Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Dark Side

It finally happened. I am officially a convert. I had to switch over to the "new" blogger. I'm probably one of the last hold outs. I've read the horror stories of Bloggers losing archives and having their blogs completely screwed up. I waited. I put it off. I had my final warning. I was forced into converting. So, if things are messed up, it's not my fault. I was forced to come to the dark side.

My phone was out from Sat afternoon until 8:45 PM Tuesday night. Apparently their were 900 customers without service in my area from Friday until Wednesday. The snowstorm had damaged a major trunk line in the center of my town. As long as they got my service up by 9:00PM Tuesday night, they had their asses covered. Oh joy. No posting. No reading blogs. I feel like I've been in the twilight zone for a week.

I had a workshop Monday, Tuesday and half the day Wednesday. Verizon is so lucky I did. I was too fricken tired to want to get online to post.

The workshop was great, learned a lot. I'll tell ya, their isn't a jail big enough for all the administrative assistants working at Universities in the US. The Feds have more regulations for research funding than there is tea in China. At least now I know more of the "Why I have to do that's" for my job. It certainly connects the pieces of the puzzle and gives me the justification for saying "No, you can't do that" to my superiors.

I came back from jury duty to a flurry of proposal activity with a completely new electronic submission system that the bugs have not been worked out of yet. It's been a hell of a couple weeks.

The real excitement came Wednesday, when I received a call from D, who was working from home.

D was hesitant when I picked up the phone, "I don't know if I should tell you this but, an ambulance is on it's way to your parent's house." "I'm glad you called to let me know, gotta go".
I called my parents and Dad answered "Is there an ambulance there?" "Yes, I'm having trouble catching my breath" "OK - Go" I said.

What Dad didn't know is that D has a police scanner and picks up all emergency calls. As soon as she heard my parents address, she called me. I knew Dad would be going to Winchester Hospital where Mom works. I also knew that Dad would be thinking; "How the hell did she know I called an ambulance?" At least that would keep his mind busy when he finally got some 02 in the ambulance.

One thing you have to know is, my Dad doesn't complain, at all. He has not complained once since being diagnosed with Non-Small Cell lung cancer last June, enduring so many radiation treatments you could see him glowing from the moon, and debilitating chemotherapy, not to mention steroid treatments that have rendered it difficult to raise himself out of a chair. It has always been a rare occurrence for him to take aspirin for a headache. For him to call 911 for an ambulance it has to be badder than bad, a life threatening incident.

Two of my office mates were there when I received the call. They detected the alarm in my voice and I filled them in on what had happened. I am so lucky to work with such a phenomenal group of people. Their genuine concern helped me make light of the situation. Aran and Cathy were there for me in that moment and it's only because of them I was able to hold myself together.

I knew it was bad and that the Emergency Room would call Mom (who was working at the time) as soon as Dad was received. It was a few hours later when I finally got the call from Mom. Dad was in Emergency and would be admitted for more testing to find out why his 02 saturation dropped below 92 whenever he was taken off oxygen. Her next question was "How did you know?" I couldn't resist: "I'm psychic" Mom instantly replied "Are you?" For an instant, with all my heart, I wished I was, but I replied honestly. "No, D heard the call on her police scanner. I knew it had to be for Mum (my Grandmother) or Daddy, and I knew I'd be hearing from you eventually, and I knew Daddy would be wondering how I knew about it." I figured it would be a good thing for Dad to focus on once he was in the ambulance.

Dad was admitted to ICU and the test results showed that he had blood clots in his lung (the lung without cancer). He was put on a Hepron (?sp) IV. Mom informed me later Wednesday evening, that hyper-coagulativity is common in lung cancer patients. They had been lucky so far and hoped it wouldn't be something they'd have to deal with. It wasn't until I visited Dad in ICU Thursday after work, I was able to tell him that there were a lot of people looking out for him and nothing bad would happen while D was on watch. It really helps having friends that know the fire department personnel! It's even better when friends can tell said personnel: No, the name they responded to lives in the downstairs apartment and the person they received the call from lives upstairs. There's not too much better than a fire department/EMT employee asking "How do you know more than I do?"

Having emergency personnel coach your best friend's daughter's hockey team in the town your parents live in is a definite plus in this situation, never mind a busybody best friend (I mean that in the best possible light) with a Police scanner.

Dad had an 'umbrella' surgically inserted in his groin to 'catch' any further clots, even though they aren't sure where the clots are coming from. Dad had good color and sounded good when I visited today. He was supposed to be transferred to a 'bed' and out of ICU, if one was available today.

It's a profound event when my Dad tells me he was "Scared Shit less" and he calls 911 for himself. Super Dad is forever brave, it doesn't seem to be in his genetic makeup to ask for help. I'll be forever grateful he did. He was relieved when he was told he would be admitted, because he didn't think he could make it up the stairs at home.

I need to personally thank James, Suldog, Denise, K and Chunks. You are my salvation and the only thing that keeps me real, and hanging on. You truly are Magick Mojo Monkees.

In the midst of all this, son informs me that a recruiter from Ohio has convinced son that the best college to go to upon graduation from his technical high school is in Ohio, and the NASCAR potential incentives hold a special appeal since he would be so far away from me and pursuing his ultimate dream.

Oh joy. I go from a son who has no interest in attending college to one that wants to go halfway across the country just to get away from me and yet have me pay for it.

Don't get me wrong, I would love for my son to get a degree. I would be more than willing to remortgage myself into eternal debt for it. My biggest fear is for son to get 50 feet from his safety net, and turn tail home to Momma. I'm sure it's my fault that son is completely clueless as to what the real world is like. No matter what kind of Mother you are, you are responsible for the failures of your offspring. In my own defense, I've told son that he'd better get his grades up and a summer job if he truly has his heart set on going to college in Ohio.

At the very least, it has been a most interesting few weeks as of late.

In an effort to try and keep things light: Did anyone see Wed. episode of Lost? Holy shit Batman! Did anyone else see this coming? This ep. leads me to believe, more than ever, that Locke's "father" is the real "Sawyer", the Con-Artist that killed James' father. I need this kind of inane shit to keep me going at times. Year 3 has finally gotten back to year one caliber of writing, IMHO.

What do you think?


James Cooper said...

You really do have an amazing network looking out for you over there. Knowing that there are all those eyes and ears keeping watch for you certainly does offer some peace of mind.

I'm glad your dad chose to ask for help. There's something hardwired in us guys that can make us stubbornly self-reliant. Sometimes we just have to accept that asking for help isn't as tough as we think.

Best of luck to your son on finding a good summer job to help with paying for that college. I hope it helps him find his dreams.

Denise said...

You're an amazing lady. Actually considering you have "Super Dad", that would make you "Super Woman." =) You're truly not alone in your struggles with these wonderful people surrounding you.

My Daddy (Yes, I still bust out with "Daddy" at my age. Daddy's Girl 4 Life, fo 'sho.)was the same way when it came to his heart. Luckily for us, we found that his chest pains were not as dire as our imaginations led us to believe. Now, he isn't afraid to admit his mortality and will go to the Doctor at the drop of a hat.

As for the son, good luck! I hope he finds a summer job he enjoys though and maybe along the way he'll figure out what he'd really like to see in his future. And you shouldn't beat yourself up over how you raised him, you've done the very best you could. It's a scary thing when you have world staring you in the face and he is at the age where that door is about to swing open.

Rurality said...

Well at least having an umbrella surgically inserted into your groin has its bad joke potential, huh?! Seriously, I hope he does well.

And I think all sons are clueless about the real world!

Chunks said...

All KIDS are clueless to the real world until they are mired in it!

Oh, your poor dad! My favorite aunt has the exact same kind of cancer and now has pneumonia. Her feet are swollen from the intensive chemo and she can't walk. It's so sad. I can't imagine the agony and despair you are feeling.

Thank God for the angels looking out for your family! (and all their electronic devices!)

I'm keeping good thoughts for you and yours at this time and always!

Thimbelle said...

Geez, Sharfa - I didn't know your dad had the same kind of cancer that my dad was diagnosed with.

I know it must be an enormous comfort to have such wonderful friends who help you watch over your parents.

Your son will be just fine. I think these big "life events" are always harder for the parent than for the child.

We'll be keeping your Dad in our prayers! :)

KFarmer said...

I have Verizon too so we could talk for free you know...all we wanted. BR-549; call me (I'm doing my best Southern Jewish accent here ;)

Hang in there honey dew- Spring is just around the corner and with it brings new hope and beauty :)

Suldog said...

We all have different gifts to offer you. Some of us are nearer than others; some you actually know and others (like me) you only know from my writing. Whatever I've done to help, I'm glad. I'll continue including you in my prayers, of course, and if there's anything else I can do, you just ask.