Monday afternoon David and I took my father to the radiologists for his regular appointment and told them how weak he was. They decided to give him intravanous fluids to help his dehydration. After we left their office, we brought Dad back to the hotel. David dropped us off at the entrance while he went to park the car. Dad almost passed out in the elevator. I caught him and basically carried the 200 pound man into our suite. The 10yo girl in the elevator with us was so frightened.
We continued giving him fluids throughout the evening. Last night David was up every two hours feeding my father by tube and watching him for half an hour after he ate. This morning he was so pale and weak that we called 911. Amazingly, the ambulance and the EMTs were already downstairs, creating a map of the newly renovated hotel. They were able to be at the room in seconds. They took him to the hospital where he was admitted with dangerously low hemoglobin and a high BUN, meaning that he was both extremely dehydrated and in need of blood. As we knew, his blood pressure was very low and his pulse extremely high. He was not getting enough oxygen.
After the hospital admitted him, they set him up to get four or five units of blood and planned to scope him this morning to figure out where the bleeding was. He is there now.
When there is a crisis, I knit.
I completed the third chart for Icarus:
and slipped Pi off the needles onto waste yarn so I can knit the edging without having it all bunched up. Because Pi is a project so connected to my father's illness (See Lace 1, 2, and 3.) I am really glad I decided to do it. It gave me a chance to see it all laid out, and even though it is not blocked, to see a work in progress that seems so much more whole than I had imagined. Suddenly I can see that while there is a lot of very hard work to get through, it is not quite as impossible as I had begun to fear.
One of the weird things about raising young children is that even when things seem at their worst, life must go on. Sometimes Son is sad and scared, and as parents we feel we must be as calm as possible to make this easier for him to go through. Sometimes Son is precociously aware of my sadness. He drew a picture of me sitting as the spinning wheel with a balloon of my thoughts--a father in a hospital bed. In the picture I looked so absent and drained. But most of the time, Son is still his active funny self, eager to run around, play with words, go swimming in the pool or the ocean, and laugh. At moments, this makes me want to crawl into a hole and abandon my child. But fundamentally I recognize that this is the greatest gift my child gives me.
(By the way, Son wrote a story about knitting on his blog, The Little Giant. Please visit him!)