Pandemic family adventures and a brief hospital commentary

Yesterday afternoon, 3/4 of my family entered my parents’ house and went about making some modifications to it.

And by that I mean the girl child and her dad were making the modifications. I sat on the sofa and watched my mom flit from here to there while we waited for the hospital to call.

My dad was getting discharged.

The Covid-19 test came back negative (which surprised no one and was not the reason he was admitted into hospital) so they thought it best he was released back home.

When they called the paperwork was ready, we drove the 15 minutes up to this giant, modern, new complex of a hospital, and pulled up to the west wing entrance just as directed.

Mom went in to see what’s up and the staff, dressed from head to toe in PPE, made some call to my dad’s room and told her she would bring him out to the car.

First thing he wanted was a hug. I stepped back a little. I haven’t been sick, but I could be a carrier.

Physical distancing, I said. He looked perplexed.

By the time we got back to their house a few minutes later, the dad/daughter team was done with their projects. They managed to get everything they set out to accomplish done in the 30ish minutes mom and I were gone. 🙂

The objective had been to move the tv out of the basement rec room upstairs into a backroom. Although my father has relatively good mobility despite his Parkinsons, the steps leading downstairs were the cause of his fall. He may still fall upstairs, without stairs, but the injuries may be significantly less (hopefully).

In order for the tv to function exactly the same way it did downstairs, someone who was not 6′ tall and 180+ pounds needed to crawl in the space behind the furnace underneath the house to feed the tv cable up through a hole that was drilled in the room upstairs.

That ruled us both out. I am not what you would consider small, exactly ( just under 5’5″ and let’s not talk about my quarantine weight 🙄 ) although I probably could have fit if need be.

But, ugh.

Enter the girl child.

She’s 12, and sporty/agile/fit/slim etc, and comes to about my chin in height (4’10 inches).

So we banished her into the hole in the wall behind the furnace. She was thrilled to bits to be able to do something different and exciting and new and weird after weeks of sequestered lock-down, and that’s just how she is. 🙂

I snapped that photo just before mom and I left for the hospital.

They did a fantastic job. The managed, with little disruption to the rest of the house, to move the large screen tv from the rec room downstairs all the way up two floors to the back room, and attach it to the furniture my mom placed there for that reason. Then they fiddled with it until it was working exactly how it did before.

TRUST ME this is important. My dad is over 80 and the less change that happens the better for everyone’s sanity. 🙂

Mom had prepped the room ahead of time, with all the little knicknacks that my dad is used to and requires positioned just so, which made the whole production less production-ish.

They also moved his exercise bike, which I call a Go-Kart, into a room that used to belong to one of us kids. In order for it to fit, they had to put the futon bed into sofa-mode which was simple enough.

Now that room is the exercise room (and no longer the grandchild sleepover room…)

So that was our day yesterday. I mean, after the rage-cleaning-crying-zoom-interruption fiasco from earlier that day. 😛

We had tea and some orange poppy-seed cake my daughter had baked, and then offered to give my dad a tour of his modified house.

He seemed to accept it. For now. I am not sure how long it will take until he starts complaining about it, but it is what it is now.

In terms of the hospital stay, I would really recommend to anyone who will listen that the less time spent in there during this pandemic, the better. I mean, if you have an emergency, call the paramedics and go. But if at all possible, don’t tempt fate to end up there. Really, you’re better off healthy and at home.

Keep in mind, here in Canada we have health insurance and hospitalization/treatment is covered for residents. Still, with this pandemic situation, things are complicated.

Just a little epilogue: Although the staff was professional and friendly and kind,  it almost felt like the right hand didn’t communicate with the left hand for the duration of the almost three days he was there. Not to have a family member present in the hospital to advocate for all the various treatments requiring consent, or not, it’s really challenging for everyone: the patient especially, the staff that kept changing due to shifts ending and beginning, and the helpless family member who was unable to do anything besides wait for phone calls, or leave messages.

It’s really, really tricky. A few things came to light later, after discharge, that just had me shake my head.

The hospital staff need all of our support and assistance, namely, to stay safe and healthy so you don’t require treatment in such an institution. That’s really the best option, especially now.

So today, I’m back home and keeping in touch with my parents via the various electronic formats. It’s cold and rainy anyway, so I’m cooking soup, baking buns, and blogging.

Perhaps later, I may rage clean something else. Stay tuned.

14 thoughts on “Pandemic family adventures and a brief hospital commentary

  1. Great news about your dad! And now that I know your daughter is so agile and willing to crawl into tiny spaces, our water heater is crammed in a corner behind the furnace ducts and almost impossible to get to. I may have to enlist her help when the time comes to replace it. And since she’ll be here, she might as well bring over some of that orange poppy seed cake while she’s at it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll pack her up with a moment’s notice. 🙂 You sure you don’t want her brother along too? He’s got a wicked sense of humour. Just feed him regularly, every hour on the hour, and he’ll entertain you endlessly. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad your dad is home and great you were able to make it a bit of a safer environment for him! Yes, it’s hard enough being in hospital during normal times let alone now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad he is home safe and okay! We’ve been dealing with all kinds of crazy with my FIL and hospital and doctor’s visits. This is so not the time to put an undue strain on the healthcare system if it isn’t absolutely necessary. And by necessary I mean hospital standards necessary and not what an individual thinks is necessary. They are having a hard enough time trying to keep the non-Covid19 patients that still need treatment cared for and safe (like your dad) while still treating those that have tested positive and need life saving treatment. In the US at least, many hospitals are limiting all treatments to critical care and the definition of critical is very narrow. They simply cannot handle anything else at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

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