Friday, January 09, 2009

Oxygen And My Pop
















My father won’t die and I mean that in a good way. Long-time smoker, frequent asbestos handler – that’s my Pop. He had to give up smoking years ago when his oxygen wrangler, Bobby, shortened the plastic tubing that lead from Pop’s air tank to the front porch (where hidden cigarettes could be enjoyed). That’s the kind of man Pop is – ever hopeful to rig the system until he is thwarted by common sense. Is your father like that?

Pop is currently enjoying his first Intensive Care visit of the year. We do this every few months. Sometimes he gets pneumonia, or his “sugar” is bothering him (i.e. diabetes). One time he broke a rib going pee. This week my Pop can’t breathe effectively, in that he receives oxygen but not much happens after that. This has happened before. I don’t care what we have read about not being able to breathe and how it might turn out. According to me, some people keeping living. I will invite you, just this once, to compete against my Pop in a “Who Can Hold Their Breath The Longest?” contest. He will beat your ass.

An acquaintance heard that my Pop was sick again, and he said, “Oh no! He’s got to hang in there. Dubya is almost gone!” Yes, that is exactly what a man who is old and can’t breathe is thinking about. “I gotta hang on for Obama’s inauguration!” It is a special wonder that I have not ever been to jail, if only for the things I think about doing to people.

When Pop is laid up, my mother reminds me to count three days before I pack a bag. I call his hospital room instead. Pop can’t really talk, so it’s just me spouting off from the top of my blowhole to pass time. I talk about my day or update him on politics, and then I get an irritating urge to ask him something meaningful. Nope, no, not – zip it! Zip! Shh! Pop cannot manage more than “yes” or “no”, and so meaningful is out – too wordy. I do the conversational math in my head, readjust and talk about the weather. It is a favor I do for us both. "He was very, very happy you called," the nurse said.

I have not flown back home yet. We have noticed that my trips home on the spur of the moment make Pop wonder if he is truly dying. If he doesn't have to believe that he is very sick, Pop checks himself out of the hospital and has a nurse call my brother to come fetch him. My Mom said that Pop is planning to rally on Friday and be home by the weekend. It has happened before, and it could happen again.

The weather in Chicago is 17 degrees with snow on the way. Olcott Beach is expecting snow and the temperature is 27.5. I have a suitcase open only because I am superstitious and I rarely it need it in these situations.


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10 comments:

Minnie-sota said...

Mojo, I'm thinking of your Pops and hoping he does rally today! We talk about the weather in our family too. Good conversation. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your Pops is under the weather. Hopefully, he'll escape by the weekend and be fine at home! ((Mojo & family))

\\Speedy//

a.t. said...

I bet your Pop knows he's a lucky man to have you, MJ.

J9 said...

My Pop is coming home from the hospital today too! If he gets up and walks around. He hates it there, which motivates him to get out! It doesn't seem to motivate him enough to stay out - go figure!

a. t. said...

O/T: Blagowhatzit impeached today.

Cremation rises one point in the poll. Mummy still leading.

jennmcq said...

MJ - Perhaps we share the same father...??!! Is yours addicted to Oxycontin as well? :)

Mojopo said...

Thanks for the well wishes, folks. Everything is fine. Don't you worry!

Jenn - you would not believe how many folks have contacted me to ask if I am related to them. They have father's like we do. Apparently, "inability to breathe" is going around! To be honest, I'm not sure if Pop is on Oxy or not. I suspect is isn't, only because we have this weird trait in our family, in that knock-out painkillers make us hyper and extra sensitive. I would wish him Oxy, if he can handle it. I've heard good things about Hillbilly Heroin. Me? It made me yell at people and not sleep for two days.

Mojopo said...

I just asked my sister. Nope, Pop has no oxy. Motrin, blood thinners, diabetes meds and whatnot. What is "whatnot"? Inhalers and etc.

Motrin? Cant they at least give him Midol? It has stool softeners and caffeine. No caffeine? This is not America.

a. t. said...

Green tea for your Pop, Ms Mojopo. Everyday. Gallons of it. Not kidding. It will make him comfortable.

GOPnot4me said...

You and your Dad will be in my thoughts. Think I'll call my Dad on Sunday. No political talk, though. Better for his blood pressure. ;)