Taking My Dad Home from the Hospital

I picked my dad up from the hospital in the middle of the afternoon after his nearly week long treatment for Valley Fever. I was substituting in this duty for my step-mother who has had cold/flu symptoms for the past few days–she could have Covid for all I know. He walked gingerly, even a little decreiptly and spoke in a weak voice. He seemed relatively clear in mind but was in an intense, slightly angry mood. He asked me to drive him immediately to McDonalds, which he craved after days of only being offered hospital food, which he described as unbelievably awful. I was somewhat cowered by his initially intense demeanor. As I drove through the drive through he ordered me several times to maneuver the car closer to the wall where the drive through windows were and otherwise gave me specific directions as I drove him around about what lane I should be in, etc. This was because I was rather unfamiliar with the area. The situation caused me a fair amount of sensory overload as the area we were in is a suburban area heavily congested by cars. At one point, I obeyed his direction to switch from left to right lane and but did not see a car in my blind spot. Normally in such circumstances I would look over my right shoulder rather than merely look in the rearview mirror but his presence in the passenger seat–I very rarely have passengers when I drive–disrupted my instinct to look over the shoulder and I nearly hit the car. The car honked very loudly and the driver gave me an ugly look. My dad took this situation rather well and offered me a few encouraging words after I uttered some profanity. Before I picked up my dad, I had attempted to pick up a number of prescriptions for myself at a pharmacy in this same area but the business was closed for Easter. I then attempted to navigate my way to the hospital but got lost for a time which added to the stress.

After we drove a while and he ate(he reported that he has lost his sense of taste and that the McDonald’s didn’t taste anywhere near as satisfying as he hoped), he became somewhat more relaxed and talkative. He added a few tart remarks about my step-mother–he refered to her control freak nature and expressed anger that she had taken his wallet from the hospital back home. As we approached the new residence of my father and step-mother, he asked me to stop at Wallmart to buy some orange juice, for which he felt a craving.

While I was inside the store, the McDonalds which he had just forced on his out of wack digestive system began to put intense pressure on his system and he asked that we go home quickly so he could relieve himself. But as we passed a hardware store, he asked that we stop there so he could use their restroom–however the store was closed for Easter. He then urged me to drive toward the neighborhood of their new house where there is much new housing construction and thus honey buckets for construction workers. However, he kept directing me to drive in areas full of completed houses and thus short of construction workers and their honey buckets. Eventually we made it home to their new house although it seems my dad possibly didn’t make it to the toilet in time.

My step-mother, suffering from her cold/flu symptoms, indicated that she was a little piqued that my dad had called her on the way home and requested that she “draw me a bath.” She thought this was “demanding” behavior though, in truth, he can never make her wait on him hand and foot anywhere near the extent that he has waited on her throughout their relationship. She made faces about his bowel movement and indicated that dealing with his infirmity was a burden on her. She said, with her usual idiotic nervous giggles, that she would need my help looking after him and made a signal indicating that he was a little off in the head before saying she was just kidding. There are times when I truely loathe her but I can understand why she would make the crazy sign about him as he had displayed odd behavior during the previous night in the hospital, for example calling her in the middle of the night and informing her that he had changed out of his hospital gown and put on regular clothes. She offered me extravagant praise for picking him up today–and for delivering a bag of various things to the hospital for him yesterday. I talked to her later and her feelings toward him seemed to become more tender as he had collapsed from exhaustion into sound sleep on the couch and had asked her in a weak voice to call his mother for him as he was too weak to carry on the extensive telephone conversations that he and my grandmother have had nightly in recent years. My grandma has been very worried about him.

I’m, as usual, highly nervous about what the future might bring.

Published by freedautist819

I'm an over-educated, underemployed Autistic (Asperger's Syndrome) trying to find my way in the neurotypical world. I'm using this blog as a sort of diary documenting my struggles. I don't pretend to believe that every interpretation I make about the world is correct or that my reaction to every stimuli is the one which a perfectly rational individual would make. I do however believe that I'm fairly intelligent in many ways; I also believe that the perspective of autistic people too often gets buried in the discussion about our experience. As I'm on the autism spectrum, perhaps I can provide insights as I share my struggle. To donate: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/AutisticFreedom

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