Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Plan v. Reality

The plan: Fly into NY Tuesday, April 24; get up the next morning and go in to the city to meet with my new boss and *her* boss from 10 to noon.

The reality: Wednesday's meeting stretched from 10 to almost 5. Thursday's hastily scheduled 1 pm meeting stretched from 1 to 4. Monday's hastily scheduled 9 am meeting stretched all the way until 6:30 that afternoon. And there was still so much that didn't get done.

The plan: Drive upstate with my sister and nephew to see my dad on Saturday, expecting him to make a huge deal about us staying overnight in a hotel and only having brunch with him the next morning.

The reality: The pain meds my dad is taking caused the "usual" (as those of us who've needed narcotics at any time in our lives know) side effect of extreme, um, bowel issues. Dad was in such pain from the side effects of the pain meds--and how ironic is that?--that he couldn't concentrate long enough to have any kind of conversation. We got to where he's living with his girlfriend at around 2 on Saturday, stayed less than an hour before he was unable to keep his eyes open any longer, helped get him tucked into bed, then went to check into the hotel. Returned at around 5:30 for dinner; he couldn't even make it downstairs long enough to sit with us--because of the cancer, he hasn't eaten an actual solid meal in over two months--so we just had dinner with his girlfriend. He came down for about 45 minutes after dessert, and then we went back to the hotel. The next morning, his girlfriend called to tell us that she was going to be taking him to the hospital (an hour and a half away), because he was just that sick from the side effects, but that he wanted to see us before he left. So we went for less than half an hour, said goodbye to him, and returned to the city.

I know that's only a recitation of fact. I just don't have much more than that to say. I got back home yesterday afternoon, and I'm simply exhausted. That was the closest I've even come to spending seven straight days steeped in pure, unadulterated stress. Thank god for my funny, sweet, silly nephew, who took me to Special Friends Day at his school on Friday, and who absolutely personified denial when we were at my dad's. To wit:

Dad's girlfriend, at the dinner table: Matt, how are you doing with all of this? Are you OK?
Matt: I really like that broccoli.
Girlfriend: Thanks. But are you doing OK with the way Grandpa is looking and acting?
Matt: The garlic in the broccoli is the best part.

Me? I did an internet search on ways to relieve constipation in people taking large doses of narcotics, and I fell asleep the second we walked in the door after we checked into the hotel, while Matt and my sister took a swim. I didn't say Matt had a monopoly on denial, did I?

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