Monday, July 26, 2010

Spunky Mama: A Hospital Adventure

It's been a wild couple of days. At first, seemed as if Mom had had
a heart attack. Then it appeared to be an infection in a lung.

Then it was definitely a fairly weird situation. I won't encumber you with the medical details, but some organs had gotten kinda twisted up. And apparently, she has had this situation for decades, maybe even from having twins 57 years ago, and no one knows why it got painful at this time. (Also, no one could understand why it didn't affect her appetite at all.)

A couple of doctors were saying she needed surgery to fix it, but then the pain went away with one Tylenol. She said she saw no need for surgery for anything that could be cured by one Tylenol. And the last surgeon said: let it be, maybe it'll never be a problem again. If it is, then operate then. She liked him a lot. But he wanted her to have one more test to be sure.

So mid-afternoon Friday, she went downstairs to the outpatient surgery wing to have that. After more than an hour Brother Franc and I started getting worried. Then we learned, unbelievably, that the whole county had no water, a main line had broken and water had to be shut off and porta potties were being brought to the hospital and there would be no surgery except emergency because they couldn't wash instruments.

The whole hospital turned into a sort of convivial gathering the way a town does during a power outage or some such. It was during that moment that a lot more relatives arrived in Mom's room and a woman came in to announce personally to every patient not to drink the water and the CEO of the hospital decided to pop in for a visit and found Franc fully clothed lying on Mom's bed making phone calls. (He'd already told one caller that Mom was in for breast augmentation and a facelift because dating at 88 is so competitive.)

The CEO thought Franc lying in bed with his shoes on was the patient and said, So you're about to be released? Then Mom was rolled back into the room, and said she was going home, which she did. And I drove the three hours home to my house, back to where it was possible to take a shower.

Saturday Mom went out and ran errands and got her hair done. I, on the other hand, am exhausted. She's to go get the last test sometime this week after they've taken care of the more pressing cases. I still have a faint worry that it will show something bad, but the medical opinion is that it probably won't.

And one medic said that based on the tests they'd done, she has another good ten years, that nothing else is wrong with her at all and she isn't at any risk for anything. Energetic as she is, Husband Bob thought she'd be upset at the idea of only ten more years, but she thought making it to 98 would be fine.

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mamie said...

Girl, I can empathize. I am just getting over "hospital brain" from being there with my dad.

Good for your mom, resuming the normalcy of her life. My grandmother lived to a few weeks from 102, and she could still snap your head off until the end. I hope your mom lives so boldly for many more years.

Get some rest. You may need to follow her around again. :)

Peggy Payne said...

Hospital brain describes it well. Our visit was quick. Other times I've had to stay longer and outside the ICU, I've felt that I've entered a subterranean subculture with weird lighting and 24 hour days--kinda like a grim airport.

Thanks for the good wishes, Mamie. I hope you're taking good care of yourself.

billie said...

What a wonderful tale, and I'm happy to hear your mom is back home, enjoying life, and hopefully looking at many more years of good living.

Peggy Payne said...

Thanks, Billie. She's my number one model for bold and energetic living.

Debra W said...

Peggy what a great story! I gasped, I laughed...

I am so very glad to hear that your mom is as sturdy and feisty as she has ever been! I have no doubt that your mother will live to be 98 or 104 or any age at which she can still be independent! And your brother, Franc...That is what brothers are for! To both embarrass us and make us laugh!

I do hope that your mother continues to do well and that she never needs anything stronger than one Tylenol to soothe what ails her! Now I know where you get your fantastic stamina from, friend!

Peggy Payne said...

Your comments are always a terrific up for me, Debbie.