Sunday, January 17, 2010

We continue to interrupt vacation with news about Mama and the New Orleans Saints!

I wrote all of this Saturday night.

My goodness, but am I an excited New Orleans Saints' fan! What a great game to watch today, for me and the rest of their followers! Hooray! Geaux Saints!


Now for news about Mama.

Leland got her to her primary doctor of Friday where it was decided to do some lab work, to make a referral to a vascular surgeon, and to give her a shot in her shoulder.

First the lab work revealed that she is anemic enough for the doctor to say that she just might need a blood transfusion. Huh? If she needs one, schedule one--that's my way of thinking!

Next the referral--I've got his contact info so that we can make an appointment with the man who almost tried to do a bypass of the subclavian steal in January '08 but didn't when Mama's symptoms improved drastically with steroids--those symptoms it was first thought were a result of the steal, but then as they responded so quickly and positively to the steroids, it was concluded they were the result of fluid in her ears--so together he and Mama and all of us breathed a sigh of relief for no major surgery. I will call that guy and make the appointment because maybe there is something that he can do.

Finally, the shot in her shoulder. The primary doctor listened to what she had to say about the ache, the pain. He read the note that I had sent, too. He rubbed around here and there and found several knotted spots in the muscles and decided that part of the trouble was being caused by muscle spasms, thus the shot which might have been an anti-inflammatory and some sort of steroid. Now for the immediate result of the shot. Mama's vaso-vagal reflex kicked in which means that her blood pressure dropped rapidly and drastically, so much so that she came near to fainting. After almost half an hour flat on an exam room table, she and Leland headed home. He called to tell me all about it. I checked on her several times by phone that afternoon. She reported that she had recovered from the episode and her shoulder seemed a bit better, that she'd let me know if anything changed, that I should go ahead for my Friday-after-work outing to 3 Doors Down Cafe so that I could see my sons, have a cocktail and something to eat.

At 5 p.m. as I got on the bus my phone rang. It was the heart failure nurse who wanted to let me know that they would get her worked in next week and would call me on Monday to tell me when. Good grief.

While I was on the phone with her, it rang again, not Mama but our Mississippi, Talladega bud Milton. He said he'd just talked to Mama and thought she sounded like she was having trouble breathing, so I called her to find out for myself. She said that the had just walked to the bathroom and back to her recliner, so she was out of breath, that I should go on to the restaurant. So I did. I got home about 7:45 p.m.

We watched the rest of the Blazers win over the Orlando Magic. Our team played well, Mama talked about it as it went on, and I noticed that she seemed to be gasping, laboring as she merely sat in the recliner. So I called the guys and mentioned what I felt would be an inevitable trip to the ER. By then it was around 10:30 p.m. Mama and I just wanted to go to sleep, so we decided to try to wait for Saturday morning to make the trip. Once she stretched out on the bed 45 minutes later, my phone rang, Lamont saying he was leaving the restaurant and didn't we want to go on to the ER then. I asked Mama who immediately said, "Yes."

So Lamont came and got us. Leland called while we were on the way and said that he'd meet us there. I lost track of time, but it didn't seem like it took too long for us to be in a room. The first nurse that took us back there said it appeared congestive heart failure was going on which is exactly what I had figured. Another nurse examined Mama, drew blood for lab work, and then she went for a chest X-ray. Somewhere in there she had a breathing treatment with Albuterol.

Lamont went home around 1 a.m.--he was scheduled to work about 10 hours on Saturday and had worked at least that long or longer on Friday. Leland had worked about four and a half hours on Friday, and he didn't have to work on Saturday, so he waited with us while she had intravenous Lasix, from a syringe into one of those ports, for the fluid in her lungs--yes, the same fluid I had found out about on Wednesday that the cardiologist's heart failure nurse was trying to get her fit into some point next week to check it out and maybe alter her medicines! Before long she had a good pee, that and the breathing treatment started to help her breathing.

The ER doctor breezed in, said that the fluid on her lungs could be dealt with by taking the Lasix at home twice a day instead of once a day (that's what the cardiologist had her doing, once a day). He said that she was very anemic, in fact she had about half the red blood cells that she ought to have and that we should follow up with Dr. Yutan next week about a blood transfusion. I think he mentioned needing two units. I was so tired by then that I didn't have enough sense to ask, "Why not give her blood right now?" None of us did. The man actually said, "You get this fluid off you and get some red blood cells in you, and you're gonna feel a whole lot better." Then he buzzed out of the room so quickly that it took all three of us a few seconds to realize that he was gone. Sleep deprivation is a bitch. Leland finally got an answer from the nurse--we could leave as soon as the papers were signed, we had our copy and a wheelchair.

Mama mentioned her walker, and it dawned on us that it was still in Lamont's car. Leland said, "I'll just carry you, Grandma, when we get to the apartment." Which he did--at about 4 a.m. when we pulled to a stop in front of our building--from the car to the elevator where she stood in the corner and then on to her bed after I ran ahead and unlocked our door. I got her in her jammies and settled in the bed, with Duncan of course. It was 4:30 a.m. when I turned out my light and pulled the covers up around my head.

We both woke up around 9 a.m. and then again around 11:30 a.m. I stayed up that second time, she didn't. Finally about 12:30 p.m. she asked me to make her protein drink which I did and took to her in the bedroom. Once she had finished that, she stayed in bed. In a little while she got her clothes on and slowly made her way to her recliner.

About an hour later, I fried us some bacon, scrambled three eggs my co-worker/friend Sarah gave us from her backyard chickens, made some toast. We ate and headed back to the living room to watch the New Orleans Saints' game. I washed the dishes before Leland and Kailey came to visit and bring the walker.

After they left, I cooked supper, another one of my own concoctions. Rough chopped onion, yellow bell pepper, orange bell pepper, thin-sliced potatoes, all sprinkled with sea salt, some black pepper, and sauteed for a while in a hot skillet with some olive/canola oil, then covered it with some Swanson's chicken broth from the carton and turned down the heat. In another skillet with olive/canola oil, I sauteed some boneless, skinless bits of chicken breast. Then I threw in some Oscar Meyer bacon cut into about an inch and a half wide rectangular pieces. Once the chicken had all turned white instead of raw-chicken-color, I tossed it on top of the veggies, then stirred it into them. I let the bacon continue to fry until crispy, then stirred it into the other mixture, letting it cook another minute or so, until the potatoes were done. I served it hot in a bowl along with a piece of buttered bread and sweetened iced tea. Just what we needed, hot food and iced tea. I enjoyed it. I think Mama did.

We watched the rest of the Colts, Ravens. Now we're watching "The Karate Kid." I am tired and plan to go to sleep once the movie is over. Mama figures the shot in her shoulder is still helping some, that she still is having a time breathing when she walks anywhere in the apartment and doesn't want to fool with another appointment at Dr. Yutan's next week. She just wants to get the blood transfusion, period.

Thank you to everyone for your continued prayers and love.


Anonymous said...

A very busy day with lots of issues straining nerves. This breathing thing and heart thing is hard to deal with or I have problems with both and sometimes wonder. I hope your momma gets well soon.

WendyB said...

You've got a lot going on. Hoping for the best!