Feb 17, 2007

My Dad: Update Saturday, February 17, 2007

Well, I flew into Austin this morning. It felt so weird to be in the Austin airport. I can’t describe exactly what was weird about it, but it was like deja vu or something. Very strange. Then I drove to Bryan. I was starving when I left the airport and knew I wouldn’t last an hour and a half to eat in Bryan. So I went through the drive thru in Bastrop. I knew I was in the South when the girl working the window was wearing a banana clip. I haven’t seen a banana clip in years. I didn’t even know they were still being made and sold. I thought to myself, “I’m definitely in the South.”

I missed the 1:30-2:00 p.m. visiting time and went straight to my mom’s. I actually went to my brother’s across the street from my parents because the weather had left their long dirt road in a state that my mom thought my little rental car wouldn’t be able to make. My brother Harvey Jr (aka Bubba), nephew Cole and I drove to my mom’s. There she and my sister-in-law Brandy were cleaning up the hospital bed my parents’ had from my dad’s first bypass surgery. Once we got it cleaned, assembled in the house, mattress dressed and a table next to it for stuff, we drove to the hospital for the 5:30-6:00 p.m. visiting time. We waited about 30 minutes before the line started outside of ICU to go in.

My mom Helen, Aunt Sharon and I went in first. My dad was sleeping very well. We talked to his nurse Dan (who is exceptionally nice) and he informed us the trach tube had been removed at 11:00 a.m. and that he had been doing very well all day. I was a little nervous on the way here at how I might react to seeing my dad all wired and plugged up, but he didn’t look as bad as I thought he would. We surrounded my dad and stood over him talking about different things then all of a sudden we saw his left eye open. He looked at me and blinked and I asked him if he could see me. He said yes and then asked me why I had come. I told him that I wanted to see him and since it was a three day weekend and I wouldn’t be able to come at all until after we moved to Texas in two weeks. He told us that his throat hurt to talk and breathe. He sucked up his saliva when he needed with a stiff tube kind of like when you go to the dentist. We talked small talk for a while and read him some cards then some old family friends, Mr & Mrs Alderete, showed up outside his ICU door. So my mom and I left so they could come in. We went back to the ICU waiting room for a bit and then Bubba and Brandy went in for a bit. My nephew Cole wanted to go in so bad, but the sign on the waiting room wall said no one under 14 was allowed in ICU. He asked why the day before and they explained it to him. He asked when we first got into the ICU waiting room if the sign was changed to 3 yet. It was so sweet. So his mom told him as soon as Paco (that’s what my nieces and nephews call my dad) left ICU and was in his own room Gram (what they call my mom) would come pick him up and take him to see Paco and that maybe they could watch Open Season together. Too cute.

We visited for longer than the 30 minute limit and had more than the two person maximum. We finally left and went to Bubba and Brandy’s for grilled steaks, baked potatoes and salad. It was a great dinner. I was starving.

We told my dad all about the hospital bed and furniture being all set up for him at home. He seems to think he’s not going to be in it long. I don’t think he realizes just how sick he is. He was not aware of how many incisions he had so I don’t think he knows the extent of his problems. Now that the trach tube is out and he’s not so sedated, his doctors should be able to explain more to him. He won’t like it, but he’ll have to deal with it. My mom over heard him tell Mr. Alderete that he was going to have to change. So maybe he is learning from this experience. That’s one prayer I’ve been praying. We’ll see Lord.

Tomorrow I am going to ask his nurse what’s going to be done about his digestive system. I had wondered what was going to be done with the failing kidney and Brandy found out it was not going to be removed. They won’t remove it unless it is harming the body.

My dad also expressed to us that he’s not in pain when he’s sleeping, but when someone wakes him up he’s aware of the pain and they have to give him something for it. On Friday he wrote on my mom’s note pad, “No visitors, they wake me,” “I hurt when I am awake, let me sleep” and “I hurt when not asleep, don’t wake up.” So he doesn’t want any visitors right now for the pain reason and also because he’s exhausted. The ICU is very strict about visitors. They only allow visitors four times a day for 30 minute sessions. They really want their patients to rest. Rest is the key to recovery. We learned that with Roger. But we’ll let everyone know as soon as he has left ICU and is ready for visitors.

If you would like to send your regards, please send cards only to the following address:

College Station Medical Center
Intensive Care Room 6, Patient Harvey Wise
1604 Rock Prairie Road
College Station, TX 77842

My mom is doing well. She’s a trooper. Must be where I get it from. She has been tired though. She receives tons of calls every day. And yes, she answers and returns them all and tells the same story every time. And of course, we have tons of food. She really appreciates all the love, concern and prayer. My parents are truly loved by many. They are pretty cool parents. :)
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