Total Pageviews

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Signs of Depression If you're "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. I very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.
    For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you!

Signs of Depression

As I prepared for our next trip for moms’ pre-procedure appointments, it seemed mom was still experiencing a number of symptoms from her morphine withdrawal.  I was not only concerned about how the 5+/- hour trip would go, but also I was very concerned that her current condition would make her unstable enough that they would not go ahead with her surgery.  In addition to the physical symptoms of the withdrawal, mom (who was normally very positive and upbeat) was showing signs of depression.

I actually had been very surprised through this whole ordeal that mom had not been depressed.  She had been at deaths door more times than I cared to think about over the past year and a half and now she was looking at the very real possibility of losing her leg.  During our consult with the surgeon several weeks earlier he had explained that until they actually got inside there was no real way of knowing what the outcome would be; there were several possibilities.

The first (and most ideal) possibility would be that the cultures that had been drawn during that last visit came back free from infection AND there was not too much damage to the bone and tissue,
allowing them to do a one stage surgery where they could remove the damaged/infected joint and fit the new one in one surgery.  The second (and most probable) option would be that they would have to remove the old joint and insert rods and a spacer, making it impossible for mom to bend her leg until a second surgery could be done to insert the new joint.  The third (and least palatable) option would be amputation.  No wonder mom was depressed!  I, on the other hand, was fighting another emotion.

The anger I was feeling every time I relived the conversations I had with so many medical “professionals” when mom first became so ill was consuming me again; I kept trying to remind myself of my commitment to forgive, it wasn't working.

I understood they had been focused on her back, but I couldn't understand the tunnel vision; the lack of treating the whole person.  Over and over again I had said, “Something’s wrong with her knee”, and over and over again I was given ignorant answers by people who were obviously not familiar with Rheumatoid  Arthritis; “It’s probably an RA flare” seemed to be the rote answer.  I tried again and again to explain how improbable it was that the RA was causing a 25 year old artificial joint to swell like that without an underlying cause; how could metal swell?

I couldn't help but believe if it hadn't taken them so long to discover the horrid infection maybe we would be packing for a vacation instead of more medical appointments; maybe mom wouldn't be so depressed and maybe I wouldn't be so angry.

The anger was still boiling when I woke early on the 16 th of June, 2013 and begin packing our ever increasing amount of supplies in to the car before waking mom.  I wasn't sure I could face another day of mom being so despondent; it was sure to be a long drive.

As it turned out, mom woke with a smile on her face and seemed to be ready to take on the world.  Our trip through the mountains and in to the city were uneventful; it was actually very pleasant.  Mom had shaken her depression and chattered happily the whole way.  It seemed the withdrawal symptoms had disappeared as quickly as they had started.

The next several days were spent enduring moms’ pre-procedure appointments; eating out; visiting; and just enjoying each other’s company.  We also took a few extra minutes to visit the Acute Rehab Unit at the hospital after moms’ appointments.

The doctors and therapists in the rehab unit had told mom after her last stay with them that they wouldn't hesitate to take her back when she had her knee surgery; they knew how hard she would work.  We wanted to make sure they remembered her and let them know her surgery was scheduled for July 12th.  Unfortunately, the day we visited very few of the staff members who had worked with mom were working.

We did manage to talk to one of the aides that remembered mom (although we didn't remember her) and assured us she would let the doctors and nurses know of moms pending surgery.  I hadn't gotten a warm, fuzzy feeling from that conversation but I hoped she would at least remember to tell the attending physician that we had been there and when the surgery was scheduled for; then I reminded myself it was in Gods’ hands.
I spent the hours driving home, as well as the weeks leading up to the surgery wondering about The Lords plan; what was yet to come.  By now I was well aware that no matter how prepared I thought I was, no matter what I thought might happen, there was no way I could ever understand; I just had to pray.  I had to accept and believe that The Lord was guiding us to our destination and understand the road would sometimes be bumpy.

Maybe I should have considered buying an off road vehicle!


Anonymous said...

i hear ya on that onr with leg still swollen and they come new crap no it pulmonary hypertension my hat go off to aunt mary how shr goes thru so much iam coming to grip how painful pscratic arthritis no sleep brcsuse pain that dr calls flare ups sorry about all venting i understand some of her pain she gives me hope eva

healthcare hostages said...

Chronic pain is no fun and it's definitely complicated by many factors. I hope you get some relief. God bless.