Good News from the Hospital

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and concerns. Knowing I have this web of community through the blogosphere is a great blessing and support.

My mom and dad holding handsMy mom is doing very well tonight. Last night at this time she was in the OR and tonight she’s resting comfortably in the ICU. The infection was not MRSA or the flesh-eating bacteria thing that sounds like it should be in a science fiction movie. Whatever kind it is, it’s controllable.

My brother and sister in law joined my dad at the hospital this morning and talked with the doctor, who answered their questions and really reassured them about Mom’s condition. But nothing reassured them as much as seeing her talking and being feisty and giving Dad a big long “to do” list. When they saw her tonight at 5pm she was looking even better than she did at the morning visiting time and there’s a chance she’ll be moved out of ICU tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.

Mom had already prepared the Christmas sweet potato casserole (in the freezer) and baked a bunch of Christmas cookies for the grandchildren, and finished wrapping all the presents. My brother and sis in law are charged with taking the food and the presents for the Houston branch back with them tomorrow so they will be there for Christmas Day. They’re coming back the day after Christmas with a few grandchildren and hopefully will be able to see Mom back in the regular ward.

It’s hard to be 1400 miles away from everyone right now. I want to be sitting in waiting rooms or holding my mom’s hand, or giving my dad a hug, or doing SOMETHING. But here I sit in Connecticut while everyone else is in Texas, alone in my worry. Except I’m really not alone, I have this whole web of friends as family who have been there for support and distraction and reminding me that I’m part of more than just myself.

Although I haven’t been going to church much of late, I will find one for Christmas Eve to give thanks for all my family, that of blood and that of friendship, and to celebrate the birth of the Christ child with a full heart.

Worried in Connecticut

AngelMy dad called this morning at 7:30am with a report on my mom. The wonderful news is that she didn’t die. The rest of it is that she had a second abdominal surgery last night to find and remove the source of life-threatening infection. She now has an 11-inch incision and will be in ICU at least through Christmas.

Dad left the hospital about 9pm to go home, only to have a call from the surgeon about 9:30. He had been in surgery with another patient but while he was in the OR – and while Dad was still there – they took more blood for additional tests. No one told my parents why but this is a hospital and they take blood and do tests all the time so they didn’t question it.

The original low white blood count that the doctor had wanted to talk to them about apparently signaled the possible presence of some kind of infection that sometimes appears after surgery and the additional blood work was to try and pinpoint more precisely. The doctor told my dad last night that when the results are what they turned out to be, they have no choice but to operate within hours or risk the patient not making it until the next day; the infection is that fast-moving and deadly. I think maybe it’s MRSA but Dad didn’t remember the name, just that it was bad.

I don’t have a lot of details right now but know they did not find what they expected to find when they took her in the second time. The deadly infection wasn’t there but other pockets of problems were and they scraped and cleaned up what they found. Her appendix had been “falling apart” when they removed it and possibly something had leaked out even if it hadn’t burst. But what do we know, our medical degrees are from Wikipedia and WebMD.com.

Mom is in ICU now and can have visitors four times a day for 15 minutes at a time. My brother is driving up from Houston to see her at the 12:00 slot and the nurses told my dad they’d be flexible and let them stay for 30 min if Mom could tolerate it. He will bring Christmas presents up and back; they’re the least important thing right now but we know Mom was fretting about ruining Christmas and will not be in any shape to have the family come up to visit after the holiday, so this will ease her mind when she’s awake enough to know about it.

My dad broke down on the phone with me and my heart hurts for him as well as my mom. He’s so worried that he will lose her – and we still may. My brother just called and is on his way. He promised to call me as soon as he knows something, and to ask lots of questions that I’m not there to ask myself.

Please keep my mom in your prayers. She needs them.