Dad’s ticking time bomb

Dad in yet another bike race.
Dad used to race bikes being sponsored by a local outlet still trading today Harry Perry Cycles – Woolwich

Back in 2003, my dad was taken seriously ill when his aorta tore. Fortunately, he was taken to the hospital in time where they repaired the damage and inserted a stent. Little did anyone know, this was going to be that start of him steadily being poisoned by his own systems.

Fast forward to 2019, and about a month ago and the Ticking Timebomb showed itself, Dad passed a large amount of blood when visiting the toilet. Realising this wasn’t good, he contacted the doctors who immediately had him taken into hospital. After running various tests, they realised something serious was going on, and they would need to open him up to have a look.  It was soon discovered that the stent, along with the original repair, was heavily infected but that wasn’t the worst! The repair to the aorta had attached itself to the intestine and over time had effectively eaten into the intestine which, as you can imagine, caused a two-way flow, blood flowing directly into the digestive system but worst of all, faecal matter was flowing into his blood system.

The surgeons separated the aorta and intestine and cleaned up as best they could but little did anyone realise just how bad and extensive the infection was but after a week or so, dad appeared to be on the mend and was discharged from hospital. The plan was to give him antibiotics for the rest of his life to manage the infection rather than clear it up because apparently, that was not going to be possible it would require further surgery which would most definitely kill him. Dad was only out of the hospital a few days when he was taken back in again by ambulance just over a week ago. Dad’s condition had basically nose dived and was very poorly; it was then we learned that his brain had become infected.

In my opinion, dad was about 85% cognisant and could (I think) understand what was being said to him although you could only understand bits of what he was saying, most of it was gibberish a bit like a stroke victim.

Last Thursday I spoke with a doctor on the phone who said that I should get to the hospital as soon as possible because they didn’t think he would last the night. When I arrived he was in a terrible state, his breathing was like someone who couldn’t get their breath with the added problem of what sounded like fluid in the lungs plus you could tell his brain was basically on fire we called his his Vicar and Dad was given what in effect is the Church of Englands ‘Last Rites’. The following day my brother called me, fully expecting him to say dad had passed away my brother said that not only was dad still alive but he was sat up, talking (Gibberish), he’d had some dinner and pudding and had asked for a bedpan! I was gobsmacked! Sadly, it was false hope. He steadily went downhill Friday and Saturday, and when I visited Sunday, he was very agitated. They had tried dialysis but after one and a half sessions his body just wouldn’t accept the treatment so that meant that on top of the infection his blood was now toxic too!
The whole family was there on Sunday including my cousin, who I’d not seen for probably thirty years! We tried to make dad as comfortable as possible and agreed to start a very low dosage (2.5) of morphine. The doctors advised us that they thought he had three days left but that he wouldn’t see the week out and so with that in mind I planned to have a bit of a break and visit him on Wednesday. While getting ready for work this morning, I had the dreaded phone call at around 6:15, the hospital had contacted my brother with the sad news my father had passed away. As you can imagine, I was stunned. I was speaking with him only 12 hours earlier, OK, so he said he was in the boot of a car upside down, but it was a conversation even if it was strange.

Death is a funny thing like that, you can’t get your head around how you can be speaking with someone one minute, and they are gone the next.

I’m now officially an orphan given my mum passed away two years ago in September so I suppose that will mean yet another number in my mobile phone I won’t be able to bring myself to delete.

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Pete’s Sunday

You pour it in; you pour it out

My RAV4 failed its MOT at the beginning of the week because the fuel filler pipe was rotten. The garage gave the details of a supplier on eBay, and I purchased the replacement which the Garage fitted. Because I already had fuel in the tank, I didn’t need to fill up until the end of the week and so Sunday morning headed to my local Texaco to fill up or at least that’s what I thought.

All excited to try out my filler pipe I inserted the diesel gun and….. “IT DOESN’T FIT!!” The supplier has sent an Unleaded filler pipe, and the Garage has blindly fitted it! Here in the UK (Maybe it’s the same across Europe?) the nozzles are different sizes to stop you putting the wrong fuel in which meant I couldn’t put any diesel in. Thinking on my feet, I traipsed into the garage and purchased a fuel can and then proceeded to fill the can and then pour that into my car. Twice I had to fill the can, pour into the car, go and pay, come back and repeat the process.

Let me in! Let me in!

I have to wear glasses for reading and earlier in the week, for some weird reason, the frame holding one of the lenses gave up the stress and broke. These are new frames that I haven’t owned that long and I purchased from Boots the Chemist; I normally use Spec Savers, so I was little disappointed that having gone somewhere else I’d had a problem.

Now dear reader, it’s Sunday, isn’t it? And in the UK we have ‘Sunday Trading Laws’ which means 95% of shops do not open until at least 10 am so Pete, not wanting to waste any of the precious time he has of a weekend was sat waiting outside Boots which he found didn’t, in fact, open until 10.30am  I was sat there that long people started offering me money and blankets!

Finally, the doors opened, and I made my way to the optician’s section where the assistant checked my details with a fine toothcomb to make sure I was diddling them out of new frames. I particularly like it when she said: “Ah, you purchased them in April, they are still in warranty.” I should think so! They’re only three months old. I shouldn’t complain, they replaced the frame there and then which was brilliant given I was expecting to have to wait at least a week.

“Pete, Dad’s in the hospital!”

So I’m driving back home feeling slightly pleased with myself that I’ve managed to get a lot done (I also had the car washed before going to Boots) and it was only 11.15am at least I had half a day of my last day off from work left when my mobile started ringing. It was my sister informing me she’d had a message our father had been taken into hospital with a heart attack and his chances weren’t very good. Totally stunned I offered to take her and my brother to the hospital, but first I had to put more fuel in the car! OMG, here we go again, I’ll have to go through the whole stupid routine of ‘filling the fuel can, emptying the fuel can.’ Forty-five minutes later we are all hurtling up the motorway to Birmingham.

Cutting a long story short, it turns out he hadn’t had a heart attack, but it is just as serious. Back in 2010, he had a Stent fitted turns out an aneurysm had formed at the base of the stent and attached itself to the intestine which in turn had worked it’s way into the intestine wall, burst and was merrily bleeding into his bowls. He’s out of theatre now and in intensive care. He’s not out of the woods yet, but at least they caught it in time.

The Dog’s just puked!

When I got back from the hospital, our dog Charlie wasn’t his usual self. Normally he’d be going mental that I’d come home, but he skulled off and promptly threw up on the kitchen floor. It’s been fairly warm in the UK the last couple of days, and I put it down to heat and excitement. Five minutes later, the wife called me out into the garden and showed me what our dog Charlie had just chucked up. It looked like a Charlie had eaten half a meadow the amount of grass that had come out of his stomach.

Charlie felt pretty warm if truth be told and was desperately trying to get comfortable on the sofa while looking like death warmed up. The wife, as you can imagine was beside herself “Have a look for an out of hours vet.” now there’s probably no amount a pet owner wouldn’t spend on their animal’s health, but out of hours, vets charge an arm and a leg for what could be just an upset stomach. We decided to just keep an eye on him, and Charlie is fine this morning so it was just an upset stomach combined with heat as far as we can tell.

There were some other problems throughout the day but none worth mentioning here. All in all, I had a pretty bad Sunday maybe I should have prayed harder to the pond gods?

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