Dave's Dad had a heart catherization Friday. Apparently, during the procedure, a tiny piece of plaque broke free and caused a minor stroke. Dad is facing some confusion as well as problems with his peripheral vision. His prognosis is good. Meanwhile, Dave's Mom has been consumed with taking care of Dad. The trip to the cath lab -- a trip that should have taken six, eight hours -- turned into an all-nighter. Between sleeping on a pull-out chair and missing a dose of maintenance meds the next morning, Mom's blood pressure went haywire, and she was admitted.
Dad's on the eighth floor; Mom's on the sixth. And if this sounds like deja vu all over again, that's because it is.
Note to both sets of parents: There's no Buy One Get One Free where heath care's concerned, no Frequent Flyer card for those whisked away by ambulance, no rewards program offered by friendly orthopods or electro-cardiologists.
If I'm making light of this, it's really just a coping mechanism in the face of four aging parents we love very much and so hope to see move through old age with grace, peace, and dignity.
It surely is no coincidence that my father ended up with his defibrillator firing after a week of handling my mother and her broken femur. Neither is it surprising that my mother-in-law is facing elevated blood pressure in the face of caring for my father-in-law.
Years ago I wrote Kill the Cow and You Kill the Calf -- my thoughts on taking care of mothers as they take care so many others. Certainly, the same attention needs to go toward the caregivers who face the challenges and uncertainties that come with aging.
I covet your prayers, yet again.