Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Little Better

A brindle calf resting against its black mama.
The newest calf in Dad’s herd

Chris and I arrived at the hospital after Dr. W. had come in to talk to Dad. We were running late because a bad mama cow had come up for water without her baby, and we took a while to find it in the grazer patch and drive it back up to the shady water trough where the cattle like to hang out during the heat of the day. The last thing we wanted to have to tell Dad this morning was that we had lost his new calf.

Dr. W. had told Dad he had to stay another night in the hospital. Dad took this news with surprising aplomb. The he told us the CT scan had revealed no metastasis. Dr. W. says Dad has “a long time,” whatever that means. While I know he can’t predict the future, I’m much happier with “a long time” than I would be with “a few months.” Or less.

Some of the 23 bales of hay that awaited our return to the farm

By late afternoon, I was glad that they were keeping Dad another night. He woke up from his afternoon siesta in a very crotchety mood. He was down on everything. Yesterday’s surgery and a lack of deep sleep had caught up with him. He was too weak to get out of bed without help (never mind that he is 89, and many his age have trouble like this without the excuse of surgery—or cancer). He went through a litany of all things the medical profession had done to ruin his life. Then he got started on lawyers.

I hate it when he is unhappy like this. His pain pains me, too. So, I try to find something positive to say, but he wasn’t having anything to do with that. All I could do was sit quietly and listen without comment until he wore himself down. When he returned from a long phone call, Chris finally got Dad turned onto happier subjects.

We left shortly after dinner because Dad was tired and wanted to turn in early. We got back to the farm to find 23 round bales of hay had been baled in our absence—not bad for a 20 acre paddock being grazed by nine head.

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