This is not the easiest post to write. Yesterday marked four weeks since my Dad was taken into hospital as an emergency, with an unidentified illness and a fever spiking at 40 deg. That’s why I haven’t posted for ages.
The trouble started at the beginning of October, but it took a while for it to become clear that something more serious than a stomach upset or mild food poisoning was going on and to persuade Dad to get seen. There had actually been a few signs Dad wasn’t well over the summer, but we’d put it down to him overdoing it, and he had seemed to get better. Dad’s age seemed to accelerate – he seemed about 25 years older than his real age on the day we called the ambulance.
After a pretty thorough round of testing in A&E* and an ‘acute’ medical ward, we were initially told that Dad had cancer in multiple organs and ‘months’ to live, even though he was miles better than a few hours earlier. Then suddenly just over a week after that, the diagnosis was changed to ‘not cancer’ but ‘abscesses’ of an unknown cause. The medical team were more surprised than we were – they said they’d not seen anything like it, and that a turnaround like this was very rare. It started to feel like we were in the plot of an episode of House, MD, just without Hugh Laurie or his glamorous team of assistants.
Dad’s now been moved to a different ward in a different hospital in a different city and been prodded and poked and tested and scanned a whole lot more. Visiting hours are shorter and travel times are longer, but this hospital has the particular specialists Dad needs, if he is going to get better. We don’t know if he will fully recover, or if there will be long term damage, but there’s a lot of prayer and we’re hopeful. Dad hasn’t lost his sense of humour, although he’s seemed close a few times, and he says he’s ‘got more tubes than the Northern Line**’. He wants to be out before Christmas, but I’m not sure that’s going to be possible.
Because of what’s going on, my life is completely on hold just now, and the album release is going to be delayed until next year. Dad’s been talking about getting ill as ‘when everything came crashing down’, which seems pretty apt for what’s happened. I’m hoping for the rebuild to go well, though, even if it takes a while.
* That’s E.R. for my friends in the US
**London Underground pun-based Dad-joke. Not bad for someone in Dad’s current state of health.