Nurse at Large

This past week has been quite busy for the Vu household. My dad went into the ER then ICU then recuperated in the hospital for a week. My schedule turned slightly crazy because the surgeon wanted to speak to someone who could translate for dear old dad. My father complained about not being able to understand the social worker so I had to be there.  I ended up visiting everyday, sometimes even 2x/day or even the whole day.  He complained about being bored, but didn’t want to watch the tv or read the newspaper.   Luckily, his iPhone was his lifeline.

The nurses were so wonderful and patient with him. He even beeped for them to plug in his cell phone, in lieu of his computerized IV drip. I explained the importance of the monitors but I’m just his “kid”, what do I know? The social worker and nurse asked him about his medical directive and what he wanted to do when he becomes incompetent to answer for himself. He refused to answer any of those questions. Actually, he got mad at me, the translator.  Then he got mad at my older sister for asking him about Power of Attorney.  “Throw it all away…” Okay, but they still need to know who has the power to throw it all away. He wasn’t amused. I’m going to assume he was afraid of dying even though his mind was fine with it.

I told him I would grant him a wish. He wanted to go to Hawaii to see Pearl Harbor. He’s been to Hawaii a couple of times but never to Pearl Harbor. So I said we would go as soon as he’s able. Then he asked for another wish. Then another. Then another. Now he’s just like a kid on his birthday. He asked if I could do dental work on his friend, who lost his front teeth awhile back. He wants me to restore them for free because he heard about my charity work with kids from broken homes. I told my dad his friend doesn’t fit the profile of my charity. Then he said, “It would make me so happy if you could do it.” So, okay, another wish granted.

When he finally got discharged from the hospital, I was there to pick him up for the second time.  At home, he wanted me to put his things away, some food and water near his bed, take his garbage out, check his mail, clean out his refrigerator, tidy up his room, etc.  By the time I was done, I was tired.  I ran up and down to get his medications.  Then he said to return tomorrow to tell him about them as he won’t remember anything by morning.  I reminded him I had to work on Monday.  He replied, “Stop by before work.”  I think he’s afraid to be alone, though he is more than capable of doing things for himself now.  Today I drove around at least 120 miles doing things for my dad and his elderly sister.  My poor aunt has to take care of him and her husband.  I offered to buy food for all 3 of them if she would just visit my dad daily to help me out.  She said, “I like pepperoni pizza.”  Thank God for my aunt.

Now, I need a vacation.