“The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Søren Kierkegaard
First of all let’s start off on a positive foot this morning…
Look at our first pecans on our little pecan tress.
You may remember the post I did about a year and a half ago regarding the whole buying, planting and caring for our little grove to be of 15 pecan trees…
People are all the time asking
“what are those cute little stick-like trees out in the field…?”
And I like to tell them that they are my little green topped Q-tips—
because that’s what they look like, an orchard of 15 little green topped Q-tips…
But how exciting it is that one tree out of 15 has decided to bless us with pecans…
However the jury is still out on whether or not they will actually mature into full fledged nuts…
Now on to the more serious…
I arrived at Dad’s early this morning, just on time to get him up and out the door to head off to the doctor’s for a scope procedure to figure out why he’s bleeding so much upon urination.
Dad had his prostate removed almost 30 years ago so that’s not the worry.
His late brother did have a kidney removed, due to a contained kidney cancer, when he was about Dad’s age and did fine with all of that—but he was always much more spry, active and more positive than dad.
So let me just say that I have been frustrated by the lack of speed in which these doctors seem to be operating.
Over a month ago I called Dad’s primary doctor telling him about the blood we’ve all been seeing and wondered might Dad not have another UTI?
He says he doesn’t have time for Dad to come in that particular day, how about in two days…
Ok, really???…you don’t have time for an 88 year old man who is losing blood from a rather odd place to come pee in a cup?
So when we finally jump through that little hoop, the labs come back negative for infection.
Henceforth we are referred to a specialist urologist—
A specialist who doesn’t have an opening for 3 weeks.
An 88 year old man is now bleeding every time he pees and is leaking blood on his clothes and sheets and you don’t have something sooner than 3 weeks???!!!
I know I’m surely not the only one thinking that Dad is
now more pale and much more frail and feeble.
I am not a rocket scientist but if I had an 88 year old patient losing blood,
I think I might consider that he could now be anemic and that maybe, just maybe,
he might need to get said 88 year old in the office asap…
(after today’s event, I will be calling the primary doc back tomorrow for some immediate labs)
So anywhooo, we wait.
Meanwhile Dad is calling daily to inform me that he is now not long for this world.
“DAD…will you stop that!!!”
“Let’s try and think positive shall we….”
So today when my son and I show up at Dad’s door,
in order to whisk him away for the 20 minute drive north for this procedure,
Dad is still sitting in his chair.
“Dad, come on, we’ve got to go….”
“Uh, I need to go shave”
A collective “WHAT??!!” is bellowed throughout the room by me, the caregiver, my stepmother and my son.
As in what have you been doing all morning but sitting in that chair waiting on me to come
get you and you still need to shave?!
“Well just go get my electric razor and I’ll shave in the car…”
I tell my son the grab the walker, I grab dad, who grabs his razor and out the door we go.
Walking out the door I see that Dad is wearing a very dirty pair of khakis—
“Been sneaking more chocolate again Dad…?”
“Uh, do you want me to change pants?”
“Heaven’s no, we don’t have time–maybe no one will notice you’re wearing both last night’s supper, a bag of candy and this morning’s breakfast….”
Once in the car, I need to use my trusty little Mapquest app to find where we’re going as it’s north of Atlanta, somewhere way up 400.
However I can’t hear the lovely Mapquest woman talking for the loud buzzing of Dad’s razor.
“Dad do you need to use the mirror?”
Great, he’s now going to look like some Chinese Crested Chihuahua dog…
We finally arrive at a massive array of office buildings, high up on a hill, perched off a very busy road.
A, B and C.
We need building C.
Upon seeing building C’s drive, I turn immediately.
Luckily no one is behind me to rear-end me.
I stop the car long enough for my son to get both walker and Dad out of the car, allowing them to head on up into the massive maze while I go to the massive maze of a parking deck.
By the time I rendezvous with my people, it’s time for Dad to head back for the procedure.
The nurse takes us back to a room where she tells Dad to drop his pants and hop up on the table.
She then ushers me out into the hallway to wait in a chair as I explain to her that she might want to help him with that whole dropping of the pants and hopping up on the exam table…
you saw the walker right?
Barely 5 minutes pass and I see dad exiting the door, holding his unzipped, unbuttoned, unbelted pants as he shuffles at breakneck speed down the hall.
I jump up but some nurse voice from behind me tells me not to worry he just needs to go empty his bladder.
Oh, that’s reassuring.
Dad makes his way back down the hall in order to take a chair by me.
I notice that the entire backside of his pants is soaked.
I tell the nurse we seem to have had an accident.
She then asks if Dad would like a pair of scrubs.
“No” he wearily replies as he tells me the doctor found a tumor.
Finally the nurse comes to check his blood pressure and to give us his discharge papers.
He wasn’t back there 5 minutes!
She again asks about the scrubs.
He declines so she gives me a pad to put in the car.
The doctor, with hands stuffed in the pockets of his white coat, saunters down the hall
to where we sit and pulls the curtain—
So now we can’t see anyone around us but we can hear everyone loud and clear as they can hear us.
Funny how we fearfully fret over HIPAA laws, yet we leave nothing to privacy in hospitals and procedure facilities…
perfect sense…just like this country, but I digress.
Mr personalityless doctor tells me he wants dad back—they will call me in about 5 days to schedule a procedure to remove what they can of the tumor and send it off for a biopsy and hopefully it will curtail the bleeding.
I look at the doctor explaining to him that Dad has a tendency to gravitate to the negative and fixates on all things cancer, and that I’ve explained to Dad that not all tumors mean a person has cancer…right?!
The doctor offers a dry and unreassuring “yes”
After leaving the maze of a building, finding the car, getting Dad and walker back in the car, we prepare for our drive home.
“So Dad, what would you like for lunch?
“I can’t think about lunch right now, I have cancer.”
“DAD, no one said you have cancer.”
“I think you should call the church and put me on the prayer list.”
“Dad, you aren’t dying, you don’t need a prayer list…and anyway, you’ve not been to that church
in over 20 years, you don’t even know who the priest is up there…”
“We’ll call Martha and get her to put you on her list”
“Now what about lunch…”
Finally getting a very dejected Dad back home with his soaking wet pants, to the safety of his chair,
my stepmother greets us at the door…
“well, how’d you make out?”
“The doctor says Dad has a tumor in the bladder…”
“A container in his bladder??”
(she can’t hear and refuses to get hearing aids)
“NO, A TUMOR”
“oh” as she chuckles to herself…as I figure she has no clue as to what I’m talking about.
Asking again what everyone wants for lunch, the consensus is Chick-fil-A.
As I head out the door, dad hollers out “DON’T FORGET THE COOKIES”
Nothing like a little sweet to take the worry out of the day….
So let’s put dad on the prayer list here please—
I’ll keep you updated….
Meanwhile may we all be mindful that something as simple as a cookie or
something even nice and chocolatey, as Dad will testify,
can definitely help cure what ails you!