we interrupt this regularly scheduled program

Why I have no Drone Day recording for this year:

I got a phone call from Mom minutes after I woke up (around 5:30 AM), telling me about a medical emergency Dad was having. It seemed to start with food poisoning a couple of weeks ago, but he wound up going to the ER Monday night, then being transported to a larger hospital 50 miles away, since he had kidney failure and the local hospital has no nephrologist. And naturally, they were already having car trouble…

I told her I’d need to work one day to tie up loose ends — we have an impending version release and I’m the lead developer — but wound up wrapping up ongoing stuff in 45 minutes and taking off the rest of the week. It’s about a 10.5 hour drive each way (plus stops), making it a total of about 31 hours of driving over 6 days (of which 13 was Sunday alone, ouch). My wonderful spouse arranged for her cousin to look after the dogs, and followed on the next day, which helped me to keep it together and which my parents also greatly appreciated.

Without going too much into personal detail, my Dad needed just one dialysis session to clean out the built-up toxins and then his kidney function recovered. It was a 5 day hospital stay though and he was frustrated and ready to bail out on day 3 if not sooner. More follow-up is needed soon to treat what may be the cause of the problem (which is itself somewhat scary), but for now he’s safe and feeling much better.

So that was emotionally and physically difficult for all of us in different ways, but this chapter has, thankfully, ended okay.