I see that my sweet daughter posted a note for me while I was unable. It's been quite a week for us. Wednesday afternoon, we took Mom to Pine Bluff to get her hair cut. We thought it would be a nice outing for her, and it would be easy on her to lay back in the shop chair for a good "head washing." She seemed to be feeling fine when we left, just having some back pain that she had been dealing with for several days. She kept telling us it was just muscle pain from not being active enough. And I think she was very determined to get a new "do." She did fine at the beauty shop and seemed ok on the way home, but was very quiet. By the time we got home, she was almost in tears with her back. We got her inside the house and she wanted me to rub the area, thinking it would loosen up and lessen the pain. I only touched it and she began moaning with the hurt that caused. She couldn't sit, stand, or lay down it was so excruciating. I called Nancy, and she told me to get her to the hospital pronto! Mom was hurting so badly, I couldn't get her into the car. So, I called 911.
Of course, when you are waiting for an ambulance, time slows to a standstill and we were pretty upset by the time it arrived. But, the EMTs were excellent and thoughtful. I was even invited to ride in the passenger side on the way to UAMS. Mom had a temperature over 101 and we gave her some ibuprophen for that en-route, as well as morphine. She was so bad though, that the morphine helped only a little. We arrived around 5:30 or 6:00 and she was taken back immediately, but it took a while for us to be able to go back with her, due to a trauma the staff was dealing with at the time.
Sister #1 and #2 met us there, and we finally were able to be with her in the exam room. The staff continued to give her shot after shot of morphine to no avail. X-rays and a CT was ordered, and they showed a pocket of infection, or abcess in her abdomen where the omentum was removed. The doctors didn't feel that this was the cause of her back pain and were a bit stumped by it. The only thing they could figure out, was that the fluid on her lungs was pushing on her diaphram and causing it to push on nerves connected to the area of her back that was in pain. They told us she would be admitted (thank goodness) and we continued to wait for hours. I sent Sister #1 home and #2 and I stayed in the exam cubical with her hour after hour.
While we waited, she continued to be given morphine shots, and eventhough they were not getting rid of the pain, she was so groggy that she was quiet in spurts and yelling in spurts. During the quite times, we noticed how many ambulances came in and eavesdropped on conversations the staff was having about them. At some point during the night, we became so silly from fatigue and lack of sleep, that all we had to do was look at each other and we'd start giggling. It was NOT funny that our mother was laying there in pain, but the mind is a strange thing. I suppose it tries to deal with stress in strange ways. As the night wore on, Sister began playing with medical tape. She created some really pretty flowers with it. How, you may ask?... by folding strips of it up and twisting it like ribbon. Ever seen ribbon roses?.... Well, there you go. She also fashioned a Calla Lily for me. It set off another round of uncontrollable giggles.
At 3:30 or so, we finally were moved up to a room. As luck would have it, Mom was taken back to the same room she stayed in the first time. So, for a change, we knew exactly where we were going and where we would be. Sister then went home to her children.
They gave her ANOTHER shot of morphine, and I told the nurse they WERE NOT WORKING. He apologized and explained that was all the doctor had ordered for pain aside from Tylenol. I asked him to give her the Tylenol. ANYTHING to try to help. By the Grace of God, the Tylenol seemed to make the morphine work. At about 4:30, she finally fell asleep. I pulled my chair over to her bed, folded my arms on the end of it and fell asleep too. It wasn't the most comfortable way to sleep, my arms and legs kept falling asleep too, but I couldn't hold my head up any longer.
The doctor came in at 6:45 and explained that they may try to drain the abcess, but wouldn't know until later in the morning. But they began IV antibiotics. As soon as those reached her system, she began improving. She wasn't allowed anything to eat, in case they needed to do the draining procedure, but she was resting and the pain was under control for a change. The doctors decided to review her scans again and make a decision today about the procedure, so she was allowed to eat supper and was given a good snack at midnight. I went home last night and fell into bed. I slept several hours without waking and got up early this morning to be there when the doctors came through again on their early morning rounds.
At 1:00 this afternoon, the procedure was nixed and she will continue on the iv antibiotics and go home tomorrow. (As long as her pain is controlled by pills and not morphine shots. ) The pain in her back? Well, they finally decided it was due to a bit of pluresy. She is sore where she was hurting, but the constant pain is gone.
Mom was almost herself this afternoon. By the time she finally got to eat, she was a bit testy. (Which is her normal self much of the time. heh heh) She was doing so well, though, that I decided to leave at 4:00, trying to miss the Friday afternoon rush hour. I'm home now, as you can plainly tell, and ready to sit on the couch without worrying about Mom's needs for a little while. Sister #2 will take her home tomorrow, so I may get an entire day to relax. Oh, but I will probably go into the office for a couple of hours to catch up on my workload. I was only able to work one day this week. I was wishing I could have a vacation, but this was NOT what I had in mind......