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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Calvary Cometh

I spent yesterday in the hospital with my Mom. First waiting while she was being prepped, then waiting with her in pre-op.

The nurses, techs, and practitioner were all amazing and I was very impressed. While the time dragged on as we waited together for the procedure room to come available, I developed a new hobby: watching the IV drip. 

It's fascinating. I also counted the high number of ports. It's almost as exciting as watching paint dry. In a phone conversation with my brother that put Mom to sleep, we discussed the epic IV dripping with great excitement and animation.

Then without ceremony, they came to take Mom away and banish me back into the exile of the waiting room where I fired up my computer and tweeted about IV drips and drops. It was only 10:30 so I wasn't ready for lunch, and they'd told me it would be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. No problem...I'd wait.

To my surprise, they called me to go to the consulting room only 40 minutes after they had wheeled my mother away to surgery. Was this good or bad news? Was the consult the type of "this is what happened and we need to do something NOW" or "good news she's fine"?

The volunteer who escorted me to the lonely and isolated  but comfortable "consultation room" told me the surgeon would be out in 5 minutes. Nope, he wasn't. I waited. And waited. And my uncle called on my mother's phone and I explained I'd know minutes ago? He asked me to call him back after I'd spoken with the surgeon. No problem.

Sure enough, the surgeon came out and delivered good news and with a diagram to prove it. He explained that they hadn't found anything so no medical intervention actually needed, contrary to our expectations! Thankfully I returned to the less-lonely waiting room and a staff member helped me carry my mother's things to post-op.

As I walked into the room Mom said, "Well where were you?" with this terrible, wide-eyed expression suggesting I had abandoned her.

" the waiting room."  She immediately relaxed.

"Oh." and then she forgot all about it. Quite literally.

The initial plans were for Mom to remain in the hospital overnight and then go home in the medical transport van that had brought her there. Unfortunately, the hospital was releasing her, deeming an overnight stay (in spite of an arterial stick) to be "unnecessary". Why was it "unnecessary"?  Because insurance wouldn't cover it.

So we had to scramble for a plan because she couldn't take the van home unless someone could ride with her. But we had no one to ride with her and stay with her overnight - we had not planned for it as they'd assured us, apparently, that Mom would be in the hospital overnight!

Oh, my. So it was decided that I would drive her to my brother's home, she would stay there and we'd figure out from there how to get her back home this week.

That's not what happened.

Last night I spoke with Mom as she called me in a panic over some directions from the doctor, which I explained was not part of her care plan since they had not put in stents. Oh, ok. Thanks.

All seemed well and I went to bed. My phone rang sometime around 2:30 am or so. I answered after staring at it in confusion but no one was there. I think I tried to call back but don't really remember. I knew it was my brother but figured perhaps he'd called me accidentally while checking on Mom.

I went back into a troubled sleep, to be awakened at 6 am by my brother, calling again. This time I managed to actually answer the phone.

He explained Mom had gone to the hospital via ambulance at about 2:45 or 3:00 am and was being admitted - she now has pneumonia.  During that 6 am conversation, he had to disconnect but later emailed me the room information. When we finally spoke again I got the crazy events that had led up to the 911 call.

I admit I had to chuckle a little bit over some of it - the repeated conversations with my very confused yet childlike mother, and my brother's surprise that, when you call 911 for a medical emergency you don't just get an ambulance, you get a BIG RED TRUCK! And a squad car. Yup - you get the calvary!

My brother had been very unsure about calling for an ambulance but I'm glad he realized the necessity of it. I won't go into details about the events that took place at his house; suffice to say he did the right thing and clearly, Mom is where she needs to be.

At this point we don't know what else will happen, how long she'll be there, or if they'll be able to identify some others of her medical complaints, of which there are many. Thank you to all my readers who have been praying for my mom, and please continue praying - clearly, we aren't out of the woods yet and don't even know what is coming next.


Anonymous said...

Continued pray for you, your Mom and family and thanks for keep us all up to date.

Blessings, Fr. Joseph

Beloved said...

Thank you for the update, still praying for you all.