Dad, Family

The Culture I’ll Be Focusing On For My Doctoral Dissertation in Anthropology

Okay, updates before The Funny. Or at least – Before The Mildly Entertaining Considering The Circumstances.

I am back in Alabama, at least for a few days. My Dad is in ICU in Knoxville still and my brother is staying with him while I come home and work. When Dad gets out of ICU, my brother will head back to Arizona and I’ll plan on taking over for a little while. They diagnosed him having Multiple Myeloma – which is a cancer of the blood that effects the bone marrow – explaining intense bone pain, lessions, and stress fractures. Some of the bi-products of the cancer are proteins that clog up the kidneys. Hence the renal failure. He started dialysis AND chemotherapy yesterday. How is THAT for a menu? The dialysis may not be a permanent thing, jury still out on whether his kidneys will repair themselves. Chemotherapy could be really effective – a lot is still up in the air.

My brother and I spent a chunk of time in the ICU waiting room. We were having flashbacks to 2002 when my mom was in ICU for four weeks. Those waiting rooms are unique places because your loved ones are critical and no one wants to leave the hospital. Most usually spend 24 hours a day in there. I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about my roommates (although I didn’t spend the night, my brother did) and wanting to twitter my observations. But – due to the proximity of the elevators – our cell phones were USELESS. So, I present to you:

Things I Would Have Twittered From The ICU Waiting Room

  • Some of the families in here look very fun. My brother and I are kinda boring. Maybe I should give him a noogie like when we were kids.
  • Oh! Church ladies brought new snacks for the day. I’m totally going to knock over a few old ladies to get to the good stuff before its gone.
  • I’m not sure what it says about the typical ICU patient, but there is a huge majority of smokers here in this waiting room.
  • Someone ordered pizza to the waiting room. Genius for them, torture for those of us eating cafeteria food.
  • A lady has taken over greeter duties after hours and does a great job helping new members of our community. She is our leader – I think.
  • You don’t need a watch in here to remind yourself of visiting times. The mass exodus every two hours clues you in.
  • Leaving the waiting room television on sports 24-hours a day is torture. Doesn’t anyone appreciate crappy reality TV like I do?

24 thoughts on “The Culture I’ll Be Focusing On For My Doctoral Dissertation in Anthropology”

  1. Best of wishes for a speedy recovery for your father. I’ll keep my fingers crossed…. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m sorry about your dad. I’ll be sure to keep him in my thoughts.

    Why oh why is waiting room TV always tuned to something you DON’T want to see?

  3. Keeping your dad (and your entire family) in my thoughts and prayers.

    Unfortunately, I have spent plenty of time in ICU waiting rooms; love your observations.

  4. Hey Zoot, I’m glad to hear that your dad has a diagnosis and a plan. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.

    I work in MM research and I know it can be a really confusing disease for patients and their families (and some docs!). If you guys have any questions about labs or why they’re doing something, don’t hesitate to email me. I’d be happy to help, if I can.

    Good luck to him!

  5. I am glad to hear there is a diagnosis on you dad. That has to be a relief on what he is fighting. Now he is well on his way to recovery!! πŸ™‚ will keep the healing thoughts his way.

  6. I have never been to an ICU but I spend my days talking with nice physicians about jobs to staff the ICU (Critical Care Intensivists) and would you know it? Those physicians are generally trained in a joint program of Critical Care and Pulmonary – that is to take care of people with diseases of the lung just in case you did not know (I did not know until I started my job πŸ˜‰ I think these docs might get their referrals from the families of the patients in the ICU… Sigh. Sad to think about that…

    Crap. If I were ordering pizza I would ask the room if they want to partake and hand out my hand for everyone to contribute to it. Hospital food = blech!

  7. Aww, Zoot, I’m so sorry to hear this. I am sending lots of prayers for your family… hoping for a quick healing.

    Only you could come up with such waiting-room brilliance!

  8. Great tweets, very creative and entertaining. I am very sorry to hear about your dad. I hope things start turning a corner soon. Sending positive thoughts and prayers.

  9. You know nobody quite appreciates bad TV like you do πŸ˜‰ I’m sorry your dad’s sick, Kim. *hug* I’ll be prayin’ for ya, and sending happy, healing thoughts southward.

  10. I’m keeping your dad in my thoughts. I got chills when I just read his diagnosis. My father-in-law died from complications from Multiple Myeloma back in 2000. There are some really promising therapies, which I can only assume have improved a great deal in the past nine years. If there’s anything I can do, let me know, although I can’t say I have much up to date information. (FWIW, he lived in Louisiana but was getting treatment in Arkansas). I’ll keep my fingers double and tripled crossed for your dad (my version of praying).

    Also, I appreciate the Twitter “updates” you did here. I was waiting for some news this weekend via Twitter, so it all makes sense now.

  11. i have a friend whose husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma a few months ago…and they’re only 29! anyway, they started a blog specifically about his treatment and there are links there to a lot of good resources. shoot me an email if you want to check them out.
    or i guess you could just check my blog, she’s in the links list there. her name is cassie.

    i hope you’re all doing alright.

  12. I’m sorry about your dad, but at least you have a diagnosis. Hang in there and I’ll keep thinking good thoughts and sending them your way.

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