Two and a half years ago today, on April 17, the darkest corners of my overactive imagination succeeded in trouncing the light, enveloping me in a new reality. That Saturday, my 66-year-old father entered the hospital for emergency abdominal surgery and never came home again.
He had undergone a somewhat routine colonoscopy the day before because he had been having some health issues over the past couple of months. A few polyps were found and removed, again fairly routine. The routine stopped when he spent the night doubled over in pain and went to the ER in the morning on the advice of his friend, a doctor.
I was already worried late that morning when I hadn’t gotten a response to an email to my mother, because worrying is what I do. Wednesday’s child is full of woe, right? Not surprisingly I was born on a Wednesday, and I have suffered the burden of worrying about my family, friends and just about anything, for as long as I can remember. Woe is me.
He was tested and prodded by numerous healthcare professionals and, indeed, at one point was given the ok to go home. The last doctor to meet him, however, wanted one last check of his x-rays before sending him on his way. And thank God he did because he saw the hole that was put in my father’s intestine by the colonoscopy the day before. Evidently the other doctors didn’t see it or were looking at the wrong films. This didn’t instill in us a lot of confidence in this hospital, of course, but we were thankful that he was ushered into the surgery to close the hole and make him one again.
The problem was, he didn’t come out whole. In fact, I never really saw my father as a complete happy, healthy, joyful man again.