Okay, I don’t know if this week can really be captioned quarantine life. I had to undergo some extreme exposure therapy and really wasn’t in quarantine. However, I’m going to keep it in this strand of posts as otherwise, I’ll just be missing a week. There is not going to be a lot of cooking to talk about with this one, but there were a lot of interesting and significant moments I would like to share.
Thursday (4/1) – I had to get on a plane and fly to Arkansas. Yep, I got on a plane. My father had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks with Covid-19, and things took a bad turn. Everything about this was terrifying. I don’t even remember which sibling called me first. But my father had taken a turn, and the hospital was going to intubate him. Then I got a call that when they went to intubate, his heart stopped briefly. I had a plane ticket booked and was on my way to the airport before I could even catch my breath. The airport was crowded, and social distancing was kind of a joke. The plane was filled to capacity. I wore two masks, one paper and one double layer cloth. When I landed in Arkansas, my sister picked me up, and we drove to a Cracker Barrell where my mom and aunts were. I actually went inside, but my lovely mother then took me back outside as she saw I was having a bit of a panic attack in the restaurant with people unmasked. We ended up going to a fast food place called Freddy’s where we could eat on the patio. It was the first time I’ve eaten takeout from the containers it came in. It was also the only thing I ate all day. I had a very decent chicken sandwich and some delicious fries.
Friday (4/2) – My dad had been transferred from the original hospital to their bigger hospital in Little Rock. They were trying some new things, including having him turned onto his stomach for portions of the day. We were informed that he was not a candidate for echmo, which had been the purpose of the transfer. However, we were being told things were looking better. The husband, Katie and I even had lunch on a nice patio. The place had huge outdoor tables, and it actually felt very safe. I had a very lovely prosciutto sandwich and fries. Katie did not enjoy her meal choice as much, but it was still a good time.
Saturday (4/3) – we were all called to the hospital. We met with a palliative care nurse. We were told that there was no hope. They had tried every treatment option they had, and he was just getting worse. He was never going to come off the intubation tube, and even if they took him off, he was never going to regain consciousness. Late in the afternoon, we made the decision that we would put in a DNR and that the following day we would start the process to remove life support. We drove out to my older sister’s house for dinner. Her husband made grilled chicken teriyaki, and we had corn and salad and rolls. It was a nice, relaxing evening.
Sunday (4/4) – The hospital decided that my siblings and I could each go in to visit daddy one at a time. We each spent some time with him. My grandmother and grandfather got to see him. My girls were allowed to see him through the window but not actually go into the room. It was hard. It was one of the longest days I have experienced. That evening, we all had dinner at my brother’s house. He has a very nice back deck and doors were open to allow airflow inside when we needed to go in. My brother grilled chicken breast and beef sausages. We brought a pre-mixed salad and Olive Garden dressing, and my sister-in-law made some green beans. Oh, and there were rolls. That is all I can remember. I don’t even remember if the food was good. I’m sure it was.
Monday (4/5) – We got up and drove through Starbucks and went to Sonic to eat. I figure if I didn’t eat before, I probably wouldn’t. Then I stood with my sisters outside the room and watch my daddy leave this world. I had thought it would crush me. I had thought I would collapse. It was crushing, but I made it through it with my sisters. We then did what southerners do, and the whole lot of us went out to lunch. We ate on a patio at a Tex-Mex place. The food was decent, but spending time with my family was the important part. After this, I think I went on autopilot. We had so much to do.
Tuesday (4/6) – We made a decision on a cremation service very early, so I had to get to Mom’s to help submit the paperwork. And we had the memorial to plan. My brother handled the lion share of the planning. We drafted and redrafted the obituary multiple times. I think this was the day that my sister’s mother-in-law brought over bar-b-que. It was pretty good. In the middle of us planning and working on the memorial, I got a call from my daughter, who had stayed at the hotel. They were trying to kick her out. Apparently, there had been a miscommunication between booking.com and the hotel, and our reservation never actually got extended. Owen ended up going and picking her and our stuff up. My sister had a realtor friend who was in the process of getting an Airbnb ready, and he agreed to rent it to us for the week. It was a very nice space. I ended up doing an Instacart order from Kroger’s so we’d have snacks and breakfast foods. This was the one thing that actually felt kind of normal.
Wednesday (4/7) – I spent most of the day going through and scanning pictures for a slide show we put together for daddy’s memorial. It was hard, and it was exhausting. We ended up doing curbside pick up from a cafe in North Little Rock for dinner. It was actually pretty good. I had a fried chicken dinner that came with a loaded baked potato and some steamed veggies. Katie and Owen both had the chicken fried steak dinner.
This week was jarring to say the least. I ate in public spaces. I did drive-thru for the first time in over a year. I spent a lot of time with people from other households. You would think my anxiety would have been off the charts, but I think I just went on autopilot. And I had the support of my amazing family. My husband was great. He rolled with every change of plans, every time I needed anything.