Tag Archives: pulmonary hypertension

Do you want to see Hamilton?

I have a pair of tickets to the most popular show on Broadway and I’d like to give* them to you.


Details here.

You’re probably wondering why I’d give up my tickets. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a pair of nosebleed seats for a November show so don’t feel too bad for me.

But more importantly, I knew having an asset like Hamilton tickets would allow me to do something special in memory of my Dad (more about him here).

And if you don’t win, you can always buy some Hamilton swag for enjoyment at home.

Bidding ends 8/24/16. Bid early, bid often, bid now! SOLD! Thank you so much for your support.

*In exchange for a winning bid on ebay. This is a fundraiser for science, after all.


Six things I am asking Santa for

Even grinches like me have wish lists. And in year’s like this [extraordinarily rough] one, I won’t let anyone take that from me.

Not that this group of kind people would try. You have been so lovely to me.


This Kate Spade coat*

Via KateSpade.com

Via KateSpade.com

You know from past posts that I’m a huge fan of the brand’s outerwear. While I love the pale pink of this coat, what I really need is a basic black coat–with some flair, of course. I’m waiting for this one to go on sale. Continue reading


How am I?

“How are you holding up?” my lovely friends and extended family ask.

“I honestly don’t know,” is my answer. It’s the truth.


So I take inventory: Continue reading


We almost lost him. Someday we will.

For the first time, I understood.

Instead of thinking “Daddy, please don’t die. Don’t leave me,” I just wanted him not to suffer. The selfishness of a daughter evaporated.

The doctors had Dad sitting perfectly upright, a mask covering his entire face and forcing air into his lungs. He was sedated, given morphine for pain. When I spoke to him and stroked his hand, Dad  opened his eyes and tried to reassure me.

“Rest, Dad. You need to rest. Don’t worry about me.”

And then I went out into the hospital corridor, nearly biting through my bottom lip as I tried to stifle my sobs.

With Dad during carefree times

With Dad during carefree times

Continue reading


Greetings from Philadelphia

Hello friends,

My sweet Dad is back in the hospital so I hopped a train south from NYC today (Sunday) for some quality time. Hopefully a medication adjustment for this lousy condition gets him back to well pronto.

I grew up two hours from Philly and have visited plenty, but it’s still completely foreign to me.

Even in the city’s rundown parts, the architecture is breathtaking. Divine Lorraine Hotel is one example. I am fascinated with this building–and apparently I’m not the only one. There’s even a t-shirt.

A deal was recently made to reclaim the building and create apartments. Can you imagine living in this historic building?

More pics via Instagram (which aren’t embedding for me today – apologies):

I hope you’ll keep Dad in your thoughts. And I hope you’ll be patient with my lack of blog posts right now. I’ll be back on track soon.


This part of adulthood is The Worst

This post was originally entitled “I am nothing but feelings.” You’ll see.Dad dimplesThe phone rang at 10:46 AM on November 17. It was a Monday so I was at work when my parents’ home number flashed on my cell phone, making my heart jump to my throat.

“Hello?” I answered, feeling tense.

It wasn’t Mom, calling to tell me she was taking Dad to the hospital. It was Dad, sounding fine.

I willed myself to breathe again.

Dad said he felt bad for not calling more. He just called to chat.

For years, Dad didn’t know my phone number – seriously – and it drove my mother nuts. She gave him grief about it constantly, writing the number on notepads in the house and entering it into his seldom-used and seldom-seen cell phone. But I always told him the same thing: I know how much you love me.

Still, it’s a surprise when Dad calls. A great surprise. I drop everything for him.

We talked about The Voice, which he absolutely loves. The bromance between Adam and Blake cracks him up. But he has a new favorite now.

Via JustJared and NBC

Dad asked about my cold and told me that he’s feeling good. The last three years have taught me not to take that for granted. Tomorrow is not assured.

Holidays are different now. On Thanksgiving night, I cried in my childhood bedroom thinking ahead to the day when I will no longer have a dad.

I used to save projects for Dad. A necklace that needs fixing. A shelf to be mounted on my apartment wall. He was my own personal McGyver. No challenge was too great for Dad.

But now, Dad is often physically vulnerable. I don’t ask him to do things for me now because I know it would break his heart to say “I can’t. I’m so sorry, Jen.”

My father seems to be fading like an old Polaroid. Sometimes I think about asking if he’s scared. And by scared, I mean about dying. But that’s a door I can’t open. Even thinking and typing the word feels like a betrayal.

Dad spent six days in a hospital two hours’ drive from home last week. His condition, pulmonary hypertension, is very difficult to manage. He has an excellent specialist who does everything you’d want a doctor to do, from calling the house to check in between appointments to visiting my father in the hospital, even though he’s out on vacation.

But getting Dad back on course takes time and tries his patience. He hates the hospital food, and the hospital twin bed and worst of all, the hospital TV that doesn’t offer a guide or menu. Fortunately he loves the nurses (and they love him).

I call a few times each day, trying to encourage and distract him.

“At least The Voice is on tonight, Dad.”

“You’re right, Jen. I can’t wait. It’s good to have something to look forward to.”

“I love you, Dad. So much.”

And then I hang up and cry. I can’t let Dad know how scared I am.

December 18 update: Dad was just diagnosed with shingles. 

For the final update, click here.