This is a very hard post to write. I’ve been putting it off, but want you, my friends, to know what has been going on in my life over the last month. I’ll try to be brief.
Dec 1st turned out to be an unexpectedly big day in my life. I took my dad to a VA appointment early in the morning and then I had another CT scan to see if my aneurysm was stable or continuing to grow. Dad’s new primary care physician had been “reassigned” for the day, so we wound up seeing another doctor since we were there anyway and had 3 hours before my appointment. When we finally got to see her, she was coughing and sneezing, but assured us that she had taken Thursday – Monday off work, been tested, and was CoVID negative. We were all wearing masks. So, while I was a little concerned, I believed we were safe. She was very thorough and we wound up being in her office for nearly 2 hours. It took so long that I had to call and get my CT scan rescheduled for later in the day. I did get my scan done and we came on home. That was the day of our first snow that I wrote about earlier.
My surgeon called the next day and wanted me to come in and talk to him. I had a feeling that wasn’t a good sign. I was right. On Thursday, Dec 3rd, I saw him and found out that the aneurysm had grown so he wanted to go ahead and schedule the surgery. He still had to appeal to the hospital to get permission since they weren’t allowing any non-emergency surgeries. He did get permission and my surgery was scheduled for Dec 9th.
I came down with a fever on that Saturday, got tested on Sunday, and, you guessed it, I was positive for CoVID. Dad started losing his sense of taste on Saturday and mom did on Sunday. They got tested on Monday and were both positive also. The only place dad and I had been together was the VA, so I am convinced that the doctor had gotten a false negative test and actually had CoVID. I’ll never know for sure and I guess I have to be okay with that.
Due to my positive result, my surgery had to be postponed yet again. My only symptoms were the low-grade fever for 1.5 days and fatigue for about a week. Mom lost her sense of taste for a few days and had a really bad runny nose for a couple of days. Unfortunately, dad wasn’t so lucky. I thought he was doing well and had started to get his taste back on Thursday. But, Friday night he was having a hard time breathing and his oxygen levels were down in the 70’s. I took him to the ER where he was admitted to the hospital. I’ll spare you the details, but he wound up passing away on Dec 16th. We were at least lucky enough to be able to spend the last couple of days with him in the hospital so that he wasn’t alone.
We waited until mom was officially out of quarantine before making the funeral arrangements and having the funeral. It was really hard for this daddy’s girl. I think it would have been a little bit easier had he not died from CoVID. We had been so diligent to make sure he and mom stayed safe. How could a trip to the doctor be his demise? It just doesn’t seem fair.
I still needed to get the surgery done. They wanted to reschedule it for 30 Dec, but I felt that was a little bit too soon and I didn’t want to be in the hospital on New Year’s Day. We decided on January 8th. The surgery went well and I did so good that I actually got dismissed from the hospital on Monday, 11 January, just 3 days after surgery. I spent almost a week at my mom’s and then came home. I have my first follow up appointment tomorrow.
I’m not sure that you all know that I started running consistently last year and was training for the Air Force Half Marathon. My longest run was 11 miles and I was in the best shape of my life. I’m sure this played a big roll in how well I did with the surgery. I decided to write a blog about my surgery and returning to running – hoping to maybe inspire others along the way. I have more details in that blog about dad, CoVID, and my surgery, if you are interested. You can find it at runforhearthealth.wordpress.com.
As you know, Dad loved to fish. He hadn’t really felt like going to the lake much last year though. In early November he came up and I took him to the neighbor’s pond. Tippy loved to watch him fish and would get so excited when he caught one. Here are a couple of pictures from that trip.
On November 21st he came up to see if he could catch anything at one of the other ponds my neighbor has – the one that is right over the hill from my house. When he got here, I was blowing the leaves off of the driveway so someone else wouldn’t have to do it after my impending surgery. I had intended to go for a run when I got done, but decided instead to go over and talk with dad while he fished. I’m so glad I did, as this was the last time he came up. He didn’t catch anything, but we had a nice conversation and just enjoyed spending time together. I didn’t get any pictures of dad at the pond that day, but did get this one of Tippy intently watching.
Dad had Tippy spoiled rotten. He brought her a handful of treats every time he came up. That day was no exception. None of us had any idea that this would be the last treats she would get from him.
You never know when it will be the last time you see or talk to someone. So, my advice is to be as kind as possible and always make time for your loved ones. Things can wait. People sometimes can’t.