Wednesday, January 18, 2006

911 - What's Your Emergency?

Dad was taken to the hospital yesterday morning via the paramedics. He's having trouble with his heart and he's been admitted indefinately. This is bringing up all kinds of issues about mortality. Again.

Dad's made it easier on us by stating that he's "lived a full life and is ready to go." My mom was horrifically afraid to die and begged us to do anything/everything to keep her alive. Dad has made peace with the inevitable. Mom didn't until the very end.

Me? I'm just a wet noodle that folds at any hint of trouble. Frankly, I'm tired of dealing with death. I want to go back to La-La Land where I live oblivious to the pain of human loss.

I've been so lucky for so long. It's turned me into a big baby.

Dad's friends have passed away. He's not able to walk very well and he sleeps most of the day. His life's highlight seems to be food. Dad has taken the Jackie Gleason approach to this: "I'll damned-well eat whatever I want. To hell with the doctors. No salt, no fat, no taste...No Way." Needless to say, he's being a real Pip in the hospital as it pertains to food. His diet over the last two days has been fruit, low-fat ice cream and tapioca pudding. Strangely enough, the nurses allow it.

I am as worried about my Dad's health as I am about the fact that he may or may not have insurance coverage. Sheer Panic would be the best description. Despite my gentle urging (nagging), he took too long to request insurance coverage after his move. Plus, he didn't pay his January premium, but I'm hoping for a grace period. So. Out of network cardiac emergency with active or cancelled coverage. Hmph. Can't wait to deal with all of this.

Would it be inappropriate for me to march right into his hospital room and shake him like a rag doll?

"What were you thinking you cheap, obstinate man? I told you so. I told you so. I told you sooooo."

I suppose the staff on duty would come and wrap me up in a jacket and take me away. Seriously. This is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts. Because Dad and Mom were always this way. They never paid their bills on time. They always lived on the edge of risk. And I hate that - so much so that I have dedicated my life to being utterly stable. Indeed, my current unemployment is extremely uncharacteristic of me. I'm way too high-strung over financial stability, retirement planning and good credit.

Whoof! I've got to get ahold of myself. I know that people have lost everything because of medical bills...but I shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Besides, I've got my dad's health to worry about. We are going to have to deal with everything else at a later time.