I thought I had better switch stuff around a bit with visiting my Dad; recent activities have prevented weekend visits and meant for groggy Monday visits. One glass of wine on Friday was not a barrier and so I was able to go today.
Filling a two hour visit with chat is not as easy as it seems. Sure, if I was one of those people who is happy to talk for talking’s sake then I could just chat shit. I am at the opposite end of the scale of chat, though. I don’t really feel talking is worth it unless something interesting or necessary needs to be said. One-on-one conversation, especially, I find hard work. [I know what everyone is thinking here: You come across as a conflicting mix of self-loathing and – a delusion – that you are somehow the greatest person ever AND you don’t like talking to people one-on-one, your girlfriend is one lucky girl.]
Don’t get me wrong conversation has never really been a problem between me and my Dad. But neither has sitting in silence. Seems a bit pointless to go and sit in silence at the hospital; though. Football is obvious and it does get a damn good talking about; films and television also get a good going over; of course I ask him how he is and that, what do you think I am? Some kind of coward who avoids asking his seriously ill father how it is all going because it makes him feel all sad and depressed and he doesn’t like being sad and depressed, especially not on his own on a bus through Wythenshawe on his way home. Well that is not me and anyway, even if I was he still tells me anyway. Today he told me given the chance again he would think twice about having this operation – that without he would have slowly died over the next couple of years. What does he want me to do with this information?
Speaking of people telling you things anyway, especially things you don’t really need to hear: I phoned my mum before I went. I needed to check he hadn’t moved rooms again (he has moved several times) and she told me that last weekend he was worse than we had thought. I had thought he had been quite bad: he looked worse than he did the day after his transplant. But he was worse than this apparently. “He could have gone either way,” she told me. Sometimes going either way can mean ‘he could have got up and had a shower or stayed in bed all day with a hangover’. This felt like one of the ways was a very bad way. The she told me it was nothing to worry about and that he was doing well. So I worried about it all the way to seeing him.
He had been bad on Monday. I am sure the pain and suffering are very bad, but it seems like it is the painkillers that make him worse. I think it is safe to say he doesn’t like morphine, or at least being given large amounts of it for incredible pain and having to deal with the side-effects. Who would have thought the morphine induced visions of a man whose life is in danger would be dark? Seeing him in this state knocked me a little bit, it is safe to say. We ended up talking about Nazi Germany for a while. I have always been intrigued by the ‘normal’ people in Nazi Germany. You know: the ones who weren’t evil but were just taken up in it all and forced to do stuff. I don’t mean the burning of Jews, I mean maybe clerical work or something – but were capable and ended up being like respected and stuff in the Nazi party and – this is the bit that interests me – how they coped with it all afterwards, these normal people who were cogs in the most evil killing machine Europe has produced (in modern times). Yeah, so that’s what I cheered my Dad up with when he was as unwell as I have ever seen him. I’m the man you need in a crisis.
That was then and this is now, though. I would definitely brighten up any dark moments today. So, as my Dad was telling me he wasn’t sure he would go through with it the transplant given the choice again I pointed out that he would get to see his grandkids for a few years longer now. He was, to be fair, hopeful that he would be less of a burden to my mum for a bit. I pointed out that she had agreed to the ‘in sickness and in health bit’ of the wedding. His counterpoint was that maybe he hadn’t been the best Father and husband.
“Don’t be daft,” I said, “You’re not the worst – Shipman is worse than you”. What had I said that for? I meant to say West. I had no evidence that Shipman was a bad husband or Father. So I said “and West” to correct my mistake. We had a right laugh about him only being better than Fred West and Harold Shipman. I quickly assured myself that he was better than Shipman as well; How could he have been a good father and husband? (1) He was a GP, they work crazy hours; (2) He was also doing the preliminary visits to defenceless old women before (3) Visiting and killing defenceless old women. He would never have been around – and then brought loads of shame on the family by doing the murders and killing himself in prison. My Dad is definitely some better than Shipman and loads better than West. I think I will get him a cup that says ‘Better Father than Shipman and West’ for Xmas. I probably wont though – my Dad would get the joke but my Mum would just say I was disturbed or something.
This is what I have been listening to on the bus home from the hospital to cheer myself up…ahhhh it makes sense why I am not cheered up now..