Friday - Into the hospital around 12:30 pm. Dad was having a good day, although he had pain for the first time in about a week. Mom's overly cautious about which painkiller they put him on, since they put him on too much before (that's what made him have to go on a ventilator a few weeks ago), and when they took it off him he went wacko. So they're using the same kind (Delauden?), an opiate, but they're giving him a significantly lower dose (like .5 mg vs. 2 mg). It seems to help his pain, but he does ask for it every 3 hours, which is when they're allowed to give it to him again (but it still makes Mom nervous since he keeps asking for it, and she sometimes wonders whether he's getting addicted to it again). Other than that, he just seemed tired, drifting in and out of sleep each day I was there, but still friendly, spry, and same old Dad. He was rather enjoying the WWII movie marathon they had all weekend for Veterans Day. The nurses love him because he's so polite. Susan was there until 2:00 or so, and it seems the ventilator scared her into coming almost every day, which is pretty good what with her being so evil and all (and not doing very much to help out up to this point), but it's a shame it took a respirator scare for her to get off her duff and do something. Mom and I had lunch at Granite Run at Chik-Fil-a - YUM! I so miss that in San Diego. We had dinner at Friendly's on the way home. I stayed in Friday night.
Saturday - Back to the hospital. Mom purposely goes in after lunch because she thinks he eats more if she's not around, although he hasn't been eating much, if he eats at all (the most I saw him eat was half a grilled cheese sandwich). This isn't bad, though, since he's getting nutrients via IV (which I call the chocolate milk and the pee, according to their colors) and a feeding tube that goes directly into his stomach. Susan was in again with Spencer and Mindy for about an hour. They're getting so big! Spencer's going to be 8 in January, and Mindy will be 7 in April. After they left Mom and I had lunch in the hospital snack bar, and then at 7:00 Mom dropped me off at the Riddle Ale House to have dinner with Natalie, Penni, Chip, Lee, Steve & Chris. We ate dinner and sat there chatting until midnight, discussed what we're going to do about the Median Christmas party this year (and other gossip), and Natalie drove me home. It was good to see everyone again and hang out and just talk.
Sunday - Mom and I stopped at Grandmom's before heading to the hospital. She's been having problems with Kelly, and I got a first-hand look at what she's not been doing - the house is a mess, there's cat hair everywhere, she's avoiding Grandmom (to the point of parking around the corner, coming in through the back and only coming home and/or upstairs after Grandmom has gone to bed), and Mom told me she's let her friends stay overnight in the house and is likely smoking pot downstairs. It's deplorable, and Grandmom is way stressed by it all. On the other hand, at least she's THERE on a semi-regular basis, which none of her children do (Mom's at the hospital all the time, and Craig and Bruce are useless half the time). So I suggested she should either start doing what's expected of her (and a document should be drawn up that outlines her responsibilities, which was never done to begin with), or she should start paying rent (which at least would put her in the house checking on Grandmom from time to time, but absolve her of doing the duties, and would also provide money for us to hire someone to do these things for her, like go to the store, bring in her mail, handle her bills, clean, maybe even cook for her, etc.). Sadly, Grandmom remains wholly self-involved - her first words to me were, "Did you see how messy it is downstairs?" as opposed to, "Hi, Alan, I haven't seen you since Christmas!" Ugh. But at least she's not depressing to talk to and doesn't talk about killing herself or wishing for God to take her home. I was treated, however, to a good half hour of God and Jesus talk, which my mother and I both rolled our eyes at, followed by, on our way out the door (she suddenly realizes I'm there and asks about my life when I'm leaving) asks when some nice girl is going to hook me and get me to settle down. Needless to say, her name ain't Quincy! :D (Q wondered why I haven't told her since I'm out to the rest of my family, but really, she's not on a very high need-to-know basis, and would cause far more harm than good, so I'm just letting her assume. It really doesn't impact my life, so oddly it doesn't bother me in the least.) After that it was the hospital again, and when we got there Austy was already there, and he stayed for a little bit before taking off. Afterwards we had lunch again at the snack bar, and at 7:00 Mom dropped me off at Tom Jones and I had dinner with Steve, Lee and Natalie again, and Pamela (who is already 6 months pregnant), Tommy & Jason (evidently poor Tommy is still whipped - Jason just got his third car!), too. Again, great to catch up, only we cleared out at 9:30 this time. (One thing I hate about Philly and the suburbs - no cool coffeehouses to hang out in after dinner like San Diego.) Home, stayed up too late again.
Monday - I thought I was going to do some stuff around the house for Mom, but all she wanted me to do was fix her AIM so that it logged her on automatically, reset the clock in her bedroom, find the sump pump for Susan and look up how the term "Texas catheter" got its name :) . I offered to do the solar cover for the pool, but she wanted to get going to the hospital. I also told her she needed to start driving the van, as its already been sitting for about 3 months without even getting started (we did start it once, and it turned over perfectly, but it needs to be driven once in a while). Susan came and we told her what's going on with Grandmom. She said she'd go over Tuesday and clean her house, and give Kelly what for (if she was there). She agreed with my do the work or pay rent suggestion. I gave her the sump pump and she left for work. Around 3:30 Natalie came by to visit for a bit, we left at 4:00 and she dropped me off at the airport, we took off about a half hour late (although landed just a few minutes late) and I had another pleasant direct flight home with no one in the seat next to me. Got to watch Pirates of the Caribbean again, played some Starcraft on my laptop, and finished up those thank you notes, and still managed to get in a short nap. Quincy picked me up and we stayed at my place.
So, essentially, a good visit home. Dad's not getting any worse, but also isn't getting significantly better, either. It's a waiting game - he needs to get better (by building up his strength and stamina) to get better (the fistula healing itself without the need of surgery). In the meantime he's being taken care of well, even if he's frustrated at being in the hospital (likely for a few more weeks, if not months, still). Mom's coping, although she also has her good days and bad days. Susan's picking up some slack, and Lynda does her best. Plus I got to see the Medians et al, which is always good.
Yesterday Q got up early, but he let me sleep until about 11:30. After trying to figure out what to do, we finally settled on shopping, so we went to North County Fair where I spent way too much money on work shirts (but I really do need them). Did I mention Q has exquisite taste (at least in clothes)? I'm gonna look fab. :D Unfortunately, right as we got there I checked my Visor and discovered I was supposed to be at a haircut in 15 minutes, so I called and rescheduled for Thursday (Liz sounded kinda peeved, but it was an accident, as I thought my appointment was on Thursday and I couldn't understand whoever called with the reminder because of a bad connection). We ate, walked around, compared prices at different photo studios (he wants to get Christmas cards made of us), and stopped at Von's on the way home for some cinnamon buns for dessert.
Today it's back to work, with 150 e-mails waiting for me. Blah day. It actually rained significantly overnight.
Looks like no gaming tonight, as Myke and Daniel both have plans. Daniel may still come over to talk about moving in temporarily since he will be homeless on December 1. Mom called and said Dad had a bad day...
Seems the other day (obviously when I wasn't there) a sore appeared where his leg meets his midsection, and the doctor said it looked like the fistula "working its way out," which I'm assuming is a good thing. However, today it burst, so he's got yet another orifice where feces is oozing out - bleargh. On the plus side, the doctor said his original incision (the one where his intestines are showing through) looks like it's starting to get smaller, so perhaps with enough chocolate milk and pee his skin is starting to show some hale. Again, it's a waiting game, but it's taking pretty damned long.
Tomorrow night I have my rescheduled haircut. Friday night will probably be rescheduled gaming, although we have a theater night scheduled for LYC. Quincy talked about going to Disneyland on Saturday, but Yudi said soemthing about Chris and Simon buying us all theater tickets, plus I'd like to go to coffee. No plans for Sunday, but maybe that'll be Disneyland. I really need to get a handle on my schedule and my finances for the rest of the month - Disneyland, Loscon, Margaret Cho, Thanksgiving... so much going on.