17 October 2008

Dad Report

Dad is healing better than anyone could have expected. Strike that - better than the doctor could have expected. Those of us who know Dad are aware that he is made of stronger stuff than most, some combination of baling wire and beef jerky and duct tape, most likely, with PVC pipe (Dad's favorite building material) thrown in for good measure.

His eye infection is gone and his corneal ulcer is almost healed. He is still 90% blind, but there is hope that steroids may clear his cornea enough to see a bit, or else a new cornea transplant is on the horizon. That would be a daunting thought for most 90-year-olds but Dad is already prodding the doctor about setting a timeline.

I think he hates being blind mostly because he can't see his watch anymore. Despite being retired since the mid 1980s, he isn't going to let himself sleep in past 6.

In fact, he asked me to call him when I get up at 5:30 because that it when he likes to get up. I had to cite the fact that mom doesn't really want to be awakened then to tell him "No."

I did find him a talking watch keychain thingy. God bless Amazon.com for that. It should be here tomorrow or Monday, so he doesn't have to suffer timelessness much longer.

Since we have had several hours of waiting room time a week, I am getting filled in on all the World War II stories. Or at least a couple of stories, repeated quite often.

This is his favorite: when he was heading off to war in late 1944, he traveled on the USS West Point from the United States to England.

He said that he and a fellow soldier were guarding the back of the ship one night before midnight when they saw a faint light behind them. The ship's skipper was walking around and asked them how everything was going, and they told him what they had seen, not thinking it was a big deal since they assumed they were traveling in a convoy.

The captain wasn't so calm. He got on the phone and began barking orders. The ship went full steam ahead, making a sharp turn.

The light behind them was a German U-Boat, and but for Dad's watchful eye, the lives of 7,678 troops could have been lost at sea.

At least that's his story. As with many of Dad's stories, his mileage may vary and facts may change from telling to telling. In fact, today the ship held 12,000 soldiers!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just love it....bless you, you are a great daughter!

Maggie said...

My grandmother recently had eye surgery (I believe the same though I cannot swear to that) and it was quite successful for her. She is in her mid 80's. She says she sees better than she had in years. Though she does have odd days where her eyesight blurs a bit. But she is happy that everything doesn't look so dark anymore. So since your father sounds as tough as my grandmother, I'm betting the surgery will go great if needed.

Mrs. G. said...

Your dad sounds like a sweetheart.

Susan C said...

Your dad gives new meaning to the word trooper. And so do you.

Susan C said...

PS Interesting how the theme of vigilance plays out in your father's WWII story and his desire to rise early.

"Watchful eye" - he chose to retell a story in which he not only has vision, he has super vision.

MsLittlePea said...

Oh SueBob. Reading this story brought tears to my eyes made me think of my Grandpa and his remaining quiet about what happened to him during the War until one day he was asked to speak about it to the youth group at church. They are true American heroes! (He never got out of the habit of waking up promptly at 5am either) Best wishes for his recovery.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

As a wise man once told me, "never let the facts get in the way of a good story!"

Glad he's feeling better.

g said...

Hi, Sueb0b.

I'm currently stahing with my 82 year old mom, who's going thru some life changes. I understand where you're at.

Mom took a couple bad falls a couple weeks ago - I am second in the rotatio of family members staying with her. We're trying to get her into an assited living situation.

I dig what you're dealing with.

Julie said...

Glad to hear he is doing better.

Neil said...

Loved that story from the war.

mar said...

so glad he's doing better!

Suzanne said...

Very glad that your dad is doing better. I so thought that his story would be about a ghost, so I especially liked the twist. Not too many people know that u-boats regularly prowled the waters outside the US. Scary stuff.

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