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There is no place like home. Just ask Bob

There is no place like home. Just ask Bob

As far as I'm concerned, 2010 arrived not a moment too soon. For the last two weeks of 2009, my wife's father, Bob, lay in a local hospital, unable to eat, a tube running up his nose and down into his stomach and a permanent port in his left breast, through which he received liquids, nutrition, and a variety of other stuff.

My mother-in-law, Karin, slept on a cot next to Bob's bed, driving back and forth to our home for a shower and for a break from the deadly dull hospital routine. We also played host to my wife's brother, sister-in-law, 5-year-old nephew (very active and loud) and Bob's dog, Turbo (the name says it all).

Given Bob's grave situation, it's of minor importance, but I must note here that I'm claustrophobic, have two kids, a wife and a dog of my own.

Bob—everyone calls him Bob, even my kids—was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer exactly one year ago. He went through chemo and radiation, and by last summer the cancer was in remission. But a week or so before Christmas, his stomach, which doctors operated on last year, stopped discharging food into his small intestines. There was a blockage and everything that went down eventually came up.

During his two weeks in the hospital, Bob's spirits sank very low. All he wanted to do was go home with his wife, be with Turbo and eat and drink normally.

The doctors eventually diagnosed and cleared the blockage—a logjam of pills, of all things (if I'd known that, I could have snaked them out myself or given him a shot of Drano)—and two days after the procedure they sent Bob home.

Once again there is a smile on his face.

The moral of this story is that there really is no place like home.

Bob knows this. His family knows this. HME providers and all their patients know this.

Someday the majority of people in Washington will know this, too. I just hope they don't have to go through what Bob went through to learn this valuable truth.

— Mike Moran


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