Less Than Ideal

"Itís not going to get any better than this,Ē the doctors told us after my Dad had been in the hospital for a week.

ďIf you want to take him home to St. Louis, do not delay, do it now,Ē was the advice given by his medical team.

This was baffling to me. How could we take him home as sick as he was?  Shouldnít we wait until he could stand on his own and eat? What happened to all those rules about being able to eat and eliminate, getting the systems in order before the hospital will release you? Canít we take some time to get all our ducks in a row, establish some order and recovery before we hop on a plane and fly halfway across the country? No.

ďThis is good as itís going to get,Ē was their reply.

One doctor in particular kept stressing how valuable each day was. I donít think the reality of it penetrated my brain. I expected that we had time to bolster Dad up, to organize, pack and move him. How could they say things like go tomorrow when Dad was in such bad shape?

They were right. The pancreatic cancer diagnosis came in on March 1, and on May 17 Dad moved on to his eternal life. On March 17 the hospital staff disconnected the IVís, supplied us with medication and we flew him back where we were blessed with two months for our family to be together.  We did the best we could packing and closing things up in California, it was less than ideal and thatís the whole point of this story. It was less than ideal.

Now that some days have gone by I can see that the doctors were right. It was never going to be ideal. They had the experience and insight to steer us to a fast forward course of action, one that enabled us to make the best of the situation. Waiting around for things to get better would have been foolish. Thatís the difficulty of it; we think if we wait there will be improvement. We hope, and find it hard to accept the reality of the situation.  Looking back I see that propelling us into action was one of the biggest gifts the medical staff caring for Dad gave us. We all face situations in life where none of the viable options are ideal, times when you hope for a miracle but act based on the facts. Itís not an easy road to walk and sometimes weíre blessed to be able to look back and know we did the right thing.  Once you know things are not going to get better then you have a choice, you can wait and hope or you can accept that itís less than ideal, itís your choice.