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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Should I believe it? For anyone "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story. For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you! I very much appreciate your thoughts and comments

On March 5th, 2013, I was once again siting in the surgical waiting room.  The first surgery had required mom to be under anesthesia for more than twelve hours; X-rays of her spine resembled railroad tracks with all the rods and screws holding her together.  The complications from the first surgery had necessitated the second surgery.  I winced when I thought of the pain mom had endured over the past 360+/- days.  Could she survive another surgery?

Four hours later, the surgeon found me in the waiting room.  “Your mom did great”, she seemed confident this second surgery would help.  Again, she took an extraordinary amount of time explaining the procedure.  “You can go back soon, she is already awake” she said as she gave me a hug.

Within minutes my name was called and I was escorted back to see mom.  She was asleep.  I was reassured by a very attentive nurse, mom was doing “good”.  I shared my concern with the nurse about moms’ delirium after the last surgery; I think she stifled a giggle as I told her about the hallucinations mom had after the ketamine.  She told me they hadn't used the same anesthesia for this surgery.  “She’s still groggy, but she has been awake; she didn't seem delirious to me” the nurse assured me.

Minutes later I was following the entourage escorting mom to her room.  I was fantasizing about how good it would feel to just crawl in bed with her; exhaustion was taking its toll on my body.

I was suddenly feeling pretty smitten with that dreadful couch against the wall in moms’ room.  With mom still sleeping I curled in to a fetal position; covered myself with my jacket and fell fast asleep.  I didn't wake up until I heard moms’ raspy voice.  I nearly fell off the tiny couch trying to get up.

I stood by moms’ bed and spooned some ice chips in to her mouth.  Her throat was raw from the second intubation.  I told her what I knew about her surgery, which wasn't much.  Mom seemed to be coherent enough to understand, but I didn't know if she would remember.  It didn't matter, I kept talking.  Soon, I realized I was talking to myself; mom had drifted back to sleep.  I gave mom a kiss before telling the nurse I was leaving for the night.  “Please call me if anything changes”, I then added, “or if mom wants or needs me”.

When I returned the next morning, mom was fidgeting with the bed controls.  She looked like she was still in the exact same position she had been in the night before.  She was trying to shift her hips, presumably to get in to a more comfortable position.  She seemed to be concentrating on something.  “Are you doing OK”, I wasn't sure I wanted to hear her answer.

She shifted her hips again and thought for several seconds before answering.  “Something’s wrong” her consternation was alarming to me.  Mom didn't seem alarmed.  I guess after so much pain for so long, she had accepted her fate.  I, on the other hand, was a basket case.

Were we ever going to catch a break?  It was everything I could do to keep from breaking down and crying my eyes out.  Why did mom have to suffer so much?  What had we done to deserve this heartache?

Not for the first time, I prayed The Lord would spare her more pain; no matter what that meant for us.  I prayed He would forgive me for adding that last part so begrudgingly.  I prayed He knew how much she meant to so many; how inspiring her complete faith in God was to others.  I prayed part of His plan was to heal my mother so she could enlist others to follow His word.  I prayed for miracles I knew I didn't deserve.

“Maybe it will be better in the morning, you did just have major surgery”, I wanted to console mom.  I tried to act normal, although we've already established that I wouldn't know normal if it smacked me upside the head.

“Is the pain the same?” I didn't know why I was asking, “Or, is it different?” I was just mimicking the surgeons’ questions from the first surgery.  I didn't have a clue what to do with the information I was attempting to glean from mom.

“It’s different”, mom looked confused, “and it doesn't hurt”.  She said it so matter-of-factly, I wasn't sure I heard right.

“What?” I was certain I must have misheard.  Maybe she was delirious from the anesthesia again and didn't know she was in pain.  Mom had been in constant, incredible pain for a long time.  The pain she had suffered for the past fifty years from her rheumatoid arthritis was Child's play compared to how much she had suffered this past year.

“I’m sore from the incisions and it doesn't feel great, but I don’t feel the pain in the bones like before”, mom was serious.  She was also hungry!

By March 7th, 2013, just two days following her second surgery, mom was accepted to the Acute Rehab Unit at the hospital.  It looked like she was on the mend!

Can you believe it?!

Should I believe it??


Anonymous said...

Brenda I enjoy reading your blogs and have never commented on them but you are truly blessed with a talent to write. You all have been through so much. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and wish I was closer so I could help out a little more


healthcare hostages said...

I am glad you enjoy reading my posts.

We have been through a lot, but I know there are those out there who have been through the same or much worse (although I can't imagine worse!)

Thank you so much for your thoughts & prayers, they are truly appreciated!