familia · sickly

Hospital Daze

  I apologize for not posting lately. I flew back to the States late September to be with my mom while she had a difficult surgery. I thought I would be able to send some posts out but it is amazing the amount of time spent when taking care of someone you love – plus watching my adorable two nephews! Ayden has learned how to climb up the stairs at an amazing rate but going back down, um, not so good. So I had to watch that cutie so he wouldn’t take a tumble and smash his cute noggin onto the floor.

The time in the hospital had its good moments with the doctors and nurse staff, and then it had some extremely frustrating moments. I was going to complain in a post about some of the healthcare my mom received but I have changed my mind. What I will say is, don’t be afraid to ask questions, to double check they are giving the right medication, the correct dose, if the doctor said he wants this done and they refuse or change his orders, request to see the manager and demand the doctors orders are followed. If you don’t feel you are getting good care, things answered, speak up!

But I still wanted to explain to y’all about the time spent – Mom had surgery on her kidney and ureter, she was in the hospital for five days and then was able to go home. All was going well! Every day she made improvements and soon she was requesting her five o’clock glass of wine. But then she began having back pain and then two days later started throwing up. Back to the hospital we went. She was upset, nervous and sad to be sick again. And one of the worst thing is we couldn’t get any answers as to what was going on.

For two days she was in the hospital, groaning from the sharp pain in her side and shaking from always being nauseous and vomiting. Was this from the surgery? Was this a new problem? A second CT Scan was ordered and she had to drink this awful mixture for them to see contrast with the scan. She came back from that exhausted and more nauseous. Poor mama!

The nurse gave her some new medicine to control the nausea and she drifted off to sleep for several hours. And when she awoke she was a new woman! The pain and nausea had subsided and she practically jumped out of the hospital bed and was ready to go for a walk around the nurses station. When only a few hours before that PT was sent away immediately because there was no way she could get out of bed without crying in pain and throwing up what little was in her stomach.

I cannot even begin to tell you what a  relief it was to see her without pain. Without getting sick from sitting up in bed. I almost did a jig with her on my arm.

Later that night I came back to the hospital as I always did, every night, to stay til 12, 1 or sometimes 2 am. And she was up in bed watching Wheel of Fortune. We talked about things; the next steps (she had to swallow a camera tomorrow morning to look at the esophagus, stomach) but she also told me about this dream she had the first night she was readmitted to the hospital.

She was sitting in this large oak tree by a stream, and this tree and stream were so familiar. It was where she would go as a young girl living in Wisconsin to get away from her farm chores and her four brothers and sisters. She would hide away in the tree and read and watch and dream. And then the dream changed – it was me and her sitting under the tree with fruit and cheese and wine. We were smiling, happy and comfortable. But as dreams always do it morphed into me as a snowflake and she was a leaf on the tree. But she was connected tightly to the tree and I would cover her with snow to keep her warm.

Granted mom was on morphine and other medications but I had been by her side until about two in the morning that first night. She said she felt safe and warm and happy. I had tears in my eyes by the end of her telling the dream and I had to pretend to get something out of my bag to wipe them away.

I loved the thought of me wrapping her in my cloak of a snowy blanket to comfort her. I hope all of us have someone to take care of them and love them when they are scared and in pain. Someone that allows their mind to take them back to their dreams of childhood. The time when there was no fear. No sadness. No sickness. Only joy and clouds and giggles and most of all, dreams of living forever. I am and will always be, your snowflake.

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