Christmas 2009….Part 2

  My mother had triple by pass surgery on November 12th.  She had been complaining about how difficult it was getting back from that surgery for weeks.  My sister  (who teaches school in SC) and I (who teaches even farther away than that) had been goading her and pressuring her to keep at it.  To keep trying.  To keep pushing herself.

When I called her several hours after leaving to let her know that we were on our way, she mentioned that she was feeling  a little nauseous.  I told her to eat some crackers.  Several hours later, she said she had been throwing up and was on her way to the ER per instructions from her home care nurse.  I called her again when we stopped for the night just a bit north of Atlanta and she was waiting for a room at the hospital.  Later, a telephone call from my sister revealed that Mom had been admitted to the ICU with an infection in her healed surgical incision.  She gave me the hospital’s number and a PIN number that would allow them to give me information about her condidtion.

Now I was in a quandry.  Should we pack up and head down?  Should we stay the night in the hotel and THEN leave?  My teens had been cramped in the back of the truck since 4:30 am.  They needed to stretch…and relax.  We had searched for a hotel with an indoor pool because of that.  HRH had gone to bed.  Bless his heart.

At 2:30 am, HRH was shaking us awake and packing things up.  I called the hospital and usee my PIN number to learn that they had put my mother on a ventilator around midnight.  She was going down hill fast.  HRH went to check out at the hotel desk and the night manager opened their complimentary breakfast bar 3 hours early so we could have something to eat before hitting the road.  By 3 am we were on our way. 

By 3 pm on Monday I was walking into my mother’s hospital room to find her vented and heavily sedated.   Not a good sight at all.  I sat at her bedside for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  My sister arrived around 5:30. 

Basically, my dad, my sister and I were told that my mother had an infection that would have to be removed.  They scheduled that surgery for Wednesday afternoon.  It was decided that since she would need to be vented for the surgery, just to keep her sedated and on the current vent until then.


Wednesday evening she was taken into surgery and the infection removed.  The wire used to close her sternum was also removed.  One side of her sternum had basically melted away anyway.  There was lots of  conversation about this flap and that flap and abdominal tissue being pulled up to provide support.  She had four drains which would be in there for a while.  But she was doing well. Very well for someone who had been so ill.

Still sedated and still on a ventilator, the next day was Christmas Eve.

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