When my husband (then my boyfriend) first met my father and spent some time with him, he immediately dubbed him The Duaner.

“Yeah, he’s The Duaner. Gotta add ‘the’ to his name, like The Beatles, because he’s just that cool,” Steven explained.

And it wasn’t long after that, Duane dubbed Steven his “Eye-talian Stallion”.

It’s safe to say that the two of them hit it off pretty well.

Steven and Electra arrived in Kearney today, and after quickly dropping Electra off at my Uncle Tim and Aunt Leslie’s house to play in the yard with their lab Maggie, we headed to the hospital for a visit. Mom sat with Cadence in the waiting room while Steven and I went in to see The Duaner.

When we arrived at his room, we were surprised to find it empty. The TV was on, but there was no sign of my father. The nurse said that he was in the bathroom, and that we could have a seat and wait if we liked. And in the meantime, she filled us in on his progress.

He did end up getting the epidural the night before, and it seemed to be helping immensely. His oxygen levels were way up, and staying up, in spite of the fact that he did end up developing a bit of pneumonia. Because he was so much more comfortable with the epidural, he has been able to cough up the phlegm from his lungs and clear them out well, which is a good sign. They started him on antibiotics for the pneumonia, and he seems to be responding very well. He managed to eat breakfast, and even a bit of his lunch before calling the nurse to help him into the bathroom. Finally, the triple doses of laxatives worked their magic. Victory!

When Duane emerged from his trip to the bathroom, I was surprised at how well he was moving. The nurse helped him manage all of the cords and tubes, but otherwise, he was walking and easing himself down into his recliner on his own. His color looked better, and he was only wearing the oxygen tubes in his nose, instead of the full face mask. And when he finally began to speak, his voice was much stronger.

“So Duane, tell me. What were you thinkin’?” said Steven.

Duane rolled his eyes and groaned. “Oh jeemanee, don’t even ask! I don’t know.”

We visited for a bit, before I finally had to excuse myself to head to the Samuelson’s in Loomis to photograph my first wedding. While I was gone, Mom and Steven kept Duane company, and by the time they left him for the night, they were both marveling at his progress. His oxygen levels are continuing to hold strong and he seems to be managing the pain well and gaining his strength back. A couple of the nurses even remarked that he just might be starting to get ornery enough to be ready to move out of the ICU. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to The Duaner. Whether those laxatives worked their magic or not, anyone who knows my father knows that he is still full of shit.

The Duaner and his Italian Stallion going for a joyride.


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