Thursday, August 27, 2009

Age has its benefits

I know I'm stubborn. This has been a trait of mine since I was a baby. Mom tells the story of how I learned how to walk at 9 months of age because I was so stubborn and determined. She'd put me in one of those walkers, but the width of the contraption frustrated me and hindered my free reign in my grandparents' house, so I simply picked up the walker and walked with it held off the ground, with me still in the middle.

Being stubborn couples with having a real hard time admitting I'm wrong and apologizing. Sure, if I bump someone on the sidewalk, an "Excuse me" flows pretty freely from my lips. I'm talking about the I-did-something-stupid-to-a-friend- kinda apology that has been difficult for me to 1) recognize and 2) apologize for. Maybe this is because a few of my friends are so quick to point out my faults, that apologizing for my blunders feels as if my nose is being rubbed in it. Regardless, I had a lightbulb moment the other day. I was moody at the time, but was with a friend. I went off and did my own thing for a short while, leaving my friend alone when he wanted the company. I woke up the next morning with a flash of understanding. I've been in that situation before, and I had been angered and hurt by it in the past. An apology in that situation was easy and it was very much desired to be given.

Not sure what it is about getting older that allows one to soften and mellow. I *wanted* to apologize. This friend means so much to me that there was no way I could not acknowledge my blunder. I wanted to let him know that I understood how rude I had been. This is one time I'm grateful for this aging process, as it is making me a better person.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Troubles with mom

Lets just put this in a nutshell:
A fall down the stairs; 911 called. 8 hrs in the emergency department. Atrial Flutter.
Appointments during the week with 3 different doctors. Lab tests. General anesthesia and cardioversion.
More falls at home. Mixing up words. Drop in hemoglobin level. Another trip to the doctor --> ER. In ER from 1600-03:30. Admitted to the hospital. CT scan (again) of her head. Abdominal ultrasound. 3 cysts/masses found. CT of abdomen and ultrasound of pelvis. Kidney mass --> thought to be benign. Ovarian mass --> thought to be benign. Lung Mass --> uh oh. Former 4 pack per day smoker. Started when she was 16 until she was 58. 160 pack years. Very high risk.
Lung biopsy. Pneumothorax (collapsed lung). Oxygen via cannula overnight. X-ray in am. Improved. Physical therapy --> walker and commode chair. Home again on a Thursday. 6 days in hospital. Somewhere in all this, waking in the middle of the night, not knowing who she was, where she was, why she was where she was. Call at home at 4:30 am. First set of real sobbing cries. Next 3 nights sleeping at the hospital and staying with her 20 out of 24 hours.

Now I know how little sleep hospitalized patients get. Home. Fell asleep while reading the same paragraph about 10 times and finally woke about 9 1/2 hrs later. Today we should get the biopsy results.

Awaiting biopsy results still.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Not sure how else to explain it.. I'm feeling very overwhelmed. Mom fell down a flight of stairs last weekend. Spent 8 hrs in the emergency department. I spent 8 hrs with here there, too. On first glance, mom's okay, but she's not. Not really. Her heart went back into an atrial flutter. Her cardiologist (in one of the 3 medical appointments I took her to this week) tried to eliminate it by using her pacemaker, but the flutter is a persistent little bugger. Earlier in the month her physician changed her medication, as the flutter was present then, too. Given that she's fallen more (4 times this week alone), she needs to change something in her life and soon.

She won't move downstairs.. yet.
She's having an external cardioversion on Tuesday. Ann, my work partner, is picking up that day of work for me. This helps her out, too, as she needs the hours of work.
She needs to decide on whether or not to continue with plans for her knee replacement. She's not walking much these days due to her back pain, and her back doctor can't fix that.
I want her to see a pain specialist. We'll see if we can't get that done this week.
She's mixing up her medications, too. I'm concerned she's overdosing on some things and underdosing on others. Lynn is going to help her with her medications.

Most of all, I can't complain. Especially not to mom. She's been feeling like a burden to me and Lynn. She's been crying. She's been having nightmares about her own mother, too. I'm not sure I can do this.. juggling school and work and home and the remodelling. Thankfully the divorce paperwork is done and filed. January 17th is the day I am single again. I'm pondering all this stuff about mom and what I need to get done (Like pay July bills, and its August 2nd already!), but I have a school paper due tomorrow and a PPC meeting from 3:30-7pm, and my son's 13th birthday, and a pesto lasagana we wants me to cook for him, and mom's 8:30 am pre-procedure tests and 8 hrs of work. Oh, and a hair coloring. I need that tomorrow like I need a hole in my head, but when else can I get it done?

I'm stressed and can't concentrate. I figure if I blab all this out now, in print, I can shove it out of my brain for a few hours and get to work on the paper. I got the Costco run done. Kids have school supplies, Ben has his favorite chocolate cake, and I have my beer. Life is good for the next few hours.