19. December 2010 · Comments Off on Not Such a Merry Christmas · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Health and Wellness

For a number of reasons – some to do with the general economy, and the fact that advance sales for Daughter of Texas are not quite to the degree that I hoped they would be, and that the Tiny Publishing Bidness lost a whopping good bid on publishing a book that would have set us up for a year, and the client I do office work can’t pay me until January when he has a big closing on a chunk of real estate . . . no, all that depressing enough, but relatively small potatoes next to family trouble.

Dad was being treated for walking pneumonia the last couple of weeks; he sounded chipper enough when I talked to him a week ago Friday – the regular Friday Nite call. The pneumonia made him tired, so he and Mom were dialing back on their regular mid-December Christmas reception at their house; their friends were going to handle a lot of it, so that Dad could take a rest. No plans for Blondie and I to make the trip out to California this year – can’t afford it, and my brothers and sister and their families all were making plans to be elsewhere, so no point, really. They sounded fine, otherwise.

So, not quite prepared for my sister Pip to call on Wednesday morning: Dad’s condition had gotten very bad, catastrophically bad, very, very suddenly, on Tuesday afternoon. He couldn’t walk, was only semi-conscious – and the upshot of it was that he was admitted to the hospital Friday night, to be operated on for bleeding into the brain. There’s apparently some congestive heart failure involved there too. My brothers and sister have been taking turns to be with them; Dad is fine – I guess the surgery has been a success so far, but Saturday night, Mom had a horrific nose-bleed, to the point where Pip called the ambulance. Mom’s blood pressure was through the roof from stress. She went into the hospital overnight, but was released on Sunday. Dad is still in the hospital, and will probably need a long convalescence . . . we’re all beginning to be afraid they’ve come to the end of their stretch of independence in their house. They’re both turning 80 next year, and the house they love is at the ass-end of nowhere, with a huge garden and grounds that they are less and less able to take care of. They may be able to get some kind of home-health care assistance – just have to see. Their insurance is adequate to this point, but Pip and Alex both have families with children.

The tentative plan is for me to go out to California after New Years, by train, when we can afford it. Going by train may actually be cheaper, since I refuse to fly; the TSA screening is just the final straw for me. Going by train, I can take along enough stuff that I can stay with Mom and Dad into late February or early March. If they get internet at their house, I’ll be able to keep up with the various projects and work that I have going on. I might even be able to interest Dad into the wonderful wacky world of the internet. He’s been reluctant, so far – but I’ll bet I can get him into blogging . . .

As for now, we’re sticking close to the phone. Not much interested in Christmas stuff. If I wind up going to California, there’s a ton of stuff I have to finish first; all this time, we’re hoping that Dad will recover enough that he can stay in the house; Mom can’t stay there alone, and there’s a million variables, and we don’t even know what half of them are at this point.

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