Saturday, August 26, 2006

My Dad Is Recovering, and Other Details

Thanks for your prayers. I bought a phone card and called Taiwan. I did get to speak to my father. He is on the mend.

In a nutshell: he should recover use of his arm in six months. His next appointment is on August 28th, so I'll be calling for an update. I asked my parents to move to my triplex; he wouldn't mind moving here, but he is concerend for my mother. He promised to talk it over with mom.

The unabridge edition: My dad was going home on his motorcycle on July 22nd, obeying all the rules of the road. A car came up behind him and honked at him. The weird part is that the car could have easily passed him at any time, but instead it followed my dad for a block, honking at him.

It turns out that the guy in the car felt like my dad was driving inappropriately (bikes share the lanes with cars, but sometimes they have separate motorcyle lanes). So the guy in the car decides he is going to try to scare my dad to "teach him a lesson." Instead, he hit my dad, then tried to get away. The driver got stopped at the intersection by the red light.

My dad got a partial license plate and yelled at the man, accusing the driver of hitting him on purpose. Then the driver backed up, admitted that he was trying to scare my dad and hit him by accident instead (!), not "on purpose" per se. So the man took my dad to the hospital to get checked out.

The plot thickens... it turns out that the driver that hit my dad used to be an E.R. doctor at the hospital who started his own practice. This driver/doc drove my dad to to E.R., and my father got checked out, had his x-rays, etc. The E.R. assured my father that he was O.K. and that nothing was broken (remember that). He got a followup visit scheduled. Oddly, it comes out that it was the birthday of the driver/doc that hit my dad.

At the police station, my mom & dad spoke with a police officer. The driver/doc tried to justify the accident by accusing my dad of improperly operating a motorcycle, but an investigation revealed that my father was following all the rules of the road; it is on official record that the police found my father to be free of any wrongdoing and (amazingly) the driver/doc is on record saying he was trying to teach my dad a lesson. The police told the doc that he was in the wrong and that my parents can retain the option to sue if the doc doesn't justly compensate my dad.

In the mean time, my dad goes home to rest but is really sore. He gets checked out a couple of days after the accient. Dad's regular doctor tells my dad he thinks there's a cracked shoulder and some ribs. My father assured him that the hospital aleady checked this out, but the doc says he thinks there are cracked ribs and a broken left shoulder. They recheck my dad, and it turns out my dad's left should was separated (5cm) and has three cracked ribs. It will be 6 months before he can use his shoulder, and in the mean time he needs to get a lot of rest.

What I find suspicious is how an E.R. examination, with x-rays, did not reveal this the night my father was hit by that doctor. Since the same x-ray indicated problems to my dad's regular doctor, how did the E.R. doctor miss it? It seemed strange to me that the man who hit my father intentionally would also drive him to the E.R., so I think he asked someone to lie to my father "for old times sake."

Things took an unexpected turn for the worse... A couple of days go by, and my father is really sore and starts having trouble breathing. He coughs up dark stuff and decides to go back to the E.R. He was having such difficulty breathing that the E.R. decided to put a tube down his throat. They also pumped out 4 pints of dark, coffee-colored (mystery) fluids, then he was able to breath. The hospital kept him for observation for 4 days, during which time he missed his followup appointment. He was discharged on Aug 8th. My dad had to rebook his appointment, and the next available appointment Aug 28th.

Back at the house, the driver/doctor comes by daily to visit my dad to butter him up. The doc offers something like $6000 USD as compensation, which my mother rejects; the insurance company was not even involved yet, and the doctor is trying to cover up his intentionally hitting my dad. My mom is seriously pissed off (and that isn't good for the doc). The doctor then offered a little more, etc, but my mom is looking to have the doctor's driver license revolked and thrown in jail. The minimum sentence is 2 months for a misdemenor hit-and-run (or something like that). Plus she can sue.

What's next? I had asked my father to move here, into the triplex we own. I couldn't afford to pay the rent for him, but his Airforce pension could easily cover my costs and still give him almost $1000 a month to live on. Longbeach has a great VA system to cover his medical needs. My dad wouldn't mind moving back here, but he is thinking of my mother. Mom wouldn't have coverage, friends, employment... he'll think about it, but not until the 6 months is up and after the potential law suit is settled. I'm thinking that mom would have my dad, her son, and should be able to get coverage through my father... I'll have to look into that.

My father's next appointment is Aug 28th. So if I call the evening of the 28th here, dad will already have had his appointment.


  1. Did you call your dad for an update? How is he doing?


  2. I haven't called dad yet. Classes the last couple of nights have put me past the call window. I should be able to catch him tonight, though!