Dad is healing better than anyone could have expected. Strike that - better than the doctor could have expected. Those of us who know Dad are aware that he is made of stronger stuff than most, some combination of baling wire and beef jerky and duct tape, most likely, with PVC pipe (Dad's favorite building material) thrown in for good measure.
His eye infection is gone and his corneal ulcer is almost healed. He is still 90% blind, but there is hope that steroids may clear his cornea enough to see a bit, or else a new cornea transplant is on the horizon. That would be a daunting thought for most 90-year-olds but Dad is already prodding the doctor about setting a timeline.
I think he hates being blind mostly because he can't see his watch anymore. Despite being retired since the mid 1980s, he isn't going to let himself sleep in past 6.
In fact, he asked me to call him when I get up at 5:30 because that it when he likes to get up. I had to cite the fact that mom doesn't really want to be awakened then to tell him "No."
I did find him a talking watch keychain thingy. God bless Amazon.com for that. It should be here tomorrow or Monday, so he doesn't have to suffer timelessness much longer.
Since we have had several hours of waiting room time a week, I am getting filled in on all the World War II stories. Or at least a couple of stories, repeated quite often.
This is his favorite: when he was heading off to war in late 1944, he traveled on the USS West Point from the United States to England.
He said that he and a fellow soldier were guarding the back of the ship one night before midnight when they saw a faint light behind them. The ship's skipper was walking around and asked them how everything was going, and they told him what they had seen, not thinking it was a big deal since they assumed they were traveling in a convoy.
The captain wasn't so calm. He got on the phone and began barking orders. The ship went full steam ahead, making a sharp turn.
The light behind them was a German U-Boat, and but for Dad's watchful eye, the lives of 7,678 troops could have been lost at sea.
At least that's his story. As with many of Dad's stories, his mileage may vary and facts may change from telling to telling. In fact, today the ship held 12,000 soldiers!