Robotic Dad


My father had robotic surgery today to repair the mitral valve in his heart. The surgery was done with the doctor controlling robotic arms that did the surgery.

Last night my sister, two brothers, and sister-in-law gathered at my parent’s house for dinner. It was a lively fun evening and I think my father really appreciated us being there. After dinner, my parents went to bed and my siblings and sister-in-law went out to a local bar for a drink. It was a fun lively conversation as we talked about family and kidded each other about different things.

The free beds in my parent’s house were already taken by my brother and sister when I arrived yesterday. So I pulled cushions off the living room couch and made it up into a bed on the living room floor. This morning I woke up at 4:30 am in order to leave for the hospital at 5:00 am. My dad was told to report at the hospital at 5:45 am and true to form he kept pushing us to leave for the hospital, afraid to be late. I can see now where I get my strong desire to be on time. The actual surgery began at 10:00 am, after all the prep, and took almost three hours. The doctor came out a little while ago to tell us the surgery had been a success.

How the child becomes the parent is a fascinating process. As my parent’s age they look to me and my siblings for direction and guidance. It has been a mad rush for the last few weeks, working with one of my brothers, to get my father’s power of attorney, will, bank accounts all updated, so that in case things did not go well, we had the ability to manage things properly. We got almost everything we identified two weeks ago completed by yesterday and today was the surgery.

In this process, I saw myself step into a capable leadership role with my parents to drive the process, and bring order and focus on what needed to be done. I also saw that I had the ability to rapidly dig into my parent’s complex estate and, with my brother, rapidly understand and focus on the most important items. It has given me a newly added sense of identity in the world and my capabilities relative to my parents.

There are still things that can go wrong for my dad, but so far the surgery was highly successful. So now begins the recovery process.

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