At last I/we have some concrete information: Dad has a new abscess, lower on his spine, on a disc in his lumbar region. Later today it will be biopsied so the doctors know which antibiotic is appropriate to administer, and apparently they'll clean the area as well, somehow--and I don't understand this--clearing away some of his arthritis? The outcome should be that he will be better off than he was before the abscess.
And tomorrow Mom will have her gall bladder removed in an outpatient surgery, my sister Laura taking her to the hospital and staying with her, my sister Joanna bringing her home, and my sister Nancy spending the night to see to Mom's care. My sisters' attendance makes me feel a little easier about being away in the midst of this.
So I'm hoping that this time next week, both my parents will feel better than they have in some time.
Early in my father's illness, I ran a sort of postcard campaign for him, with friends sending postcards from places as disparate as Seattle, France, the Czech Republic, and, of course, Bradford on Avon. As I've received several queries about sending postcards again, here's my family's address: 220 Arlington Drive, Normal, IL 61761-2749, USA. If there are any Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, or Star Trek fans out there, mentioning it will immediately increase my father's esteem for you!