Down & Out in Downtown Boston – Somewhere In Time Weekly Travel Photo.

By Posted in - Boston & Personal & Somewhere In Time & U.S.A. on April 5th, 2012

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Somewhere In Time is a weekly photo from around the world. Enjoy!

Where should I start?

This view of Boston is pretty nice – especially for a view from a hospital room. I think my dad got lucky when he transferred to this Cadillac of rooms at Mass General Hospital a couple days ago.

Life has been tough lately. I realize most people who read this blog don’t know what’s going on in our personal lives all the time. The last year, while filled with plenty of travel, has been one of the toughest in my life. In fact, the only year that comes close to this type difficulty was when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a few years ago. That year was pretty devastating but this year has actually been harder because I’ve been living under the fear that I could lose one of the most important people in my life – my dad.

Last summer my dad spent 10 weeks in the hospital for a variety of ailments – mostly stemming from an infection he had – a really nasty infection that almost took his life. We spent almost all of our waking time at the hospital by his side. After several surgeries and two and a half months of hospitalization, he thankfully recovered and then he spent another 6 weeks in rehab. During all this his kidneys took a hit, we were told he had end stage renal failure and he ended up on dialysis.

My dad is a lot tougher than he looks though and despite the doctors telling him that he would never get off dialysis, with a combination of strict dieting and acupuncture, he did. Things were starting to look up and I remember him crying as he told me that he was off dialysis. We were all relieved. It felt like maybe after months of fearing that we would lose him, life could go back to normal again and he would get better.

After that, Randy & I left for Europe. Things were good at home for the most part but I during the trip was haunted with anxiety and horrible dreams about his health. Mentally I had not recovered from the fear of losing him. When we came back in December everything was great – dad was doing really well and looked better than any of us had seen in a long time.

Then January rolled around and everything changed again. He has been hospitalized three times since January and this last hospitalization has really taken its toll.

Two weeks ago we took a drive to Cape Cod and he ended up confused, freezing and weak. In the convenience store, he stumbled around grasping my arm and the snack aisle for balance as we lumbered towards the bathroom. His eyes were blank and it was scary. We drove home as quickly as we could and as he walked inside he collapsed but we all held him up and got him to the bed. He said he wanted to take a nap. Afterwards he was fine and back to normal – at dinner we were all joking around but he couldn’t remember anything that had happened earlier. It was bizarre but we concluded it must’ve been low blood sugar. A day later he was admitted to Mass General Hospital for an infection that had apparently been raging for quite some time, in his right foot. The infection unfortunately had spread into the bone and in an attempt to prevent it from spreading into his blood they had to amputate his foot.

By the time you read this article they will have taken his leg (up to the knee) as well.

It’s been a devastating two weeks due mainly to the shock of this drastic step that no one anticipated.

Overall my dad is doing much better now. We spend just about every day with him trying to keep his spirits happy because he is having a very hard time with it all. We just need to get through this surgery so we can start rehab. Complicating things is the fact that the last two times he has been put under he has fallen into a coma. One of those times he was in a coma for 3 weeks and the doctors didn’t think he would make it. Anesthesia and him just don’t mix. As a family we have been paranoid of him ever going under again and all the surgeries he has had in the past year have been done with a local block – he was never put under.

It would be an understatement to say that I’m not absolutely paranoid about the next 24 hours. I’m terrified – thinking that I might not see him again. I feel sick to my stomach over it and I can’t sleep. The one positive thing is that Mass General is an awesome hospital and they actually invented anesthesia. We’ve shown them the paperwork and told them of his allergies and issues. If any hospital can see him through this I’m sure it’s this one. We have no other choice but to go through with this next surgery so there isn’t anything else we can do but hope & pray at this point that everything will be okay. It’s so scary knowing that tomorrow he is going under and there isn’t anything I can do about it but kiss him and tell him that I love him. I hate this and I can’t even imagine what he is going through mentally.

Dealing with the amputation is another set of emotional & financial issues that we need to face after the surgery. My parents are self employed. We’ve been told it could be anywhere for 4 – 12 months for him to recuperate and work again. Because of all the medical issues from last year we are forced at this point to put our family home on the market and try to sell it before they lose it. All of this has been such a stressĀ  – the hospitalizations, the amputation, the anesthesia and now the house.

Everything has changed in the blink of an eye.

We’re a very close family and I know we’ll get through this. So many people (apparently over 2 million in the US) are amputees and they have great lives. We can only hope for the best tomorrow and then deal with the life changes after that. It’s going to be a long road but I know we’re going to make it through to the other side. It’s been a really hard year and I’m hoping this is rock bottom – right now it sure feels like it is. I pray that things will start to get better after this.

As drastic as this is, I’m hoping that this surgery will rid him finally of whatever infection has been plaguing him for the past year and that he can finally get back to living life.

Hopefully tomorrow at this time he’ll be awake & recovering. Then we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Right now, the fear of the anesthesia is worse than the fear of losing the leg – at least for me. I hope next week at this time he’ll be healing in rehab and getting ready for the next phase of his life. We need to be at the hospital for 5am tomorrow – I’m anxious, I’m tired and I can’t sleep. But I’m thankful that at the very least, my dad gets this great view of Boston to help with his recovery.
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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(10) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica -

    April 5, 2012 at 6:53 am

    What a terrible thing to go through. Sending thoughts and prayers to Boston. I think your dad will definitely appreciate that view during his recovery.

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat) -

    April 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Take it one day at a time. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  • Jane L -

    April 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I’m so sorry to read this, and I’m sending good thoughts your way.

    Jane

    P.S. I bought your “Getting Out of Auto” book and found it immensely helpful. Much better than other beginning photography books I’ve read.

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam -

    April 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Again so very sorry to hear what you are going through. Positive thoughts and prayers for you and your dad.

  • Leigh -

    April 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    I hope your Dad came through the surgery with flying colours.
    And you’re right, I never would have guessed anything was wrong in your life reading your blog.
    Hope life for all of you gets better starting now.

  • Bernie -

    April 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Bethany,
    Hope all has gone well with the surgery.
    Thoughts and Prayers,
    Love,
    Bernie and Deb

  • Amanda -

    April 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I hope everything went okay. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you!

  • jan -

    April 9, 2012 at 4:08 am

    What a time you have all been having. Positive thoughts are on their way from Australia.

  • Sabrina -

    April 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Oh, that sounds so rough! I hope all went well!! Here’s to a speedy recovery!

  • bernie -

    April 16, 2012 at 6:24 am

    yeah all the best.. Hope he does ok. good luck