My dad was in excruciating pain over Labor Day weekend, so my mom rushed him to the emergency room of a renowned university hospital.
Doctors determined that he needed surgery that night, and luckily I was able to fly in and see him before he was wheeled away. “Take care of your mom if anything happens to me,” he said as my mom and I wept.
Thankfully, my dad made it through. But he had to spend 11 days recovering in the hospital, a place he now equates with prison. One night, he suffered for five hours, desperately calling for help after his pain meds had run out. A nurse’s aide stationed in his room had fallen asleep.
“I called on the intercom so many times, and...