I am running a command center from my mobile phone. Relatives and family friends are calling day and night, from a variety of time zones, asking about Dad’s condition. Which, I guess is the measure of a person’s life and the quality of people in it.
In so many ways I am really glad to have the brother that I do. Chacha, Dad’s younger brother, has not YET called to see how Dad is doing, which is shameful. Frankly, if I was lying in a hospital bed, on the other side of the world and my brother couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone…well then, I guess there’d be nothing left to say, other than I hope I don't see you in my next life.
When the phone rings again, I reach for the Blackberry (I finally upgraded to a smart phone). I vowed never to be one of those “crackberry-heads” that roam NY, heads down addicted, and worshiping their phones. Yea, well that lasted two days. I now sleep with my phone. It does everything other than make my morning coffee and kiss me good night.
I have never been so delighted to see a 212 number and hit the green talk button. “Hey!” I say. "Dude, how are you?” Siobhan asks. “I am okay…you are like the first person to ask me how I am,” I share. “I am sure. How's your Dad doing? I’ve been worried about you. It’s a lot to deal with. Are you doing okay?” Siobhan asks. I sigh. “I guess so. We don’t really know what is going on. The doctors are telling us that Dad needs PT and OT. They are getting ready to move him to the rehab center. But it’s pretty hard Siobhan – he can’t sit up, he can’t move. Whatever this is, it's pretty messed up,” I share. “I'm so sorry…” she says softly. “I really think you should come home. There is no one there to support you….” Dear God, I think I may lose it. This is hard because we have all lost focus and it seems like we’re just going through the motions, stuck in an emotional holding pattern.
“Do you know what Dr. Froggy texted me when I told him what was going on?” I ask. Siobhan groans. “Is he STILL in the picture? I can’t stand him.” “Well…yes, currently I am not that keen on him either. He wrote ‘hope your Dad didn’t have stroke’,” I say. “Is he capable of any emotion? This is YOUR father. I don’t care what kind of doctor he is – he’s an ass. I know PLENTY of doctors who can emote. You need to stop talking to him. And you need to come home – now. Let us take care of you," Siobhan insists.
Hhhmm - now might not be the time to tell her that I have extended my stay by another week.