Thursday, August 14, 2008

Life Gets In The Way

So yesterday I composed a cute little blog entry apologizing (sort of) for not blogging much lately. It was charming, I tell you. Wry. Poignant, even. And I was all ready to post it when my brother called from my mother's house and told me to get on over there: Mom was sick.

Well. Mom is indeed sick - quite sick with all kinds of bad news intestinal issues including the kind of pain that would have had a normal person screaming and writhing on the floor. I knew it must be bad: she confessed to considering taking 1/2 an ibuprofen. My mother the druggie. So I informed her that she was going to the ER and after merely a token protest (this is another clue that she is really sick) we took her to the emergency room. Once there she commented that being 81 has its perks: emergency room staff see you quickly and are really nice. I think they might be nice to everyone but who knows? At any rate they got Mom back into the treatment area of the ER and then the whole long slow process of diagnosis and treatment began. X rays. CAT scans. Blood tests. And, meanwhile, morphine and anti nausea drugs.

My brother and I spelled each other at both staying with Mom and going back to her house to be with the QOB. This of course involved all those kind of technical logistics that are so much fun: one car? Two cars? Will A come pick me up? Why do I have to walk five blocks on the no mans land that is the hospital portion of Biltmore Avenue before I feel like I can light up my first cigarette in six hours? Meanwhile, back at Mom's, my brother kept putting on more movies for the QOB - he was thrilled when he found out she'd never seen Blade Runner since, naturally, he owns the director's cut. Unfortunately, Blade Runner was a bit much for her and when the kids and I got over there that evening after a fast meal at Apollo Flame (note: Apollo Flame, which went from good to inedible a few years ago, is back to good again.) she had all the lights on and all the doors locked. So I picked up some stuff for Mom, left the kids there to fight off any renegade replicants and hightailed it back to the hospital where I found Mom & my brother in yet another ER treatment area where they were busily pumping my poor mother's stomach out. I'd never seen that done before. They go through your nose. If I was ever even inclined to OD, this knowledge would now stop me from that one.

It turns out that she has a kink in her intestine, just like my cheap garden hose. They don't know why it's there, although they commented that most people would have been at the ER one helluva lot earlier, which didn't surprise us at all. The problem now is unkinking it. The hope is that by emptying out all the pressure, it will unkink itself, which apparently happens about 50% of the time. If she is not part of the lucky half, they will have to go in there and unkink it. Meanwhile, my poor mother is up there on the 7th floor of St. Joes with tubes coming out of her nose and arms, feeling gruesome and they won't even let her have any coffee. I tried to bribe the nurse to slip some caffeine into her IV at least (Mom is a serious, heavy duty, confirmed coffee addict of many years standing) but alas, she would not listen to reason.

My brother is staying up at my Mom's with the QOB, which is good, since while the QOB is mostly fine by herself, the stroke left her unable to figure out a phone (it's that pesky math and number recognition stuff.) I'm going back over to the hospital after work, as is A. And all in all, here we are and nobody seems to think that this is a really bad one this time. The doctors don't have that "This could be IT" gravity that they did two years ago. We feel confident enough to be mildly annoyed by the mediocrity of the hospital coffee, which we didn't even notice two years ago. She'll probably be home in a week, or so we hope and in the meantime all the logistics will be managed. I think.

Because, of course, in other news, I'm still trying to buy a house with the help of the feds and the state and MHO and a bunch of other places, all of whom want more paperwork now, now, now; young M starts school next Wednesday and I haven't gotten around to meeting with all his teachers and guidance counselor and stuff yet; I launched the process of getting young M health insurance with the government and they need more papers now, now, now; I had to take Pebble to the vet this morning for her first kitten shots and the happy news that I'll be back there once a month for the next two months to the tune of around $100 each time and, while I was leaving the hospital, the Saturn dealership called to remind me that my car, which is, in car years, about the same age as my Mom, needs maintenance, inspection and registration renewal. This is good because, you know, I was afraid my life might get boring or something.


Andy from the 'burg said...

I hope your Mom is ok. All I could think of while I read your post was the Simpson's episode when Santa's Little Helper suffers from a twisted stomach and they have to pay for the operation.

zen said...

Yipes! Your mom is like mine - it'd take lopping off a limb before she'd take medicine... Hope it all unkinks.

Your own life is kinky enough already.

boringpostcards said...

Man, I hate having loved ones in the hospital. Best wishes for a fast recovery to your mom, and good luck to you and the rest of the family while y'all go through all this.

Edgy Mama said...

Sending healing vibes to your mom.

I'm glad they diagnosed her quickly. This happened to my dad a few years ago, and the ER sent him home THREE times with some extra-strength Tylenol (even though he kept vomiting and told them he hadn't pooped in days). Finally, literally doubled over in pain (he told me he felt like he was having a baby, but there was no break between contractions), he went back to the emergency room and insisted on seeing a gastroenterologist (not sure if that's the correct term--gut doctor, basically). The doc said that in another day his large intestine could have burst! Dad did have surgery, but luckily, they didn't have to cut into his intestines.

Anyway, he was fine a couple of days later. But he refuses ever to return to the high-end Buckhead hospital around the corner from his home. Luckily, Emory U. Hospital isn't too far away.

If you need food or anything, let me know.