Thursday, April 19, 2007
Unwanted Hospital Adventure
As I mentioned in a previous post, my mother's scheduled for surgery this coming Monday. I now have her permission to tell you that it's surgery to repair an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Her doctors have been aware of this for a while and giving her CT scans every six months to see if it's gotten bigger; her most recent scan showed that it had reached five millimeters, which is when they go in to do a surgical repair.
She's been having a bazillion tests to see if she can withstand the surgery, which we're all hoping they can do laparoscopically, since that cuts the hospital time down from ten days to something more like two.
Today she went to the hospital for a stress test. She wasn't allowed to take any of her meds beforehand, and my sister just called me to say that when Mom got to the hospital, she was out of breath and her heartrate was "a little fast." So she couldn't have the stress test; she was sent to the ER instead.
I believe this is the same ER where Mom had to spend eighteen hours three years ago, when she had to be admitted for a post-surgical infection but there were no beds. None of us have the fondest memories of the place.
All of this just happened. My sister said that my mother sounded basically fine, if upset. Aside from hoping that she's okay, which goes without saying, I also really hope that this doesn't delay her surgery. I hate the idea of her carrying that time bomb around in her belly.
It's been that kind of week; this past weekend, two of Gary's relatives were in the hospital, although things on that front seem to be going as well as they can.
I'll post updates when I have them; with luck, it will all resolve quickly. But first, I'm heading to the gym to work off some of my own stress!
Oh, before I forget, the latest Change of Shift is up. I wasn't organized enough to submit anything this week, but I'm looking forward to reading it!
My sister just called again to say that she's signing out of work to go to the hospital. I'm glad she's there, and I wish I could be.
Mom's been admitted to monitor heart symptoms, although she's still in the ER. They may do the stress test tomorrow if they can, and they may just keep her in the hospital until the surgery on Monday. I spoke to her briefly, and she's actually relieved to be admitted to the hospital; I think she's found all the tests extremely wearing. She and my sister were squabbling back and forth (good-naturedly) the way they usually do, which I take as a good sign.
It turns out that this isn't the hospital where she had to wait eighteen hours for a bed, although of course that can happen anywhere.
Mom's now in a room -- this is a hospital where all the rooms are private -- and has had an ultrasound of her legs which showed no blockages (I guess her legs are swollen). She's exhausted from the stressful day and has a headache, but says that she's received excellent care "on every account." My sister really likes her nurse, and one of the ED doctors commented that she has an excellent vascular surgeon.
She sounds more cheerful than I would after the day she's had; when I called, she was trying to figure out how to turn on the TV (her nurse was helping her). So I'm feeling more cheerful, too.