Continuity of Care

dad-and-meBy the time this is published, I’ll be sitting with my father for our first visit with an oncologist since he was in hospital two weeks ago for his emergency brain surgery. On his last day at Morton Plant, an MRI was done of his brain – it is those results we are receiving today. There are a lot of unknowns and questions for this doctor. It’s as if the fate of my father’s life are in his scans.

dad-at-ozziesTwenty two days ago my world was rocked to its core. Phone buzzed… voice-message… Dad, ER… got to leave work now! … As soon as I walked in the ER and said “Chester Dzwonkowski”, they rushed me in. He was being transferred to another hospital for emergency surgery… Surgery… What surgery… What’s wrong? I got into the room as the EMT’s were transferring him to a gurney. The ER RN started saying words to me like… Blood clot… Brain… Surgery…Life threating. Then dads-headthis calm voice reached me through the cacophony of hospital chaos. My arm gently grazed, “You must be Michael, I’m Sue.” I had heard a lot about Sue from my Dad. He had been spending a lot of time with her and their feelings for each other were mutually growing. As Dad was wheeled down the hall to the ambulance, Sue explained the happenings of the day.

dad-smileIf not for Sue, Dad would not be here today. The neural surgeon told me dad had slipped into a coma about twenty minutes before surgery started. That was near 19:00, the time I would have been home from work that evening. It would have been too late to save him by then. The brain bleed wasn’t the only thing discovered in the ER that day. A large mass in his lungs was found as well. But that finding took a back seat until he started his recovery from surgery. After the MRI, Dad and I left the hospital for rehab before hearing the results for ourselves. We are getting those results now. More to come…


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