Mom came home from the hospital on Friday evening. She has been through so much in the last couple of weeks, and she looks it. Frail and weak, and just plain miserable. Two hospitals, multiple tests, xrays, scans, a laparoscopic surgery, 8 doctors, and too many nurses/techs to count have left her in no better shape than when I took her to the ER two weeks ago. She may be in worse shape. Hindsight is 20/20, and I wish they had never transferred her to the big city hospital.
After pursing a non-existent cancer for a week, the hospital was ready to release her last Wednesday. My sister tracked down the doctors and insisted that they call in a cardiologist. Hello? Um, yes, she has Afib and a congestive heart failure illness. Why wasn’t a cardio guy called in from the get-go? After two more days of testing, the doctors have now said the diagnosis is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. And yes, that is a grave diagnosis, and we will need to get educated on it, and possibly identify the “event” that caused this illness. But it is so frustrating that we have come full circle, and after two excruciating weeks, they say, “it’s the heart and lungs”. Yes. We know. We’ve been dealing with the heart and lungs since December. Sigh.
And I’ll take this moment to say, yes, I know I have been “all over the map” on Mom’s illness and diagnosis, however, that is kind of where we have been — the doctors are puzzled, and they are searching for answers. And since this blog is about the journey, and specifically, my perception of the journey, we are bound to travel down roads and then turn around again to backtrack. It’s a daily trek. I hope you stay with me.
Mom can’t grasp the severity of her condition. And that is ok. The dementia may be a blessing. I don’t care if she never understands that her health is so fragile. We will just take it one day at a time. She wants to feel better today. So we will hope for a better day today, and then tomorrow, we will hope for a better day. We will just continue to hope each day. Because that is what is important to her. She can’t think beyond the immediate discomfort.
That said, today, here and now, she is very uncomfortable. And that is what I need to fix. Between the incisions (from the surgery that wasn’t even necessary where they removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes), and the rash on her tummy from the adhesive tape, the sore tail bone from her position in bed for two weeks, and the STILL present water retention, she is fidgety and extremely uncomfortable. She asks for pain meds several times during the day here whereas she wouldn’t even take them while hospitalized. I try to make her comfortable. I’ve applied creams and ointments and helped her with a much-needed shower, and still she is miserable. It is hard. And it is sad.
I am waiting for the doctor’s office to open this morning. The “Hospitalist” sent her home on a fraction of the water pill that she has been on over the last several months. I was concerned about that dosage and called the hospital twice over the weekend to ask if there had been an error in the discharge papers. No one could really answer that question. Seriously? Last night when I helped Mom get ready for bed, I saw that her legs were swollen. They look better this morning, but still, we may be spending some time in the waiting room again today.
Help. Someone, please, just help.