Only when I laugh...
I'm not sure what day it is.
I took the old boy to the pub on Monday where we listened to the Jazz Band that he used to play in when his mind hadn't wandered. It was great, he was great and we had a great night. Half way through the second half he started to feel cold. Monday night wasn't cold. Even I was sweating and I'm 76% sawdust. Got him home and he was full on shaking and shivering. We noticed a nasty looking bite on his elbow and noted that we'd take him to the docs the following day. By the time his 3.00 appointment came around he was weak and unstable and couldn't really walk very well and the infected bite looked like it'd spread. Easy peasy, infection! Nasty one. Get him in to hospital, pump him full of antibiotics and Bob's your Uncle.
Ambulance, A&E, drips and tubes all followed. We didn't realise what it was or how serious it was so I toddled off home to pack his overnight bag and Andy went home to take care of his many offspring. Then we got the call.
You see it in films and on medical dramas all the time. The call where someone asks "You need to come in now". I could tell when mum called that all wasn't well. She explained that he had been diagnosed with something she couldn't pronounce but it was very serious. I called my big brother and, after a moment, told him what she told me; "We need to go in now."
If you plan on typing Necrotising Fasciitis into Google then I'd advise that you put your jam sandwich down and don't consider eating for at least an hour. It's a flesh eating infection that anyone could pick up. Obviously his immune system is about as much use as a sunroof on a submarine at the moment so that hasn't helped but really, anyone could've picked it up. But it wasn't anyone, it was my Dad.
After the Doctor had explained that this was an operation that has 'a high mortality rate' it's hard to get clear in your head what exactly is happening. Crowded around that bed we said goodbye without saying goodbye. We didn't want to frighten him or for him to have the image of us losing the plot to be the last thing before he was operated on. So we said stuff and had a moment then cracked a few jokes. Those jokes you crack under extreme circumstances. The ones where the laugh bursts out instead of tears. We followed him up to the lift and the doors closed.
Told him that we'd see him later.
I'm not sure, in that moment, what exactly happened. My eyes sting now just thinking about it.
It's now 3 days since it all happened. The recovery he's made so far is nothing short of miraculous. The have had to cut a lot of tissue from his arm but luckily no bone or muscle or veins. They took him down to theatre again to check they got it all and they had. Yesterday he was sat up in bed, no ventilator, chatting to the constant and amazing nurses in ICU. Then today with even less tubes and pipes they transferred him to a Plastics ward. He's either on track for his arm to be remodelled or he's booked himself in for a boob job. Either way, he's winning again.
My dad is a tough old bugger but he needs your love and support at the moment. We all do really.
I'm off for a cup of tea and a Twix. I'm still not sure what day it is.