This afternoon P had a conference call with the hospital's SW and Case Manager. They were scheduled to call at 5:30, our time, but called more than an hour earlier. The idea was to allow P time to be home from work. Good thing P goes to work so early, he just had to leave. The SW began with a recap of what we know, which is not much. One week in critical care and still incoherent, P is the medical surrogate designated by Grandpa and medical decisions are his to make at this time, and all information goes to him, and he is responsible for sharing as needed. Sharing nothing on a regular basis does get boring. OK, tell the man something he does not know.
Then we stepped into the Twilight Zone. The CM was talking as though Grandpa was going to walk out of the hospital and resume his life without a hitch. UH, one week incapacitated people? Should we be thinking contingency plans? The doctors have been straight forward with P about this. In their easy breezy nature the SW and CM glossed over the rent issue, stating that November was a lost cause, so they would work on a plan for December. Really, how the hell do you propose for this to happen? We are not even going to get into what the property manager said that pi$ed P off, but suffice it to say, they want their money, and now. The house owner is not available at this time, and P will simply wait for his call. Of course we would love for Grandpa to wake up tomorrow in the same condition we left him in September. That is what we are praying for.
It is useless to go into the rest of the conversation as it would not add anything of value. Finances will be in limbo until Grandpa is lucid enough for their legal department to get a durable POA for P to take over his finances. So we wait for that window of lucidity. After the phone call P looked at me and we busted up laughing. He asked "Why was I the only rational participant in that conversation? Were they in the same hospital as my father?" Well P, you are just not used to hanging loose my man, you are too darn rational for your own good. There, I said it. P is doing a wonderful job of juggling, and getting as much as he can done. I am very proud of his patience, and how calm he has remained when all hell has broken loose around him. But like he said to me earlier, "I have done this three times now." Plus, let's face it, he has the best two assistants in the world, not only do we provide a shoulder to cry on, but we give the best hugs and kisses. :) It also helps that we were able to visit to recently and have wonderful memories of that time.
Towards the end of the conversation the CM stated that she would call in two days with an update. P and I looked at each other upon hearing this. But the thing is that the doctors need P's consent for procedures, so P will be the first to know if there are changes. We doubt that there will be two days without changes, as they are still trying to stabilize the man.
The latest from the nurse is that the colonoscopy was completed today but they do not have results available, and Grandpa has an NG tube.
This situation has made us think a lot about how we would fare in similar conditions. From the moment we conceived of a Baby S we undertook an overly simplistic approach to a possible catastrophic event. SS belongs to her brother, they will have the same last name to avoid possible complications (as if), and JJ will not only assume custody of his sister,but wade through whatever mess we leave behind. OK, we never intended on the leaving a mess behind part, but reality is that excrement happens when you least expect it. We have clearly expressed our wishes hundreds of times, and of course everything is going to go as planned.
Now we have a deeper understanding of what would happen if we would be incapacitated, or if one of us would perish and the other in a coma. To expect JJ to take over every aspect that took both of us to manage is incredibly short sighted and unfair. Between making medical decisions and dealing with a traumatized child his plate would be replete. Who knew we would have such a learning experience. BTW, this is how we see our rather complex situation. This is completely different from Grandpa's, his is fairly straightforward. We have just reconsidered our expectations and options (two parents only one adult child). We would be after all leaving a minor child behind.
Before we get more morbid here, SS's godmother once said that we would not need a guardian for SS. When I asked her why she stated that after we waited so long for our daughter, she could not see us leaving her side, so if the unthinkable happened, SS would be there with us. Auntie C is pragmatism personified. And that is how she found herself in the position of godmother to our child. Except that now her plate is about to be fuller as we are going to make a few changes. JJ and SS will always be a team, but we are going to spread the legal responsibility to include Auntie C. We think her and JJ would make an excellent team, nurturing, protecting and guiding SS in the manner we would have. Plus Auntie C is a formidable trouble shooter and can cut through bureaucratic tape like no one we have ever met.
OK, anyone know a good joke? Need to lighten up a little.
Nothing says "We love you and are sorry for neglecting you for a week," like an artery clogging meal. Then we can reinforce how much we love SS by pampering her after her quadruple bypass surgery.