As I've mentioned, I'm here in Chicago while the elves keep the homefront running smoothly. I love the independent living place where my dad lives, and have been spending quite a bit of time here the past couple years for family reasons. The bad is that it's disorienting to one's life, especially the times like now being away for many weeks at a time; the good is that the residence is wonderful, it's a joy to be with my dad who'll be 93 next month, and I love Chicago. What's odd though is wandering around the place and coming across some resident who I don't know, and have them occasionally ask me, "So are you a resident here?" I'm as polite as possible, saying, no, no, I'm just visiting my dad -- but what I want to say is, "Seriously?? You think I live here??!! Seriously?!!! My dad is 93. His friend Adeline is 98. The lovely Rita -- who's a huge Cubs fans -- is 102. The Krauses are a lovely couple, but kids in their mid-80s. And you think I live here????!! No, I do not live here!!!!!"
This trip has been a hectic swirl, which I suspect has been affecting some of my posting here -- more videos and less writing about politics. In large part, that's because I haven't been following the news much, just a bit. And sitting down to write about it simply takes a lot of time out of days that have little room to spare.
Without going into much detail, my dad is starting home dialysis, which isn't as bad a thing as it sounds. It's not that we just discovered he's suddenly developed kidney problems. His kidney's have been bad for a year -- the dialysis will hopefully help deal with the situation and make him more comfortable. Already it's clearly having some benefit.
But it's been a zoo getting to that point. His main caregiver -- the angel on earth Elisabeth -- was going to do the home dialysis training (as was I, but just as a back-up since I won't be staying here, of course). In the meantime, her daughter is about to get married -- today, in fact -- which took over her mother-of-the-bride's life. And then just a few days ago her terrific husband -- also a caregiver -- got admitted to the hospital with chest pains. (When I say it's been a zoo, I really mean it...) Let's just say it was hellish for a while, and it looked like everything was falling apart, to the point of possibly even losing all the caregivers. The very short version is that we found someone who already is trained, and the clinic and nephrologist (kidney doctor) think he's great -- and the husband is fine and out of the hospital, Elisabeth didn't have to do any training this week of her daughter getting married -- and the process is starting to come together smoothly. It's still very hectic, lots of things to do and check up on, but a semblance of order is beginning to take place.
So...a real, mad swirl. Bordering on hellish. Which seems to be getting to be okay now. My dad is sore, and a bit weak from the recent surgery, but clearly doing better by steps. I'll be around for a while longer, because there's more to do -- but it seems to be getting done.
Which is why if things here have seemed a bit off perhaps, in some inexplicable way, that's why...
And no, I don't live here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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