And then he fell down some stairs. He was at a hospital in Brussels when it happened (psychiatric hospital, strictly, but close enough), replacing smoke detectors (he’s a fire safety person), so they reached him pretty quickly. That was yesterday. He’s currently at said hospital, under induced hypothermia (and stable), until later today.
He’d been having heart problems for a while, and after his boss had to drive him back home after he collapsed on a company trip recently, he had a stent inserted into his heart and was on a ton of medication, but obviously he still smokes and he has very irregular sleeping patterns.
I don’t know what his prognosis is, but in general these things don’t tend to go well (though the fact that he survived this far means he’s already doing better than most people).
This left his car unattended in Elsene overnight, though, so obviously someone felt the need to smash the back passenger window. So right now, aforementioned boss is driving my mom and my sister to Brussels in her PT Cruiser to retrieve my dad’s personal possessions and the car, and I’m watching the dogs. Tonight, they’re taking the train back to visit him, because visiting hours are weird and at least he’d probably be awake then.
My grandfather, who’s a bit high-maintenance at the moment for various reasons, is being looked after by my aunt and uncle, who came over from Limburg for moral support.
Last night was also the hottest night in six years, and the whole week has been hot enough that I haven’t really slept at all, so fun times.
More on the story as it develops. I’d put this on Facebook, because that’s where everyone who might care about this is, but my mom’s there too, and she doesn’t need to see this again. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog.
Update: He was still asleep when they visited yesterday, though they’d stopped the hypothermia treatment. Now they’re beginning to reduce the medication used to keep him unconscious. No real news otherwise, though the prognosis is cautiously good. It’s now Friday morning, and it happened Wednesday afternoon.
My grandfather, who’s in the hospital for being old (nothing life-threatening), will be able to move straight from the hospital to the home where my grandmother is also staying, so that’s nice.
Too many curious people are calling. I’ve answered more phones today than in the rest of my life combined.
Update: Apparently after they cut off the medicine used to keep him asleep yesterday, he got “agitated” and they put him back on it. Now they’ve cut it again, and he should be waking up “within days or weeks”. Hospital drugs don’t fuck around.
Update: Saturday now. He’s still not awake. My uncle (who’s a radiologist) is on his way from Andorra, and an MRI has been scheduled for Monday.
Update: Sunday. My uncle arrived, and already talked to the hospital’s doctor over the phone and is optimistic. My other uncle and my mom are picking him up and driving him to the hospital itself. Apparently they’re going to try to get my dad moved to Gasthuisberg, in Leuven. His doctor there (the one who placed the stent) said the stent probably collapsed (“sheer bad luck”), but he’s in Sicily at the moment, so he can’t be sure.
Haskell is humping my aunt’s leg.
Update: They’re back. He’s breathing on his own and everything, and he reacted to my mom’s voice (but not my uncle’s), so my uncle is making her visit him every day from now on. The stent is fine, it was probably an infarction, and the move to Gasthuisberg isn’t happening for the moment. And apparently it takes five to seven days on average for a person to wake up, so when the nurse said “yes” when my mom asked if it was a bad sign that he wasn’t awake yet, she was wrong. Probably a language issue.
Basically everyone’s optimistic.
Update, Friday Aug 28: I went to visit him for the first time today, and he seems to be doing well. He’s been “awake” since Wednesday, and he was really responsive today. He seemed to recognise us, and when my mom asked him to squeeze my hand when I was holding his he did. He’s still very drugged up, but I think that if it wasn’t for the feeding tube they cut his throat for, he would have been able to at least say our names, if not hold up his end of the conversation.
Brussels is a filthy, filthy town.
Update, Monday Aug 31: He’s being moved to Leuven tomorrow.