dealing with reality

you’ve gotta love my dad.  he can be so difficult to be around, and yet he can be so precious. kinda like life itself.  substitute ‘life’ for ‘my dad’ and it works. the two are interchangeable.

he’s like that two year old who yells and screams when he doesn’t get his way, (only this two year old has a lot more words), and when he finally quiets down, and he’s asleep in your arms, you just adore him…. he has this remarkable way of making you feel good and bad about yourself, all at the same time…. am i really that bad of a daughter? i find myself wondering a lot, reminding me of when i would wonder if i’m that bad of a mom? when my child would lose his temper …

i always tell people to just listen, give him his space, and don’t take things personally. i remember rose being in tears when she first started working for us – she was sure my dad hated her. he’s really good at making you feel bad, especially when things aren’t going his way, i assured her.

and things haven’t been going his way lately. i try and focus on the positive and what we have to be grateful for –

and today, i am so grateful for the attentive, caring, and thorough doctors at st.john’s hospital.  it’s a long story that could take awhile – let’s just say, had we not gone in for a second opinion, things could have turned out a lot differently.

my parents are living in northridge, and have settled in with a nice set of doctors there. but my dad has been complaining about being weak and light headed, and didn’t trust the new cardiologist close to his home.  my dad hates any kind of surgery. and so began the quest to find another way to explain his weakness. my dad wanted to see the doctor who originally had done his 8 bypass surgery 13 years ago.

and so yesterday this is where we were returning to see dr. robertson.  a couple of weeks ago we had come in to see dr. r, to bring him some homemade soup and to thank him for giving my dad all these extra years of good living. now dr. r is thorough and caring.  he wanted to see the cd from the angiogram that had been done weeks ago, and that the doctor in the valley had read as my dad needing to have a defibrillator put in.

he wanted to solve the puzzle, and that is, my dad could play ping pong and he could swim, with no problem. it was when he was walking down the halls of his village without support of my mom’s wheelchair, that he was experiencing weakness, light headedness and dizziness.

after examining the angiogram, he thought my dad’s heart was actually doing its job- it wasn’t as bad as the valley doctor thought.

there was something else complicating the picture. he insisted we see dr. pak, my father’s previous doctor who is considered a heart failure specialist.  he was able to get us in right away.

there are doctors who care and see their patients as beautiful human beings, and then there are doctors who are doing a job and going through the motions treating diseases.

yesterday, my father and i sat with doctors who love their jobs and who truly cared about my father as the precious man that he is.

we headed over to see dr.pak whose office is in another building. i was so glad i had insisted my dad use my mom’s walker when we were leaving his apartment earlier -he seemed super weak and off balance. when we arrived at the elevator, a well dressed man greeted us and said, ‘hello! mr. jen! i’m dr. pak!’ it had been nearly a decade since we had seen him last, but he remembered us…now that’s remarkable, and the sign of a very good doctor.

after a lengthy interview, and thorough examination, which took well over an hour, dr. pak insisted that my dad have a chest x-ray – he had excessive fluid in his lungs and his legs. he put him on a diuretic right away and expressed some concern about my dad’s kidneys…. and he discovered that my dad has pneumonia. this is serious given my dad’s age, his already compromised heart, his diabetes and his place of fear. but we are surrounded by blessings at the same time.

– my sister michelle was available to accompany my mom to her doctor with kind rose by her side-dr. pak was available to see my dad last minute -we may have caught the pneumonia bacteria on time -we have doctors who care – we have caregivers who give them love and attention – my mom seems to be getting stronger …big yay!!!- my sister mimi was here last week filling their home with love and positive energy- and we have family and tons of love to share!

and so my dad’s on a strong antibiotic and diuretic now, peeing a ton, and getting the love and attention he deserves.

bless his heart, the doctors who care and the people in our lives we know are family.


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