Monday, June 11, 2007


News that my father's Alzheimer's appeared to have entered the final stages came at the beginning of the weekend, and with the official stamp of a poor prognosis from the attendant doctors, and the likelihood of a funeral within days, we started searching for flights back home. But they were not easy to find, and it became perhaps predictably apparent that with almost no notice, any sudden journey back to England was going to be either convoluted or expensive, and quite possibly both. To make matters worse my wife's passport is away at the British Embassy in Seoul, and I've been rather under the weather again with a patch of Meniere's, so it looked like I might be attempting that journey alone, which promised to be difficult. My wife prayed to the plate, and very much against the odds my father made some sort of recovery and began taking in fluids for the first time in days.

It's a hard thing to sit so far away from home waiting for what you think is going to be an inevitable phone call. Amongst other things I had to face up to was the idea that this might well change our plans for going to the UK in October, and perhaps we'd just move the whole schedule forward and call time on my period of living in Korea. Facing up to the end of this period, I realised I had a lot of regrets about things I hadn't yet seen and done, and no greater regret than the slow progress of my language abilities. I think it gave me a taste of how I'll feel come October if our plans ultimately remain unchanged. Alzheimer's struck my father at a relatively young age, just after I graduated from university, and since then - and with the knowledge that it can be hereditary, I've pushed myself to keep learning, on the principle that an active mind is often a healthy one in the long run. So what I perceive as my recent failures in language learning is a particularly sore point with me under the circumstances.

There may also be another health recovery story. After sitting in the apartment all weekend it was back to the hospital today for another anti-inflammatory drip and a round of physiotherapy. As I'd been feeling a little woozy each time I had the drug infusion they decided to slow down the rate today - but as I was lying on the physio's table watching the drip above me slowly do its work, I became curious about what it actually was for the first time. As a Meniere's sufferer I'm supposed to be on a strict low-sodium diet, and my drip is...
isotonic sodium chloride. No wonder I've been feeling awful for a few days. If nothing else, the moral of the story is when you're in a foreign country where they don't have your medical history, make sure you know what they're treating you with. No more sodium drips for me.

1 comment:

Mosher said...

*hug* My grandad went throught the same thing some years ago. It´s awful, I know. Thoughts are with you.

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