, we had him investigate the area. Luckily, the surgical site was healing nicely and he was pleased with its progress. Unluckily, he discovered that Dad had two hernias, one on either side of his abdomen! Apparently, hernias are not extraordinarily painful, but they can be dangerous if they become squeezed off and infected. So the surgeon recommended that within the following year we get them attended to.
All I could do was wonder at my formerly abnormally healthy father. Except for the dementia, of course, he was never sick, never had an injury, except for one broken arm from skiing. I'm not sure what the year is going to bring, but it seems as if it might be full of these physical problems for poor Dad. Little by little, that good health is being chipped away and it makes me sad. I guess it comes to all of us, but its hard to watch my formerly robust father get more and more frail and ill.

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