Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A bad start to the holiday

Yesterday got off to a such a good start. It was the last day of school before Thanksgiving break and everyone showed up to work cheerful and excited. I was looking forward to getting through the day and the beginning of five days off. Even the "mean girls" were pleasant and friendly for a change. All seemed well with the world.

About 10:30 the direct line at my desk started ringing. I looked down and saw my dad's name on the caller ID, and immediately knew something was wrong. My parents never call me at work. I answered the phone with a great deal of trepidation, knowing that whatever they were calling for couldn't be good. 

It was my mom. "Jennifer, you've got to come home. Can you come home?" I asked her several times what had happened. All she would say is that my dad had been taken off in an ambulance and to please "come home" right now. She soundly oddly calm and but wouldn't give me any details.

I was sure my dad was dead. 

The secretary saw my face when I went looking for the principal to tell him I had to leave. She said, "Mrs. Barlow, what's happened?" "I think my dad may have just died" I replied. By then I was having a hard time breathing and was walking in circles, feeling confused and just in shock. I'll give the office ladies credit here. Even the two who have been so rude and unkind lately were immediately there, offering to drive me home or to call my husband to come get me, asking what they could do, telling me they would be praying for my family. The principal and one of the assistant principals reached out to offer support last night, too.

My mom called my cell when I was on the way to her house, and that's when I found out that dad (probably) wasn't dead, but had been close to it when the ambulance took him away. He had collapsed and was unconscious (he has congestive heart failure and several other serious health problems) after several days of being much sicker than usual. Then she explained that she couldn't go up to the hospital to check on him because she was sick too. Sick with a "chest cold", diarrhea, and a fever. (You can probably guess where this is going).

When I got to the hospital dad was still in the emergency room receiving stabilizing treatment. He really was on the verge of death when the ambulance picked him up. His blood pressure was bottoming out, his oxygen levels were dropping, and they suspected sepsis. He was slowly coming around when I got there, so I got to talk to him and tell him I loved him. I stayed for a couple of hours and then went home (after leaving my number with the ER nurse supervisor and getting her promise that they'd call if anything changed). They finally got him admitted to the hospital around 6pm last night.

When I first went in to see dad yesterday I was wearing a regular paper mask, but the first time he started coughing I went to the nurse's station and asked for an N-95. That turned out to be a good decision. This morning my mom called to let me know that he tested positive for Covid despite the fact that he got vaccinated back in March. When you consider that he's in end-stage congestive heart failure to begin with, this might be deadly. My mom is at home and almost certainly has Covid, too. She's diabetic so that's not good, and her cough sounds terrible over the phone. She's going to be lucky if she doesn't end up in the hospital alongside dad. 

All I can do is wait at home to hear any news. Dad won't be allowed any visitors and mom is going to have to quarantine for the next couple of weeks. It's all very worrying.

Happy Thankgiving.

33 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry. I hope both of your parents recover well. Its so terrible when you cant be with sick family.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Jean. It's been a tough 24 hours.

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  2. Sorry for the bad news. Just hold tight, things will, at some point begin to improve.

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    1. Thank you Dave. At least both of my parents got the vaccine back in March. Hopefully they'll pull through.

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  3. So sorry to hear this news. Sending all kinds of positive thoughts your way.

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    1. I appreciate that, Bob. It's really shitty news especially over Thanksgiving. :(

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  4. Oh, Jennifer, I am sending you enormous cyber hugs.

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    Replies
    1. And I'm gratefully receiving them, dear friend.

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  5. Oh, that is distressing! Sending best wishes to all of you. I hope your Mom and Dad come through this.

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  6. What a worry! Sending healing thoughts their way. I am glad you have these few days off to take care of yourself. It is stressful but your Dad is in the best place to get the care he needs. Hopefully,their vaccinations will help them fight the virus.

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    1. These days off will make all the difference in my stress levels. It's a comfort to know I don't have to worry about work until Monday. I'm also lucky to have a good and understanding boss. If for some reason I need to take some time off after Monday it will be okay.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear this Jennifer. It is especially difficult when you can't be with either one of them. Happening over Thanksgiving makes it especially bad as well. I lost my Dad over a Thanksgiving holiday and it always comes back to me. I'm keeping you all in my thoughts and sending hugs.

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    1. Now that dad is at least in the hospital being cared for (and still able to talk on the phone briefly when I call to check on him) now my worry has turned to my mom. She's very sick and won't even discuss going to the doctor and getting Covid tested and treatment if she's positive. I think she's afraid to have it confirmed. I had to make her promise me that if she got short of breath or felt too sick she would call for an ambulance. I live 45 minutes away, and can't risk exposing myself and my husband to go and check on her personally. I did offer to drive there and drop off food or medicine if she needs it. That's all I can do at this point.

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  8. I am so sorry that your parents are having a tough time, and that you are too! Thanks goodness for vaccines - hopefully that will help them ride out the storm. I'm sending virtual hugs.

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    1. The problem is that although they were vaccinated, my parents are VERY unhealthy. My dad has congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, open ulcers on his lower legs (due to severe venal insufficiency in his lower legs) that refuse to heal, and on and on. My mom is a diabetic that may or may not have other underlying conditions--she's sick all the time and has to be dragged kicking and screaming to have any tests run. As I said to Bonnie, think she's afraid.

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  9. Well, hell. And damn and shit too. This is such bad news, Jennifer. Not much of a Thanksgiving, is it?
    I sure wish I could hug you to pieces. And then make you a drink. Please know how many of us out here are thinking of you and hoping for the best outcome for all.

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    1. Mary, you're such a comfort to me. I doubt you know that, but it's true. I would love more than anything to sit with you and have a martini and a good long heart to heart talk. That would do me so much good! Maybe one day I could take a road trip to Lloyd and spend the day. If you could forgive me for inviting myself, of course.

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  10. Just so sorry you are having this worry. My daughter in law has Cushing's and her Booster Jab last weej sparked off an emergency - she was very ill and had to have Paramedic and Ambulance. They finally god her stabilised and she has recovered but for a while we were all very worried.

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  11. I know it all sounds dire, but I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and Ill do my best to hope my good and comforting vibes reach you all. It's not often I read bad news here. And I hope you will be ok. I sorry to read such news.

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  12. What a frightening call you received at work, and then the continuing worry and serious health conditions for both your mom and dad. I am sending you hugs, dear one.

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  13. This is horrible news and so very stressful. Those types of phone calls are terrifying! With new treatments for Covid19, perhaps they will recover more easily than in the past. Hoping for the best!

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  14. Oh dear, you must be frantic with worry. You are in my thoughts. Cro x

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  15. Poor you, and poor your Mum and Dad! At least your Dad is being cared for professionally; hopefully, your Mum will either improve on her own or finally see sense and get herself treated, too.
    The only good thing about it all is that even the mean office girls were nice for a change, and that you are having a few days off work so that you don't have to worry about that on top of it all.
    My parents will get their booster jabs soon; it is recommended six months after the original two jabs. Mine won't be due until February.

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  16. Oh Jennifer, I hope that everything works out well for your parents....and hope that you haven't caught it either.Look after yourself first! Sending hugs from England. XX

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  17. So sorry to read this. You must be frantic with worry, but look after yourself.

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  18. How things change in the blink of an eye...thinking of you. Hoping for the best for all of you. Take care of yourself.

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  19. OMG, that's so awful! I'm hoping for the best for you and yours.

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  20. Oh bugger! thoughts are with you m'dear just wish I could do more to help

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  22. let us know how everything is...sending love.

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