Well, my dad's finally been discharged, exactly a month and a day after checking in.
He's still weak as a kitten, but doing pretty well compared to his last surgery 9 years back. We went to get his hair washed at a salon on the way back. He couldn't make it 10 metres without stopping for 5 minutes. The exertion immediately brought on a fever when we got home. He'll get stronger, but we need to be careful.
The remaining kidney's not totally gone, still got 11% functionality. But cut-off point is 15%, which means regular dialysis anyway. Good thing is he only needs to go twice a week, which is massively different from three times, in terms of financial cost and quality of life. Not as bad as we thought, but not much consolation either. Kidney failure was a complication that really had no business happening in a monitored environment.
Got to go back to meet the doctor to talk about the aortic aneurysm and the stent. There's still a leak, and things still need to be fixed. Blood's still being supplied through his false lumen and feeding his spine, legs and kidney remnant. So if they plug the leak, we still got a bunch of shit to worry about, such as stroke, paralysis, and heavier dialysis. Not sure if we'll go through with it.
Despite all the gloom, I have to say I rather enjoyed – and will continue to enjoy – my role as my dad's nurse and medical adminstrator. Learning the right way to physically move a patient and handling all the logistics of medicine and appointments. I'm actually feeling a bit of guilty pleasure from being somewhat familiar with the medical jargon. I'm sure there're less depressing ways of learning this stuff, but I doubt I'd have been as motivated.
Also been good to connect again with relatives outside of the regular CNY gatherings. My dad's the oldest among 10 siblings, so that's alot of relatives. Not to mention a couple of elders and my mum's side. It's been made painfully obvious who really gives a shit and who doesn't. Also great to have met some of my dad's colleagues and old friends.
Of greatest note was when my dad's two Indian warehouse helpers came to visit him really late at night, about 8pm – even though it was in Clementi and they lived in freaking Serangoon – staying past 10pm. According to my dad, about a year back when my mum was in hospital, one of them gave my dad $200 out of his $300 monthly salary, so we might have enough for medicine. My dad gave it back, of course. My brother and I were quite stunned by the sheer generosity of the gesture, and we still are.
Needless to say, my dad is a well-loved man, so the karmic inequalities of what happened is fucked up on a number of levels. Still, he's back, his spirits are rising, and he's pretty much ok. I can't really ask for much more.
Thanks to everyone who dropped me a comment or sms. I really appreciated hearing from all of you.