Brooklyn, NY 1942
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I am Gary, my father's 2nd son. My brother's Danny, Richard and I have been by our father's side for the past 2 weeks. On July 13th, 2009, our father suffered his 4rth stroke. This, unfortunately, is his worst one yet. Me and my fellow worker, Jerry, were finally able to get him to Hackensack hospital by 3 PM after a morning of craziness. At about 10 AM I called 911 for an ambulance. In about 5 minutes 4 EMS people and 3 policemen showed up at our factory in Garfield. After some initial examinations the EMS people asked him, "What is your name and what is the date." My father answered in his usual ironic style, "Milton Mann and the date is (long pause) July 15th, 2009 (I didn't even know the date myself.)". They informed him that he should cooperate with them and go to the hospital, he declined. After much discussion, I threw up my hands and they left.
My next challenge was to stop him from driving to the bank. Since the policeman refused to take away his car key, it was up to me to prevent an impending car wreck. I was waiting outside for my staggering dad and followed him to the parking lot. Fortunately he was trying to open my car door with his key. Here was my chance. "Dad let me try to open the door." I took the key and put it in my pocket. This did not sit well with my very determined father. "Gary, quit f***ing around with me. Give me that key." I offered to drive him to the bank and he finally agreed. It was quite a trip, but we did make it back in one piece despite the fact that he let go of the endorsed check outside the bank. The wind blew it away, but I was able to retrieve it fast enough to get back to Dad before he fell over. He staggered into the bank, with me supporting him all the way.
After getting back to the factory, he agreed to see his doctor. We got an appointment and off we went with Jerry's help. His doctor examined him and said, "Mr. Mann, you need to go to the hospital now." "I'll go next week." "Mr. Mann, your son and I agree that you are having a stroke. Why don't you go with him to Hackensack Hospital?" "I'll go tomorrow." "Mr. Mann, you need to go now. If they examine you and everything is OK, then you can go home." "OK I'll go." By the time we got to the hospital, Dad could not get out of the car. I got a wheel chair and we pulled him out of the car into the wheel chair. It was quite surprising how well he was doing in the Emergency Room bed, being examined by the admitting doctor. Maybe this was a big mistake. I stayed a few hours and left. They did a CAT scan later; it showed a massive hemorrhagic stroke. This is a much more dangerous condition than his previous thrombotic strokes.
Things have gone from bad to worse with worsening neurological condition, pneumonia etc. Right now he is on life support. Things do not look good, although my uncle Mike called to say that Mary, his wife, massaged Dad's foot and he opened his eyes. When she moved around the room, my Dad's eyes followed her. We hope for the best.