Thursday, October 2, 2014

September 30, 2014

Tuesday Goes Down Hill Before Looking Up
September 30, 2014

Tuesday morning, my sister Janet, her husband, and I were up early again to be at the hospital to see any doctors who might stop by and to be ready for Mom's procedure that was scheduled.  I must admit that I discovered the world's best cinnamon rolls.  They are made fresh in the cafeteria at the Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine.    My sister says she knows she will make stops there occasionally to have one.  Wish I were closer.  My brother-in-law left after a while to run errands.  He spent hours and hours at the hospital this week.  He really loves our mom.

Again the nurses knew nothing about the procedure and said that they didn't even know if it would happen or when - maybe in the afternoon. My plan had been to leave as soon as it was done to go home.  I had loaded all my things in the car Monday morning, expecting to go home and then didn't when Mom was not doing well.  So here I was again trying to decide what to do.  About 9:30 they called that they were coming to get Mom for the procedure.  Not long after that, 2 young women showed up and allowed Janet and me to accompany Mom all the way to the room where the procedure would be done.

This procedure was to be an injection done under a scan to insert the needle into the area where be fracture is and where the cement had been applied.  The previous day the radiologist who would be doing the procedure had said he thought a bone fragment or rough edge was rubbing a nerve, causing the spasms and severe hip pain that was new after the first procedure.  When he came into the procedure room, he said after reviewing the MRI that had been done, he thought it was not a bone fragment but rather the nerve was being compressed due to a bulge in an adjoining disc.  Still, the treatment would be the same.

Janet and I went to wait in the surgery waiting room.  I worked on a blog and she read.  The radiologist had told us it would only take 15 minutes.  After an hour, they called to say they were just starting because they had to wait for the medications to be delivered.  I must say, there were a lot of things we liked about this hospital, (not just cinnamon rolls), but they have a few problems to work on and organization and communication top the list.

Eventually the radiologist came to get us and asked what movement had been most painful for Mom.  Janet explained to him that getting to a sitting position from being in the bed was hardest.  He said we would try that first.  The pain was not gone.  I am not sure who was most disappointed, the doctor or Mom.  He said it had been worth a try and he was sorry it hadn't worked.  The previous day he had told us it could take 48 hours to work.  I am not sure why he was so disappointed without waiting for that 48 hours.

We returned to the room frustrated and disappointed that there had not been immediate relief.  I decided not to try to leave that day and so there sat my luggage in the car for the second day in a row.  I am so thankful that I had the option to stay longer and glad I had packed extra clothing so we didn't have to do laundry, because there was no time for laundry.  I went to the cafeteria and got some lunch to take back to the room.  When Janet's husband returned he took her to get some lunch and then to go home for her to get a nap.

Mom ate and then rested a bit.  I worked on blogs and later when Mom was ready to get up, she sat up easily without help and in a bit, said she wanted to go for a walk.  The nurse walked her around our end of the floor.  We were fortunate to have the next to the last room at the end of the hall and it was very quiet.  The old fashioned system of paging doctors and nurses is a thing of the past and now they all carry cell phones and are called on those.  I am not sure which is worse.  It is aggravating to try to talk to the nurse and her phone keeps ringing.
Just a few minutes after the nurse returned Mom to the room, the Physical Therapist came to take Mom for a walk.  She decided to go.  She did three loops of our end of the hall.  That was amazing since just the day before, she had not been willing or able to tolerate the pain to walk to the bathroom.  Things were looking up.  In the above photo, Mom is wearing a brace that she is to wear when she is up and it helps to keep her from twisting or moving in ways that could be harmful.

Mom was tired, but encouraged.  She had been so disappointed that the procedure didn't bring quick relief and we don't really know where the credit goes for the improvements.  Is it the procedure?  Is the prayers of many faithful friends?  Is it (as the pain specialist believes) the improved balance of pain medications.

The pain is not gone.  It is a little better, but she stays on medications to try to keep the pain under control.  The fractures of the vertebrae and rib are healing.  The medications cause some side effects.  I am thankful that they seem to be able to control it without leaving her in a mental fog.  That afternoon, she spent time paying bills, reading mail, sorting papers, etc.  She seemed to be clear minded.  The staff began again to talk about dismissing her from the hospital. 

Janet returned after a nap, feeling somewhat refreshed and in a bit, Joe Bob (her husband) joined us.  They were both surprised and delighted to hear she had been walking and spent a lot of time in the chair.  Joe Bob took on the job of calling to order Mom's supper.  I did it a few times, but I just could not hear the kitchen staff when I would ask for something and then they would start asking questions.  I had to give the phone to Mom to see what they were saying.  They no longer bring huge rolling carts of trays to the floor to pass out.  You call the kitchen  when you want your meal and order from a menu in the room.  Then your food arrives fresh and hot.  The system seems to work well.
After all her walking, Janet gave Mom some leg and foot rubs.  After we had done all we could to help Mom, we left her to her paper work and we went out to supper at a place called Flips.  They serve some awesome burgers and fries.  If Mom doesn't get well soon, we are all going to outgrow our clothes.  At Flips, we ate outside in the perfect weather without a single fly or mosquito.  Janet keeps telling me that they have no mosquitoes because they have had not rain.  (they got some today)   It was nearly 11:00 by the time we got to the house and I again unloaded my luggage.  It had been a long day.
 Another sunset from Mom's hospital room.  Wish that tower was somewhere else.

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