My step-Dad has been having a rough trot with his health and I am thinking of him and my Mum at this time. He had a triple heart by-pass more than 10 years ago so has had to slow things down a lot since then but his heart has otherwise been travelling quite well. Giving up smoking and, for the most part, drinking as well, has done him wonders, but he is a stubborn old bastard and pushes himself too hard sometimes. He retired on medical grounds a couple of years ago but works just as hard around the house and doing the shopping and what not, until a recent problem with his back.
He had one operation on it about six months ago and that went ok. I don't know the details of the operation but I know there were some bone fragments that had to be removed. The pain he was experiencing before that improved slightly but last Tuesday he had to have another similar operation on the other side of his back, but without bone fragments to remove this time. The expected confinement period was 2 to 5 days and he was released after 3, so that was good.
Yesterday, he started to get pain across his stomach below his ribs and was admitted to hospital again. They initially thought it was something to do with his heart but finally ruled that out this afternoon and have organised for "stomach people", as my mum puts it, to see him in the morning. Fancy concluding that stomach pain would need specialist stomach people to look at it, hey? Go figure.
He is in a lot of pain and is only getting about 20 minutes relief from the morphine they are giving him. He is grumpy and short tempered and complaining about everything, but I guess my Mum is used to that, having raised three kids and having had to put up with two husbands as well.
My step-Dad and I haven't always gotten along. In fact, we didn't talk for about 2 years, 18months or so of which was living under the same roof. Yes, I can hold a grudge when I want to, but I do believe that some things can warrant it.
All that aside, it's hard being so far away from my mum and not being able to be there for either of them. It also reminds me of other problems in my family and in the past that I have had to accept, even though the idealistic Wendy still believes deep down that she can change the world.
So, tonight I'm sending prayers of wisdom to the doctors, strength to my mother, and peace, healing and comfort to my step-Dad. If anyone has a moment, I would truly appreciate it if you could also take 5 seconds to reflect on these things if you feel moved to do so.