April, 2005

Larry Osterman's WebLog

Confessions of an Old Fogey
  • Larry Osterman's WebLog

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    Wow, what a weekend.

    Sorry about going dark without notice, I had this really great post (much funnier and more insightful than my usual drivel) ready to go last Wednesday when I got a phone call from my step-mom.

    "Your Dad's collapsed in court today, he's in the hospital, and we don't know what his prognosis is".

    Oh crud. 

    So as of about 12:30 on Wednesday, I went into total panic mode.  I called Valorie and she slipped into "hyper-competent super-mom" mode and by the time I'd gotten home at 1PMish, she'd already looked into flights, arranged for child care for the kids.  I was left to grab clothing and pack (and actually book the flights and arrange the rental car).

    Thank god for Valorie, I'm not sure I'd have been able to pull it together.  I'd also made some more phone calls and figured a bit more about what had happened.

    Dad had shown up for the last day of a trial he's been working on for the past 9 months.  After initial motions, he asked for a 15 minute recess to catch his breath.  The judge took one look at him and told my father that he was calling the EMTs.  Ten minutes later, he was in the White Plains hospital emergency room, where he fell unconscious (he had no blood pressure for a short while, and his blood electrolytes were totally messed up).  Norma (my step-mom) was called, and she started down to White Plains, and started calling the family together.

    By 3:30pm or so our time, I'd gotten some more updates, my father was looking much more stable, although he was still unconscious (on a respirator, etc).  Wednesday was the last day of Daniel's "Singing on Stage" class at SCT, so we went downtown to attend the final performance (from 7PM to 8PM).  At 8PM, the sitter showed up to pick up the kids, and Valorie and I headed down to the airport.  At this point, my father was stable, although still in the ICU.

    We flew a red-eye into LaGuardia airport, and rented a car to White Plains.  We got to the hospital about 11:30AM (more-or-less).  Dad was still in the ICU, but he'd been getting steadily better all night.  He was still wired up, but it wasn't as bad as I'd expected (I've watched too many episodes of Trauma: Life in the ER, I think).

    We were the last of the family to get there, my youngest brother from Colorado (where he's attending school), my youngest sister from DC (where she works), my younger brother and his wife from Scarsdale and my sister from Albany.  With my step-mom and Valorie, we totally filled up the small ICU waiting room.

    Over the course of the day, my father gradually regained consciousness, and by about 6 or so in the evening, they'd removed the respirator and feeding tube. 

    We all went out to dinner (except for Dad, of course) at Legal Seafoods, (I'd never been there before, but it was extraordinary).  All during dinner, my right eye was tearing, and it was getting more and more annoying.

    We all split up, Valorie and I to the hotel, the rest of the family to my brothers house.

    I had a really rough night - I kept waking up with a sore throat and my right eye was hurting more and more.  It was starting to get gunk in it too.  I eventually woke Valorie up at about 8AM, she took one look at my eye and announced that it was our turn to go to the ER.  It turns out that over the night, my watery eye turned into a full blown edema - it was swollen to the size of a golf ball, and the eyeball was bright red (with really gross green stringy bits across it). 

    So it was off to the ER for another Osterman male.  The doctor took one look at it and prescribed some antibiotics for it, and I was released to go to the ICU with the rest of my family.  Of course, the ICU nurse freaked and threw me out of the ICU the instant she saw my eye (Valorie kept referring to it as the "Eye of Sauron"), so I spent the day in the waiting room.  Dad improved over the course of the day, and by about mid-day, he was out of the ICU and had been brought up to a private room.

    While I was waiting in the ICU waiting room, I learned that my brother Jeff (who'd been running a 102 degree fever for the past couple of days) was also in his doctor's office for bronchitis.

    Not a good day for the Ostermen :).

    But in general things improved over Friday, and have continued to improve over the weekend.  Dad's had some minor setbacks (like some issues with his catheter), but most of the IV's are gone at this point, he's getting most of his meds orally, and he's hoping to get out of the hospital tomorrow or Wednesday.

    Valorie and I flew back to Seattle yesterday afternoon, arriving at about 10:00 or so in the evening - exhausted but much happier.  And the Eye of Sauron's finally gone, so I won't be frightening small children any more than usual.

    So that's what I did on my weekend :)

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