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austin_dern

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Jan. 14th, 2012

I let the brief reports about my father drop a bit since they got kind of complicated for a sentence before the trip report. Let me fix that here. My father's catheterization went fine on Monday, but the reports were worrisome: he required a multiple bypass. This was done on Wednesday, and proved to be a quadruple bypass. By the end of the day he was feeling good, was awake and alert and realized that my mother had accidentally taken home his phone and iPod, so he didn't have anything but the TV and his visitors to occupy him. He's expected to be discharged on Sunday or Monday, and to need a week's bed rest before he can be up and about on a low-stress schedule for a while.

My mother and I visited him Saturday and Sunday, with Sunday even getting one of my uncles down from Connecticut to hang out and watch the game. My brother --- the squeamish one, who once passed out in his office because he was chatting online with our brother-in-law and was describing his blood being drawn --- also visited several times and stayed upright and conscious through all that. And I visited on Tuesday, in a visit which kept sprawling out longer and longer as stuff interrupted my father (I offered to run downstairs for something just so he'd have the chance to finish his lunch), including fresh visits from my sister-in-law and niece.

On Tuesday, too, my father prepared a few bags of things he felt could go home and one meant to stay, as he was wheeled down somewhere for tests and then back up to a new, pre-bypass-operation room. Unfortunately the bags weren't taken off the gurney at the end of his travels and none of us noticed for a couple hours. The hospital staff fretted and searched, admittedly at a low key, until I pointed out that my father's phone was in one of the bags so we could try calling that. This really basic act of detection earned me high praise from my father and sister-in-law, and also from the hospital folks when I walked triumphantly back with the bags. It should also take off me whatever ridicule I might have acquired for admitting my mother and I don't know how the garbage disposal works so we need my father back home soon.

Also, in the mail today (Friday) was a your-checkup-is-coming reminder from his dentist, so he either better get out soon or he could just send his dentures in without him.

Trivia: In writing out his frustrations to derelict commissary agents during the winter at Valley Forge, George Washington would pepper his letters with curse words. Underlings tried to explain the words merely reflected how strongly he felt provoked and this was not customary for him. Source: American Creation, Joseph J Ellis. It may not seem like a lot, and Ellis's only example cited was ``Dam it'', which reads like how a kid might try to cuss-without-technically-cussing, but it's still the kind of thing I just can't imagine tumbling out of Washington's lips.

Currently Reading: America's Weather Warriors, 1814 - 1985, Charles C Bates, John F Fuller. OK, there, now that's weather warrior-ing. To wit, I mean, attempting to seed clouds over Cambodia and Laos so as to screw up the weather patterns on the North Vietnamese. It didn't work, of course, or at least not well enough to prove that it had an effect, and cloud seeding is a pretty flaky pastime anyway, but at least that's unquestionably (a) interesting and (b) weather war.

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