A Note about my Dad’s condition

I have not been on many of my blog sites, or much on social networks in general.

I am writing this post, for those who check my sites regularly, and are wondering why it went vacant.

Pray for my father, he has West Nile Virus.

On Sun Sept 21, my brother took my dad to the emergency room. There were certain peculiar things happening, as my dad is very strict into his routine. My dad, brother and sister live in the LA area, and I live in San Diego. I have the biggest retreat of the school year happening October 11-12 (which is now this coming weekend). Were I to jet on a whim, without knowing my dad’s problem, there could be a lot of delicate things overlooked on this retreat. It is just too complex to merely require a substitute, with several weekly (or daily) orientations.

I left for LA on Mon Sept 22, imagining that things with my dad would resolve by Wed Sept 24. By Thurs, it became clear that we would not even have a diagnosis, let alone an idea of when he would get out of the hospital before the following Mon Sept 29. I returned to San Diego, to go back to LA. I remained in LA from Sun Sept 26 through Wed Oct 1. We barely received a diagnosis in the early evening of Wed Oct 1. The diagnosis was West Nile Virus.

As he had already been in the Hospital for 11 days, confined to a bed, with daily fevers, and a feeding tube, barely conscious most days, it was clear that recovery would not happen within weeks. Were he to get out of the hospital, it would take at least a week in a physical therapy rehab facility.

My dad has significantly stabilized. However, he will have to be transferred to an acute nursing facility, where he can have a feeding tube, and medical IVs, as well as 24 hour care. He will still need PT rehab, but probably for even longer. He has never been in a coma, and there are indications that he is declining or in danger of dying. He cannot speak vocally, but by pointing, or blinking, it is clear he understands. However, his waking moments each day likely do not add up to more than an hour.

I am grounded in here in San Diego for our Retreat this weekend. It involves half the Faculty, 70 Sr & Jr student leaders, 100+ parent volunteers, and the retreatants, which are ~200 freshman. As you can see, I have help, and we have been able to get up to speed.

Unlike a parish, where the weekends are intense, I work in a high school. Teachers just can’t get several weeks a semester off during these times. I cannot get a substitute on a whim when there are numerous things on my weekly list to cross off. My Augustinian superiors (who are not administrators in the school), are not opposed to me seeing my dad, but also recognize the tight situation I am currently in. A pastor could get a priest to cover Masses. We have several senior citizens in my community to take care of that, but none to take over Campus Ministry and Retreats at the drop of the hat (or with several months of orientation during their retirement).

It may be two weeks before I can even free up to go see my dad. My brother and sister don’t exactly have free time all day. My dad’s dog & cat, and his house are used to his constant attention, to which he has been in great shape to maintain. I am currently emailing and calling around to see if there are people who can help my bro & sis attend to that stuff.

On Tuesday September 23, I ministered an Anointing to my dad. It was two days after being admitted to the hospital. That was also my birthday.

Pray for me as well.


3 thoughts on “A Note about my Dad’s condition

  1. Father Mark, I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you and your family are going through right now! I will certainly pray for your dad’s health, as well as your own. Stay strong! God Bless!

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