Bellbottom Blog

Scratching A Writing Itch From Time To Time

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

A Hospital And A Family

In my hometown, there is a hospital called Parkview.

It has been around by one name or another since 1898.

Parkview was the hospital to go to for most of my life.

Actually, my life started there.  Even though there was a hospital closer to my parents house, they chose Parkview.

Over the years, we have come to know every nook and cranny of the old building. My mom worked in the admissions office for almost 20 years.

My grandparents spent their last few days on earth at Parkview.

21 years ago, my son was born there in a newly created birthing center.

In the intervening years, the landlocked campus started to seem a little cramped and a new version was built near the interstate.  The old building which once was so busy you were hard pressed to find a parking spot in the garage, now allows free parking.  The garage on a recent Saturday was at about a fifth of its capacity. They have an emergency room and a few specialized areas in the old place.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, last Saturday, I went to the old hospital with my wife to see my Dad at the Continuing Care Unit.

He is 85 and over the last few weeks he had suffered a couple of episodes which had him going to the emergency room. He doesn’t have cancer or any other disease that a doctor can point to.  He is just wearing out.

About 8 days ago, at my youngest brothers’ request, I went up to see him at his house. He had just gotten back from his second hospital stay.  I was there to see how he was doing and to start the process of figuring out what to do with his living situation.

He was very proud of a recent purchase.  My brother took him to Best Buy to get a TV which would replace the ancient console he had been watching.”Look at how thin it is,” he said.

He had started to see things that weren’t there in  the shadows of the hallway. I was able to have lunch with him and try to get answers about what his wishes were for the future since living on his own was not going to be an option for much longer.  We had a good visit.  He was receptive to the notion of moving on. Resigned to it, more likely.

On the way back, I couldn’t shake the feeling that he would have been happy to just fall asleep there and not wake up. Wrapped in the arms of the memory of Moms’ embrace.

Mom has been gone for almost exactly 5 years now. She died the day after Thanksgiving. So, this time of year was always hard for Dad.  I wrote about her in March.

I told my brother about the visit and we compared notes, agreeing that we had some time to look into the options.

That changed Monday when I got a call from my brother saying Dad was back in the hospital.

When my brother couldn’t get an answer to his phone calls Monday, he called the Fort Wayne emergency number and requested a “welfare check”. The police, or in this case, the fire department will come over and take a look to make sure everything is all right.

They couldn’t get an answer to the doorbell, so they broke through the door and found my Dad, alive but unconscious, on the living room floor.  They revived him and against his wishes took him to the hospital.  Back to Parkview.  They were confused by his choice of facilities.  There was a hospital much closer but what they didn’t know was that was the one where Mom died.  He knew enough to be able to avoid that place.  The hospital had done everything they could for her that day, but he never forgave them for not making her well.

Since Monday, he has been on a slow, sad slide.  He is seeing more things that are not there.  He can remember things from decades ago, yet he has trouble with more recent people and events.  He sleeps a lot.

When we went up Saturday, he was supposed to start physical therapy.  He wasn’t really up to it.

Maybe the doctor will have some encouraging news, but I doubt it.

85 years is a good run.  I hope we will be able to make what is left of his life comfortable.

I really hope Parkview has it in her to take care of Dad.  The old place owes us that much.








Election Aftermath

Just a short post to wrap up the political series of posts that I have done.

I am very happy that the election went almost exactly like I predicted.

To recap:

I said the President would be reelected by around 3 million votes.  He has exceeded that.

I said the Electoral College number  would be over 320 votes.  It was.

I said the Senate would have 55 Democrats when it was all said and done.  They got 53 Democrats and 2 Independents who will caucus with the Dems so 55 was right as well.

I had also said on Twitter that I hoped the results would be known by ten so I could watch Fox News and laugh and laugh.  Well, I missed that by an hour or so, but I did manage to laugh and laugh.

Especially when Karl Rove tried to reel back the calling of Ohio by the Fox News election experts.  Lord,was he a riot!

He was all Wait! Wait!

It reminded me of the scene in Trading Places where Don Ameche’s character tries to get the Stock Exchange started back up after Ackroyd and Murphy bankrupt him.  “Turn those machines on!,” he screams.

Poor Karl was doing the same thing with the same sorry results. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

So now we move on.  I will still write about current events.  I enjoyed doing these.  But real life is tapping me on the shoulder and I will have a post up over the next day or two concerning that.

Thanks for putting up with these.


Prediction Time

This will be short and sweet.

I predict the President will be re-elected.

In the Electoral College, he needs 270 to win. I predict he will get around 320.

In the popular vote, despite all the voter suppression, he will win by about 3 million.  Not as much as the last time when he won by 8.5 million, but a comfortable margin nonetheless.

In the Senate, I think the Democrats will wind up with 55 seats.  And I imagine the House will stay about the same.

By the way, I also predict that whatever the winning margin is the right wing will say it is not a mandate.  You can ignore that.  Winning this election, with all the money and lies that were thrown in his way, will be one hell of a mandate.

Anyway, I thought to write a few political posts without making a prediction would be weak.  So here it is.

If you haven’t voted, please do.  No matter who you are voting for.  I never vote a straight ticket and I don’t expect anyone else to either.


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