So yesterday I got a call from Ninny about 4:30 pm saying that Dad was having Kidney failure and I needed to come to the hospital. In tears, I ran out the door, shouting at my neighbor as she stood there dumb-founded.
Praying and crying, I rushed through the late afternoon drizzle and then I hit THE TRAFFIC.
I don't know of any city anymore that doesn't have horrible rush-hour traffic, but Austin's is notorious, especially around, oh, 4:30 on Friday afternoon.
Let me just say, it's a good thing that the emergency wasn't quite as severe as I'd thought, seeing as how it took me an hour and a half to get to the hospital.
I hate not being able to be there all the time. I'm having flashbacks to my sophomore year in college when I received the call that he'd had another heart attack, but not to worry, he was doing fine and I should come home in a few days. They left out the part about him having to be "brought back" on the operating table, but whatever...
Anyway, when I finally did arrive, Mom took me aside and told me that he was experiencing acute kidney failure, something not altogether uncommon after the procedures he's just had. They put the catheter back in, and will be doing an ultrasound later today to make sure there's nothing more severe going on.
I calmed down after hearing that, but my concern is mostly for his inability to sleep because of the severe back pain he's experiencing. He had major back surgery when we were younger, which came with all sorts of complications like blood clots in his lungs and other fun things. The girls and I can still remember the ambulance pulling up to our house to take our screaming Dad back to the hospital -- the pain was that bad. Not something you want to hear when you are 11, 9 and 7 years old.
The pain now is mostly due to having to lay on his back constantly, not being able to roll over and alleviate any of the pressure from his 290 lb frame. (We don't call him Big Daddy for nothin') The screams aren't quite as heart wrenching, but the groans and moans and prayers to Jesus leave much to be desired. My heart goes out to him and my mom and sisters, who've been having to witness his discomfort around the clock (my time will come -- Sunday night, he's all mine).
Pain meds weren't working, just keeping him groggy, so they stopped giving them to him, which meant he slept not at all on Thursday night. Not ideal for a recovering heart patient. They gave him muscle relaxers last night, but I talked to Mom this morning and Ninny told her that he didn't sleep much either. This, I'm worried about.
Anyway, after Mom and I discussed his situation last night, we headed back to his room, where we found him sitting up being force-fed by Lea Ann and bitching up a storm. This made my heart soar. Anytime he harasses Lea Ann is great, but this was even better -- he was acting like himself again, and pretty soon all 5 of us were cracking jokes and laughing, wheeling him around the halls and embarrassing ourselves with our inability to keep our voices down, eliminate curse words from our sarcasm, and operate his wheelchair/IV.
It was so much fun. I'm hoping he'll feel well enough to have a short visit with the kids this morning, though the mere thought of Jax slamming his head into any part of Big Daddy makes me cringe, a feat he will more than likely at least attempt.
Perhaps we'll wait.