Thursday, July 14, 2011

Geriatric Patient Flight Condition

My dad's chronic health issues have been well noted on here. Six months ago, his health took a nose dive off a long cliff and for the past several months, Mayo has been considering naming the wing at St. Mary's after him (kidding!!).

Between various tests, surgeries, medications, check-ups, more medications, more tests, and more surgeries to be followed up with more and different medications, a pacemaker, and some other procedures, my dad... finally kissed his bloody specialist goodbye yesterday with a beaming smile, I think the man who has lost 55 pounds in the last 6 months, jumped for joy.

If not himself physically, his voice sure did.

So, now the question is:

Can he fly?

I have reserved two suites on Sanibel Island for my parents, my son and me thinking my son and I would drive down, and my parents could fly courtesy of all the mileage I still have on Delta.

That begs the question, not can Delta get him there (generally speaking, they can) but can his very weakened body hold up to the pressure at higher altitudes?

Doing a quick Google search I found an article about pre-travel assessment for the geriatric traveler... courtesy of a physician teaching at Yale...

I was reading the article located here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2589584/

When I realized part way through, the information might be outdated:

"Remind travelers to request a non-smoking seat (as far away as possible) from the smoking section..."

I chuckled. I remember those days (vaguely). Recycled oxygen containing smoke was shown in various studies to be just as dangerous as second hand smoke down on the ground, if not worse. I did not read further. Newer information might be better... it is my dad, after all. I'd like to give my mom the questions to ask his cardio when they meet so we're all prepared to make the best decision for traveling with a weakened, somewhat immuno-suppresed individual.

He just wants to put his feet on the white sands of FL again. He'd like to pick up shells, reminisce about his youth and his travels with my mom and Mr. and Mrs Z. (noted last year when Mr. Z passed away). He'd like to spend time with his only daughter and only grandson... playing around like we did so many years ago when my son and I lived in FL. He'd just like to know that the past few horrifically difficult months were not in vain and that he still can have a quality life... whatever is left.

And of course, I'd like to give that to him. And of course, if there's a way, I will.

(Oh, and for those wondering, Dad has given me consent to talk about whatever I want related to him. So while not overtly saying what has medically occurred, I am discussing his current state of health.)

1 comment:

Solitary Diner said...

So sorry that your father (and your family) are going through so much. I hope you can find a way to safely get him to Florida so you can enjoy some time together. The memories are so precious.