Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Longest Month of a Week.....Part 3

Thurs, August 4, 2011 7pm

Finally at the right hospital, Mom drives up and I jump in to park her car.  Once I'm in the ER area I ask about "that lady that just came running in to see her Mom" and they told me she was in the back, but I would have to wait.

It wasn't too long when my Mom came out to the waiting area, in tears....the look on her face almost took my breath.  For a second I thought she was going to say the worst.....I jumped to my feet and Mom said "I just had to give authorization for them to administer the clot busting drug....I hope I've made the right decision!"  My brother tried to reassure her and she told me that I could go in the back.  My baby brother and his girlfriend were back poor Nanny.

Mom came back and the Dr's were there, explaining that the drug needed to be administered and we were within the window for it to work, plus he said "you need to give her a chance".  They explained that it had obviously affected her left side and that we should talk to her and encourage her to talk to us. 

Nanny did talk to me, we told her she was in the hospital being taken care of, she squeezed my hand. She also was wiggling her feet....and then I remembered, she didn't like her feet covered up so I removed the sheet!!!!

We were all so glad that God put my Mom and Miss T in the right place at the right time to get her help.

Within a few hours, she was at a point where they could move her to the bigger hospital.  It would seem that the meds were working.  They put a feeding tube in through her nose...needed to help get her the nutrition and strength she would need to fight this.  She didn't seem to be able to swallow.

The next morning, she wasn't much better.  The clot buster wasn't doing the job they had hoped for.  I just cried...cried at the thought of losing her so quick.  I had to get to the hospital, but I didn't want her to see me cry.  The nurse said she is a sweet lady and I said "yes she is"....Nanny piped in with a "Thank Y'all" LOL loved tears, just happy to be with her!!  I told her I loved her and she said she loved me too!

I changed my facebook picture to one of Nanny and my Mom....lots of people only know them by those names and now they could put a face to the names of the 2 very strong ladies in my life.  Prayers were needed for us all.....for our strength and wisdom AND for Nanny's recovery be that on earth or in Heaven.

In the meantime, Hubby is totally aggravating....he seems "off", yes more "off" than normal.  He seems to be slipping, memory wise and just not with it.  I think he is really losing it.  And it is sooooooo annoying to deal with - because I say "I'm going to....." and he forgets that I mentioned it.

You may say it's a guy thing, man-isms, but no....I think it is possibly brain related - maybe from the alcohol and drug abuse - maybe from the Hep C and Cirrhosis.  All I can do is shake my head, that a near 60 year old man is so...out of it.  I don't have time to deal with his silliness.  I have a MOM that needs me; I have a daughter that needs me - he IS a grown man, right?  Maybe?   A little?

Sunday August 7 - my Uncle's birthday

Nanny had a lot of visitors today and she even named them.  It seems she's getting better every day!  She looked at Hubby and said "I just thank you and Sharon for breaking into my house"..........hmmmm.  Oh, yeah, it was the first time she'd seen him since that happened.  Miss T went with us and she was telling Nanny that she starts driver's education next week and would soon be taking over the "Driving Miss Daisy" duties of the family.  We didn't stay long - she was probably very tired from all those visitors! 

She failed the swallow test when they came to do it....said she wouldn't stay awake long enough.

Monday all she seemed to want to do was sleep.  We are told that is one of the affects of a stroke.  I wonder if she is so tired and just wants to go.  I've prayed for her healing, whether that be here on this earth or in God's's all in His hands anyway.

We are all confused by her behavior.  Good today; tired tomorrow; moving feet but not left arm/hand.  Talking, making sense; now sleep.

Tuesday wasn't much better, but on Wednesday Nanny was chattering with me, squeezing my hand.  She still wouldn't/couldn't pass the swallow test.  The attending physician was pushing my Mom to make decisions - life and death ones and we just couldn't fathom that because we were seeing what we thought was improvements.

I was ready to kick butt and take names with that Doctor.  Who was SHE to try and tell MY MOM that there was NO HOPE?????  We see what we think is progress and she is ready to kick Nanny to the curb??

She told Mom she would give her 24 hours to decide where to take a nursing facility to just lay around, tube fed or Hospice.

My facebook post of August 12:

My heart is heavy and breaking, yet my mind knows it is for the best. Soon Nanny will meet Jesus and my wish for her to be made whole again will come true. I love you Nanny and thank you for always loving me! (and for collards, fried chicken, rice n gravy, sweet tea, butterbeans, cucumbers, can keep the okra) ♥ ♥ ♥

Today we are telling Jesus to take over.

She is moved to a local Hospice care facility on Saturday morning.  Mom didn't want to ask me to go with her.  But I had been there 11 years ago when Nanny took Papa.  I knew it wouldn't be an easy intake for my Mom to do alone.  So I showed up anyway. be continued.

The Longest Month of a Week...part 2

Well, with Nanny in the hospital since late July 18th, and Miss T battling H/F/M disease, there came up a fire behind my house.  It was obviously started by a strike of good old summer time lightening.  I'm thinking, here we go again....a couple years ago there was a wildfire back there that had us surrounded by firetrucks.  Lucky for us both fires were under control quickly. 

 I was planning to meet a J-Land pal in Myrtle Beach  July 31 - Aug 2 or so.  But Miss T was still contagious and I was counting days to be sure she could go with me and not infect anyone.  One thing I think helped her was using Tea Tree Oil on the areas that were affected.  Plus I made her sleep with her socks on after applying the oil!  Didn't want her running around the house oiling up the floors.

After I determined she was ok, my little buddy (nephew), Miss T and I went to see the new "Winnie The Pooh" movie - how cute!  Then he decided he wanted to stay with me for a "sleep over".  Fine by me!  Only I didn't know Hubby was going to be literally falling down....tipsy.  Mumbling something about "calling the Mafia" and "handling things"....whatever, just be quiet already!

In the meantime, Nanny was getting moved from one floor to the next.  Her numbers weren't quite right yet and then her Atrial Fib acted up a bit and well, she wasn't getting up and walking; not getting her strength back.  Her appetite was good.....I cooked dinner one night and she asked me to bring her some.  All this leisurely laying around though wasn't good....time to get back on her feet.  Finally, the hospital staff said she was good to go home IF she had round the clock care, in case she fell, or needed help;  well, that would be tough, so the best situation was to rehab at the local nursing facility.

Mom chose the one near our homes so that we could all drop in whenever, and keep an eye on things and just visit if we wanted to.  Nanny was in a room with a very nice lady named Hazel who, ironically, had decided to stay at this facility.  Nanny seemed to be enjoying her time there, talking with the staff and getting to know Hazel.  She said the people were nice and the food was pretty good.

So far so good!  Yay, Nanny isn't one to stay down.  She's a mover and a shaker.  As planned Miss T and I headed to Myrtle Beach to meet up with our dear friends for a couple of days of R&R.

Sunday was hotel was over-booked; so they were trying to find me another place close to where I needed/wanted to be.  As it was, I ended up with a $250 upgrade, a $100 credit to use on another booking before Dec 31 AND a refund of $25 as an "inconvenience" refund!  Pretty good deal....almost a wash!

We spent the 2 nights and 3 days doing NOTHING!  Ahhhhhhhh.  The first afternoon it wanted to rain a bit, but, hey, that's summer in the south.  My friends had some gift certificates to eat at Planet Hollywood compliments of their timeshare group, so off we went.  Along with these certificates came JUMP AHEAD SEATING!  Instead of an hour wait, we were seated immediately.  Monday and Tuesday was nothing but sun, sand, water and lots of conversations.  Good times with great people!  I'm thinking "I'd like a job as a perpetual vacationer" -- I could do a fabulous job!!

I really hated to leave and head home!  Work was calling and with Nanny in the rehab, I didn't need to ignore her....not that I was ignoring her, we had visited and we had talked on the phone.  That j-o-b called to me...$$$$ needed.  Besides, my friends needed to continue "their" vacation without us interrupting.  Just happened that they came into Wilmington on Wednesday to visit some family and we had dinner together at our local Chili's! 

On Thursday, my Mom had her youngest granddaughter and Miss T was over helping out.  For some reason (divine intervention) Mom took the kid home early and she and Miss T stopped in to visit with Nanny.  They were telling stories and Miss T was discussing her visit in Myrtle and Nanny was saying "I hope you didn't fall in love this time" and laughter and such.  I don't know how long they were there.....all I know is that Miss T called me and said.............

"Grammy thinks Nanny is having a stroke!"  She had gone to the restroom and the aide was helping her back in the bed.  Mom said "I looked at her and her eyes were rolling so I told the aide/nurse I think she's having a stroke!!!................"  They were waiting on the ambulance and I told Miss T to stay with her Grammy and help her, because she will need you with her to help keep her calm.

And then it was off to the ER....only we all went to the wrong hospital.  Nanny was in the ER at the hospital that was slightly closer.  The Doc was calling Mom.....they needed her there!  We drove very cautiously FAST from one hospital to the other.

It is amazing how many people IGNORE FLASHERS and just won't move over!! be continued.

The Longest Month of a Week...part 1

The days since mid July have all run together into one large cluster of chaos.

July 18, 2011 - Calling from their Myrtle Beach vacation, Mom says Tara has a sore throat - and then later a fever.  I say "you're a Mom, you know what to do".

I had worked until 6 and decided to eat out and stroll through Kohl's looking for nothing much in particular.  It was dark, Miss T was with a friend and Hubby was at his AA meeting, and I noticed my Nanny's house was dark, no porch light on - it was 9pm and this was unusual.  I immediately called her number to fuss that she "didn't have that light on" but I got no answer - that scared me.  Grabbing her house keys and my flashlight I headed her way, first looking through her yard and into the garden area.....remember a couple years ago she fell in the garden and laid there 8 hours!  Of course I panicked.....her car was home; then I noticed her outdoor lock wasn't attached, but the door was locked from inside.  I began to yell for her, ringing the doorbell, banging on windows and doors.  Before long Tom was home and came up to help me.

Once we got the porch door popped open and onto the porch, the screen door was latched!  OMG I had to get inside!  But I was afraid of what I would find -- Lord let her be ok please!  In the meantime, my Mom was on the phone with me (she and Miss T were in Myrtle Beach) and I was trying my best not to frighten her.  We're figuring "Nanny probably fell asleep early and is still sleeping" -- yeah that sounds great! 

We got the screen door opened and unlocked the main door, I flipped on lights calling "Nanny?" and I heard her voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Whew!  I went immediately to her room and turned on her light -- she was in the floor!  Oh the terrible look in her small and drained looking at me with relief.

I determined she had not broken anything and Tom helped me move her legs and get her rolled over and upright.  I insisted that she was obviously dehydrated and WAS GOING TO THE HOSPITAL!!  She looked at me, almost to say no and then she said "clean me up first".  We are not sure how long she was there, but Mom talked to her around 11am and this was now 9pm!!  She was a mess!  To the shower we went with Tom's assistance and he dialed 9-1-1.  She thanked me over and over and over saying "I'm so glad you broke in and found me!"  I said "So I am!"

In the ER she was very alert...finally got an IV into her around 11 -  she was so dehydrated the EMT's couldn't get one.  I wouldn't leave her alone - my brother came too.  He stayed with her so that I could go home and shower and try to rest.  I couldn't rest.  I was so worried.  He finally called me around 3:30am, and I said "Mom needs to know - call her".

At 4am I was on my way to pick Mom up from Myrtle Beach, but she said NO to wait and she'd leave around 6 or 7 to come home.  So I went back to the ER to wait with Nanny.  Poor girl.  They weren't sure what was going on.  They were testing her for everything and thought that she was going into kidney and renal failure, but they got that under control.  She was having uncontrollable diarrhea - they ran the test for C.dif but each time it was negative.  Hmmmmm.....then what?

Finally Mom got to the ER and was able to fill the staff in on some medical information that we were unaware of; latest medications and things that had happened at her last hospital visit for Gall Bladder surgery some 10 years ago.  The atrial fib (abnormal heart rhythm) was present then and perhaps that is the concerns for tonight esp since this dehydration is a current trauma.

They finally admit her Tuesday and get her into a room  (July 19) saying she is a "very sick lady".  Each day she seemed to get 100% better and it was looking like we were on the road to recovery!  I took Mom back to Myrtle Beach Wednesday and came home myself on Thursday.

While I was in Myrtle...Miss T began picking at her fingers and when I asked why she said "it looks like fire ant bites" and I said for her to stop messing with them.  Then later in the afternoon she complained of her feet hurting....I looked at them and they looked as if she had stepped on a bed of nails, red prick marks on her feet....hmmmm. 

Well low and behold, she had contracted Hand Foot and Mouth disease from none other than my Brother, who got it from his daughter who got it from a baby!  Thankfully it only affected her hands and feet.  My bigger little brother wasn't so lucky.  His mouth blistered so, he could barely eat - as a matter of fact he said he could only eat Cool Whip!! be continued!