Update on My Dad

Things have moved very quickly and it has been a difficult couple days. I am sorry that this post is probably how I’m telling some people about it. This is how I process stuff.

My dad fell last night and broke his hip. Or…I guess really his femur, but the repair goes INTO the hip? Google “troch nail” and you’ll see why I’m not sure what to call it. Actually…here’s a picture…this is the repair they did to the break.

The break is in the femur, but you can see why everybody’s talking about it as the hip.

He’s going to be okay. The doctor said the break was in place so it was an easy repair with good prognosis for recovery. The doctor seems unworried about recovery, but we’ll see how it goes and what is needed as things continue unfolding. As far as bad news, it also came with good news that he’ll most probably be alright. I got to talk to him tonight around 9:30pm or so and he sounded good and very much himself…of course, he’s also on some pretty cool drugs…so…that might be slightly misleading… But it was still good to hear.

But make no mistake. This does suck.

It sucks that in the past couple years Dad’s been in hospital rooms nearly more often than I’ve been in recording booths. Though, it’s debatable which of us had less fun in that regard. (To possibly apocryphally paraphrase Dorothy Parker–I hate recording, I love having recorded.) It sucks that we have so many conversations that include the phrase “and then I see the doctor on the __th of the month…” And it sucks that this time I couldn’t sit in a waiting room or be there when he woke up from surgery. Only one visitor allowed in per day, and they have to be gone at 6. As though the time of day changes whether you have COVID or not. Because it sucks that so much of America still refuses to take the pandemic seriously because it hasn’t really impacted them.

Well. I’m impacted. My family is impacted. So. Wear a fucking mask. Stay the fuck home. Get the fucking vaccine. Or don’t talk to me about it–and how DARE you post your photos of your brazen lack of care for other human beings on Facebook? While I’d rather we all stay well, I really don’t want to hear it if you’re an anti-masker or a bar-goer who gets sick, man. And I don’t want your false sympathies when I do either. What I want is to be in my dad’s hospital room while he recovers from surgery for his broken hip, and I can’t do that. Because of YOU. So fuck you right in your maskless nose. We have nothing else to say to each other.

We clear on that part?

Okay. Back to Dad.

I don’t really know how the fall happened. He kinda doesn’t either. One of those things…we’ve all done it. You’re standing then you’re not standing. He’s had some back and balance issues in the last few months and has been using a cane, but while he had it with him he wasn’t using-it, using it that night, if you follow me. So he probably just lost his balance. Or tripped. Or whatever. All he really knows is he was suddenly on the ground and it hurt like hell. That’s pretty much every “I broke my hip” story I’ve ever heard.

Thankfully Susan (Dad’s significant other, if you’re new) got to him quick and got him to the ER. The ER of course didn’t move even a fraction as quick as Susan. She told me about it around 9:30 PM. He got into a room at 4 AM. Based on past experience, that part’s actually not too different because of COVID.

I didn’t sleep more than a couple hours Thursday night. And I haven’t been able to nap today (I’m writing this on Friday), despite trying more than once. I get really keyed up when something’s wrong with Dad. He’s the most supportive person in my life and right now it’s KILLING me that I’m physically unable to reciprocate that due to hospital rules. (But I’ve already yelled at you for that. I assume if you’re still reading you’re not one of The Maskless.) I’ve got a lot of energy with nowhere to put it, but I’m also so tired my eyes don’t want to focus on any one thing for too long.

So naturally, I went to the DMV at 7:30 in the morning.

I was up. And I needed to go there. I’d renewed my plates online on January 25, but as of today (March 12 at the time of writing) the stickers still haven’t come in the mail. I called the DMV headquarters at the state capitol and they told me to go to a local branch and they’d give me stickers and that I would NOT be billed for it. (Spoiler alert: I was…and that went over about how you’d expect with me…I basically turned into Jim Cornette. Who you can Google on your own time if you don’t know him.) I’m not going to tell the full story here, but it went poorly, even though I DID get my stickers. I had been planning to go in for them today anyway, but with Dad hurt I knew I needed them ASAP just in case I have to drive anywhere. So it was the first thing I did today.

Free advice: Don’t ever make the DMV the first thing you do. While sleep deprived. And worried about your dad. And while there’s a pandemic going on. And while anybody’s breathing in and out and the sun is still rising and setting. After today I’m convinced that if there ever was a God, he died waiting for his license plate stickers in line at the fucking Florissant DMV at 7:30 in the morning, talking to their useless management. The same management who said, “I don’t know why they keep telling people that” when God (who is me in this story, I guess?) told them the DMV HQ said he wouldn’t have to pay, and then in the next breath told him they’re just doing “what they tell me to do” and they don’t have an answer when God (again, me?) asks, “then why did they tell ME you’d do something else?” Etc. (And then I kinda…uncorked. I think I kind of whited-out for a bit. The next thing I knew I had my stickers and a form to fill out to request a refund that I have to send to the state capitol. I wonder how THAT will go?) And sadly without giving a blow-by-blow recap of the dialogue written out like the script from a play, that’s about as clearly and sanely as I can tell the story. I’m leaving out a lot of swearing and (legal) threats, of course…

It probably wouldn’t have been such a problem if Dad were okay.

When somebody you love is hurt you’re capable of anything and not all of those things are positive. For every story that involves a 20-something mother lifting a car off her toddler there are a million 40-something douchebags yelling at a shitty DMV manager. (Who incidentally makes $16/hour based on the “Now Hiring” sign they had posted, if you’re looking.) Anyway…fuck them, too. Even though they were wearing masks. I’m not proud of the way I handled it. But I’m also not ashamed. When a liar lies, you tell the truth. I just told it as aggressively and insultingly as possible.

And then after that it was a long day of waiting, worrying, twitching, driving around just because I COULD now that I have my stickers (small victories), and cooking. Because you’ve gotta have lunch. And factor in my phone blowing up all day just with the limited amount of people who knew what was going on needing and seeking updates and also pepper in the need for personal space and reflection and today was crazy. I took the day off work, even though I work from home. I thought it was going to be a half-day. It turned into a whole day. It was the right thing to do. I wouldn’t have gotten a THING done.

About an hour before I started writing this post I texted Dad, 100% sure he was asleep following surgery or that he was not feeling up to messing with his cell phone and so on… And as expected he didn’t reply, and that felt terrible even though he had a very good reason. But then an hour after THAT, he called me on the landline and we talked for a while, and I started crying just hearing his voice. And then another hour later I came back to this post to finish writing it…and because Dad said, “you can post about it tomorrow” I’m waiting until sometime after midnight to post it…which is cheating, but just barely. (Looking at the clock it’s now quarter-after-3am. Nobody’s seeing this until “tomorrow” anyway.)

So tonight I’m feeling very exhausted, a little beat up, a LOT punch drunk, unbelievably worried, pretty relieved, optimistic, pessimistic, angry, and grateful all at once. Because I’m me. And because this is hard.

Hug somebody if you can. But either be quarantined for a couple weeks or be fully vaccinated before you do.

And try to avoid the DMV.