01.27.05

4:09 p.m.

flesh eating viruses and academic achievements

I’ve been somewhat distant lately.

My father was in the hospital and, now I come to find out, nearly died.

He had a life threatening infection and the doctors in the ER said if he hadn’t come in when he did, he would’ve died.

I was informed by his girlfriend’s daughter. I’ve never met her, nor spoke with her prior to this. Here’s exactly how the conversation went. It’s etched into my mind.

‘Hi, this is your father’s girlfriend’s daughter. I’m just calling to let you know your father is in the hospital, and just got out of surgery. I mean, he’s not dead or anything. He’s fine.”

“What?! What hospital? What’s wrong? What happened?”

“I’m not sure. I just know he just got out of surgery.”

“What hospital is he in?!”

“I’m not sure. I think the one downtown.” (Ok, sidenote: There are literally 30-40 hospitals in Denver. A majority of which are ‘downtown’.)

“What’s the number to his room.”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, can you have him call me as soon as possible?!”

“Sure.”

“Um. Ok. Bye.”

I’d like to mention, I was sleeping when she called, so I wasn’t completely coherent. Had I been, I would’ve asked for her mother’s cell phone number, her house number…something, anything. Her last name for Christ’s sake.

The minute I heard her say my father was in the hospital, my heart sank. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. So…empty. It literally hurt. I have never, in my entire life, been that scared. I couldn’t breathe. My body felt numb. And, even though she said he was fine, I couldn’t stop imaging that he was dead, or dying, on a hospital bed, and I wouldn’t find out which hospital in time.

Then, then came the anger. What the fuck was this 14 year old girl doing calling me? Why the fuck didn’t her mother call? Why would anyone call someone, tell them something like that, and then not have any information to give them?!
I was livid. I wanted to make that girl cry like I was crying. Uncontrollably. I wanted to beat her. I wanted to slit her throat. I wanted to maim her. Anything. Anything that would make her feel what I was feeling right now. At 14, you’re old enough to know better.

Almost instantaneously after I hung up the phone with her, Jackie called. It’s as if she knew something was wrong. She got in her car without hesitation and said we’re driving to Denver. She arranged to have her husband call around to hospitals to find my father.

As much as I bitch about her, I do love her. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her.

While she was on her way, I stopped crying long enough to call my brother. The girl had called him, too. Fortunately, he was coherent enough to ask for her mother’s cell phone number. He said that my father was ok, and it was only a boil.

A BOIL?!

What the fuck?! I had just been through 30 minutes of hell, thinking my father was dying, for a boil?!

Just as I got off the phone with him, Jackie pulled up. I walked out to the car, and she was crying. I told her the boil scenario and we both started laughing. Then, we both got pissed. Why did that girl call me for a boil?! Just to be snotty? Just to make me worry?

We plotted revenge involving stalking, mysteriously cryptic phone calls, and the like.

In the end, I finally spoke with my father two days later. It wasn’t a boil. It was a severe infection. The ‘skin eating virus’ type. His entire upper body had started to swell, and he had a temperature of 105 degrees. He had to go to emergency surgery to remove the open wound it has caused, and be put on an antibiotic drip.

He didn’t even have a cut or scratch to start with. It showed up in less than a day and started spreading very quickly.

Luckily, he’s ok now. He still has a nurse coming in every day to change the dressing on his wound, and he’ll be on major antibiotics for a long time. But, he’s ok, and I’m so thankful.

In other news, the pictures from the Illinois trip are back. You can go see them if you’d like (but, you really didn’t miss much.).

Also, not to brag, but it made my day. I received this in the mail today…

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