Here’s a too-long-for-Twitter update for the many kind people there who’ve offered their sympathy, *prayers, and good wishes during my family’s recent medical crisis.
As of this writing, Dad is in the rehab wing of a nursing home, working to regain enough strength and independent function that he can go home, where the plan is to enroll him – I think – in either palliative care or home-hospice care. (We’ve had the difference explained to us twice and I can’t seem to remember it, besides the fact that home hospice presumes a shorter remaining lifespan, and that you’re allowed to go out of the house, whereas with palliative care you’re required to be basically housebound.)
I guess that sounds like a sad outcome. But two weeks ago he was in the critical-care unit with multiple organ failure and uremia-induced delirium (oh, and also an apparent heart attack somewhere along the way), and I was asking the medical team if it would be possible for my daughter, who was flying home from college early the next morning, to see his body and say her goodbyes if he didn’t make it through the night.
That he’s recovered as much as he has – excreted the fluid from his lungs, kicked the delirium, worked his way from high-flow oxygen to low-flow oxygen to mostly breathing “room air” (one of the many new terms I’ve learned in this experience), gotten back enough kidney function to limp along with – feels nothing short of stunning to me. I did not expect it, and neither did the doctors. For as many times as I’ve seen Dad pick himself up off the mat over the last few decades, I really thought he was down for the count in the CCU.
So that’s where we are.
I don’t have enough brainspace to do this next thought justice, but I’ve worried for awhile that I’m mismanaging social media; getting friendly with people to the point where they might be uncomfortable saying “My god, I hated this book” about one of my books. So I think I need to find a way to dial that back, and I think, in the past couple weeks, I’ve unfortunately dialed it forward instead.
Words of support from online acquaintances – from “I feel your pain; we just went through that with my mom” to “Just want you to know you’re in my thoughts” to “Here’s how to do that thing in Scrivener you were asking about before your life went haywire” – have meant the world to me, but I’m not sure I should have gotten into a position where they would mean the world to me, if that makes sense.
Anyway when I get back to where romance writing is taking up more of my thoughts, I’m going to try to work on that.
*I probably should have disclosed, when soliciting prayers, that my family is not really religious. I’ve just read those studies about how prayer makes people get better, even non-religious people being prayed for by people they’ve never met. I think it worked, at least a little.
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