I know I haven't been around for a while...so much has happened, and yet we're still playing a "waiting game."
First of all, around the 17th or so, I started getting symptoms of what I thought was just a cold, or maybe my allergies acting up. I took some OTC allery medicine, some cold medicine, and kept thinking it would go away.
By the 23rd, my chest was so congested I could barely breathe...I had to sleep sitting up, and I was miserable. The next day, I went to the doctor: pneumonia, and a fever of 103. I've been on antibiotics, etc. since then, but I'm still so congested that my lungs sound like a pipe organ.
The doctor gave me orders to stay out of work until September 4th. This actually worked out okay, because I had to be with my mom for her surgery on the 28th (Tuesday).
Monday (27th) I took her to St. Thomas hospital in Nashville to see her surgeon and have her admitted. Turns out, her blood work showed that her creatinine level was up, and the surgeon said that if she had the bypass then she would more than likely go into kidney failure and require dialysis for the rest of her life. The surgery has been put off until next week.
I am out of days at work, and I have had to take a family medical leave to get well and to take care of my mama. I miss my students more than I ever dreamed I would. I know they are not my real kids, but it is still very hard to be away from them all for this long. I miss being in the classroom. I miss talking to them. I miss seeing their smiles, hearing them laugh.
As my lil' Mama would say, I'm feeling so low I have to look up to see the ground. You can really tell I'm having a hard time when the WMP playlist is full of Joy Division, Belle and Sebastian, The Cure, and The Cocteau Twins...lol.
Okay, enough whining for now...sorry about that. I just have to be strong so much of the time, and it feels good to have a place to "let go of it all" for a while.
Hope everyone is doing well.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I made preparations yesterday for Mama's big day. I hadn't talked about it here because frankly I just hadn't had time. It's a scary, but hopeful day.
Back last week, Mama had been feeling more and more short of breath. I know when it's coming when she says, "the air is getting thicker." I took her to the doctor, and they referred us to the Heart Group, where she's been going for the last seven years. The cardiologist ordered an arteriogram be done at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, so we went on Tuesday, the 7th.
Greg and I took her for the procedure at 6:30 that morning, and they wound up keeping her for 3 days. The doctors first decided that there was almost nothing they could do--based on the arteriogram and the films, she had 3 major and 1 minor arterial blockages, and over 80% of her heart muscle was "dead," and that bypass surgery was a moot point. They had decided to put in a defibrillator and send her home. We cried a thousand tears and said a thousand prayers in that hospital room, Mama and I.
Then, a miracle happened...a diminutive, kind-faced man with curly hair and a soft voice came in to see Mama right before dinner time Thursday evening. His name was Dr. Chomsky, and he was a specialist in cardiac failure. He told us that he could not approve the defibrillator with a clear conscience without mama having a cardiac MRI first. He said that there had not been a complete scan of her heart done, and there was no way anyone could see how viable her heart muscle was until that was done.
So, they sent Mama home for the weekend, I went back to work on Monday the 13th, and my dear in-laws took mama for her MRI. The very next day, we received the news that we had prayed for: MAMA WAS A CANDIDATE FOR THE BYPASS SURGERY!!!!
Miracles do still happen.
Now, mama goes back Monday the 20th for her pre-surgical consult, and we see what happens from there. All I know is we have a chance; that's all we're asking for.