Showing 1 - 10 of 80 posts found matching keyword: dad

Dad has been released from the hospital into my care. I'm not convinced he's ready, but I understand why the hospital wanted to be rid of him. I made the mistake of telling him that CVS had sent a text warning that his new prescription for melatonin was not covered by his insurance. "Good," he said. "That's the drug the nurses were using to hack my phone!"

I left behind a giant bowl of Halloween treats for the excellent staff of Piedmont Hospital Newnan's 8th floor who cared for him for the past two weeks. In essence, I traded the nurses my Dad for a bowl of candy. Trick or treat! It's nice to still have a father, but I'm pretty sure the hospital got the better deal.

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True Tales from the Hospital*

NURSE: Your son is here. Walter's here.

JIM (irritably): Walter Shears? I don't know Walter Shears.

NURSE: What is your son's name?

JIM: My son is Walter Stephens. I've never known any Walter Shears. Send him away.

*That Might Be Heartbreaking If They Weren't Objectively Hilarious

...

Also funny (and totally true): thanking his nurses after they settled him into a fresh gown and sheets, he said "Thank you. You've done a great job. That's how I know you're not really my nurses. They're not this good."

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While Dad's been in the hospital, you'd think I'd be watching movies on his Disney+ account. But I don't have the first idea what his password is, and he is in no state to tell me. Let that be a lesson to you, kids: steal your parents' passwords early and often.

112. (1971.) Onward (2020)
I did, in fact, watch this on Disney+ with Dad long before the current health complications. It's as well-crafted as anything you would expect from Pixar, but I'd say that level of polish removed some of the potential sparkle. I'm sure I would have loved it more if I had seen it with young eyes.

113. (1972.) The Rainmaker (1956)
I don't think that either Katherine Hepburn or Burt Lancaster were particularly well-cast in their roles in this Music Man-ish unmusical romantic dramady. But then, I didn't much like the whole movie, so maybe it wasn't the casting that was the problem.

114. (1973.) Katharine Hepburn: All About Me (1992)
The actress presents her own autobiography directly to the camera (including an admission that she had a "more-than-friends" relationship with a woman before such things were publicly tolerated). I've always admired her, and everything I saw here only reinforced that opinion.

115. (1974.) The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976)
The only word for this is "awful." Worse than just a Western with no heroes, it's a comedy with bad timing. Blech.

117. (1976.) Gorky Park (1983)
It's a relatively dry crime suspense thriller set in contemporary Moscow that wisely uses a Soviet empire crumbling under its own mismanagement to its advantage. I liked it.

118. (1977.) Taxi! (1932)
James Cagney plays my least favorite Cagney cliche, the little man with a giant chip on his shoulder. Getting past that was hard for me, but there are plenty of other enjoyable, mostly comedic, moments from the supporting cast.

More to come.

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Dad has been in the hospital since Tuesday.

His colectomy surgery to address lingering problem from his 2018 diverticulosis episode had originally been postponed because the hospital was full of COVID patients (but they later found room after calling in support from the National Guard). Measures designed to prevent the further spread of COVID within the hospital mean that he is allowed only one visitor per day. COVID is stretching hospital resources so thin that staff have been forced to leave Dad lying on soiled sheets because clean and sanitized sheets were not immediately available.

One thing I cannot blame on COVID is Dad's hallucinations, presumably resulting from a combination of medications and lack of sleep. In the midst of a waking dream, he removed all his catheters and drips and tried to tear out his drain. This last bit may have damaged his sutures. He's now subject to a more robust watch by the nursing staff, which in practical terms doesn't mean as much as it might because the staff is already overtaxed tending to patients suffering from COVID*.

The point here is that I'm finding it increasingly difficult not to be rationally furious at every idiot who has participated in extending this fucking pandemic that for 18 months and counting continues to make life both more difficult and more perilous for everyone on the planet.

As I waited to pass screening into the hospital yesterday, the lady working the front desk was trying to be apologetic about the hospital's restriction procedures. "Numbers have been going down the past two weeks. It may be over soon," she said. I said, "I've heard that before." She gave up trying to make small talk with me, a lesson everyone should probably take to heart, at least until we can all talk to one another safely without masks on.

*UPDATE: I've been sitting in the hospital room all afternoon, and the staff couldn't be nicer or more attentive. I should not impugn their Herculean efforts. The COVID era sucks for them, too.

UPDATE 2021-09-26: Today, Dad developed a case of hospital delirium and escaped from the hospital on foot. Full credit to the entire staff, including the nurses who were bowled over by a fleeing, bow-legged senior citizen and the security guards who peacefully returned him to his bed. I mention this so specifically because the hospital staff continues to do a great job under the most trying circumstances. (Personally, I would have let him just keep running, which is the best argument for why I should never work in a hospital.)

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My father was supposed to have surgery this past Tuesday to finally address complications resulting from his diverticulosis in October 2018. It didn't happen.

We've spent most of the past three years dealing with his heart issues, which made doctors uneasy about intestinal surgery. First an artificial valve, then a pacemaker, then another pacemaker.... Now that those are resolved, Dad was all set to finally put (most of ) his abdominal issues to rest. Unfortunately, things continue to work out not as planned. This time, the hospital had to cancel. It seems they ran out of room.

Late this week, Piedmont Hospital Newnan was forced to call in the National Guard for help against the latest surge against COVID-19. They didn't need that help back in January, so that tells you how bad this wave is. According to one report, they are booked to 125% of capacity, with the Emergency Room waiting room converted to temporary overflow COVID-patient holding.

(Side note: They say that most of those currently ill with the Delta variant weren't vaccinated. I wonder what the overlap is in Georgia between those who chose not to vaccinate and those who have no health insurance? I'd ask a high school student to draw that Venn diagram, but masks are optional in Coweta County schools, and I don't want to end up in the hospital myself.)

Both Dad and I like to think that one day he'll finally be fixed enough to avoid his current monthly visits to a urologist and surgeon. Maybe so. But the way things are going, it doesn't look like it's going to be any day soon.

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I typically say something snarky here, but I'm proud of that pasta

That there, that's homemade spaghetti. And I made it! And it tastes great!

Yeah, I know. People have been making homemade pasta — essentially just flour and eggs — for centuries, maybe millennia. But none of those people have ever been in my kitchen.

As it happens, my father gave me the pasta roller/cutter and drying rack you can see in the image above for Christmas... Christmas 2019. (I might even have asked for them.) Which means I've had them throughout the pandemic of 2020-21. Despite all the "free" time that gave me away from restaurants, I never made any pasta until now. Why not? I guess I was intimidated. I thought it would be a lot of work. Turns out it is.

I got the recipe from my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, and I used advice I've picked up over the years watching Joe Bastianich criticize would-be Italian cooks on MasterChef. ("Salty like the ocean!") I understand now why that show always has so much footage of people struggling with pasta rollers. While the dough itself is a breeze, the little home consumer counter-mounted pasta roller is a bastard. I christened mine "Mussolini's Revenge."

So it is all a lot of trouble, but it might be worth it. I can now attest firsthand: fresh pasta is good eating.

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My father has problems with the way I communicate, but it's not always my fault.

I'm just a soul who's intentions are good.

I was texting some do-it-yourself instructions and tried to type the phrase "easy peasy."

My autocorrect changed it to "eat pussy."

If that's what my autocorrect thinks I should be saying, who am I to correct it?

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My father's aging (10+ year old) DIRECTV satellite receiver finally died, so he called AT&T for a replacement. That was the easy part. The new receiver came within 3 days, and Dad installed it (correctly!). He then visited the url the device displayed on screen for remote activation. That link re-routed to a page that told him to call a telephone number, so he did.

The first customer service representative he spoke to tried to remotely activate the receiver and failed. Repeatedly. Dad ultimately had to abort this attempt for a pre-scheduled doctor's appointment. Afterwards, he had me try again in the hopes that I would be better able to communicate with the technician. The customer service representative I spoke to also tried to remotely activate the receiver and failed. Then she hung up on me. I don't think it was her fault. She was using AT&T phone service, after all.

At this point I stopped waiting for a customer service representative to suggest what I suspected: that the problem might be in the receiver's access card. The receiver was reporting an on-screen ID number of "0000-0000-0000", which happens to be the default number if there is no card installed. When I opened the panel, I did indeed discover that whoever had inserted the card before shipping had installed it upside down. The old receiver model took cards face down; the new model required face up. I pulled the card, turned it over, plugged everything back in, and called DIRECT a third time. This time, the customer service representative was able to activate the receiver on the first try.

The terms for the new receiver required the old receiver to be shipped to DIRECTV for recycling. Again, the url that DIRECTV provided for generating a label was outdated, redirecting to *another* page that returned a 404 page error. After a little creative Googling, I found an AT&T electronics recycling link that appears to do what the suggested link was supposed to have done. By this time I was not surprised when the website instructions (and generated label) made it clear the receiver was to be mailed via USPS but the downloaded file called it a "FedEx Shipping Label." AT&T seems to have a real problem with modernization.

Hopefully, Dad will get credit for returning his receiver as instructed, though given how hard it was to do almost everything else, I'm not holding out strong hope. I'm starting to feel like I'd have a better chance if I sent a telegraph to the company to tell them it was coming and personally handed the box to a Pony Express rider.

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Dictionary.com made news this week by defining "supposably" to mean "as may be assumed, imagined, or supposed." That's the same definition typically ascribed to "supposedly" ("according to what is accepted or believed"). There was a time in my life I would have been bent out of shape about this.

Where I come from, "supposably" is not a word. At least, it's not that word. According to my trusty Websters New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (2nd Edition), "supposably" should mean "in a supposable manner." However, it has been used as a mispronunciation of "supposedly" for so long that some 21st-century lexicographers have finally thrown up their hands in defeat.

I have a personal connection to this word because my father has always uses supposably when he means supposedly. In his case, I think he does it because it bothers me. Dad's a real tease that way. (See? It's not my fault. I have been trained to be argumentative by a parent who thinks its fun to fly red flags in front of bulls!)

The reason I'm not a raving basket case over this new definition is because A) I've been reading a lot lately about the bizarre and often counter-intuitive developmental history of the English language, and B) the world is in such a state that if I let myself get worked up over words these days then I'm really going to need to start drinking. The meanings of English words have been meandering for centuries and will continue to do so for so long as someone is still speaking the language. I need to remember that the important part of language is understanding one another, not clinging to arbitrary rules of pronunciation.

That said, I will continue not using "supposably" in my own writing. Even in the 21st-century, a man's got to stand for something.

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Actual conversation:

ME: If America was a corporation whose CEO had run it the way America has been run for the past 6 months, would you renew the contract of that CEO?

DAD: Yes. I think America is doing great right now.

ME: Right now? A year ago, maybe. But not right now. Right now, things are terrible. (Points at television.) For example, there are riots in Wisconsin right now.

DAD: Donald Trump sent the National Guard into Wisconsin.

ME: If the presence of the National Guard is an indicator of greatness, why weren't they in Wisconsin last year?

DAD (looking at me like I had two heads): They didn't need them last year. There were no riots then!

You can't argue with logic like that.

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To be continued...

 

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