My car is dead.
So I’m running laps around my block waiting for the tow truck guy and thinking about last Wednesday when I spent over an hour on the phone with my father and his home health aide, Jody, debating whether to call 911.
“I think we should call.” I said. “We’ve let it go for days and it has only gotten worse.”
“I hate the hospital.” My father whimpered like a four year-old.
“I know. But this is worse than your usual terrible.”
“I know.” He submitted. “Okay.”
It was almost too easy. Although my father spends the majority of his life at hospitals or doctor’s offices for his many, many, many conditions, often he ignores typical medical ailments that would send others rushing to the doctor. He constantly says, “Yeah, I know that’s bad, but it’s the least of my problems.” He’s not wrong. When you’ve got as many problems as he does, you learn to pick and choose. So when my father concedes that he should go to the hospital, he should go. This must be worse than I thought.
Jody called for an ambulance and they went to the hospital. I was home with Julius (the other boys hopefully enjoying their second day of school), contemplating what to do. Should I go to the hospital? I certainly didn’t want to. It was usually a long wait and my father was a miserable patient. I would have to find coverage for Julius and possibly the bus, if I couldn’t get back in time. He was there with his home health aide. The dual sides of my brain battled it out. Go. Don’t go. He has been hospitalized so many times, for so many things. Every day is something new. Don’t go. The last time I went for a procedure a couple of weeks ago, I spent hours in traffic, more hours sitting around waiting and he barely spoke to me. Don’t go. He doesn’t have anyone. Go. He’s suffering. Go. He’s always suffering. Don’t Go.
Ultimately, the car decided it. I got in and it wouldn’t turn over. It was dead.
So I spent the day on the phone with doctors and the hospital until he was admitted and we had some idea what we were working with. In between, AAA came and towed my car away. They said it was the starter. Sick dad. Sick car.
Yep, last Wednesday was fun, but now it is Monday. I’m running circles around my block, exercising my body and my brain, once again waiting for AAA and a doctor’s call. What will it be this time? I contemplate the problem, the diagnosis, the trouble. When will it end? Will it ever be fixed? It’s never-ending; the same thing but different. I am stuck, stranded, alone, unsure of what to do, unable to leave, unable to go. Trapped. Just keep running. Around I go.
My dad is in the hospital.
My car is dead.