Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have come back

Yes, you may have noticed that I have not posted in AGES. You may have thought that something happened, and you would be right if you guessed that.

Once I stopped posting it was so hard to start again. Partly guilt, partly depression, partly inertia.

I did miss this blog though and I think I finally feel up to starting again.

First step: go back to where I left off and tell you what happened. So here we go.

I was flying to Barcelona to train a large group of people during a business meeting. But after the meeting, I had planned a few days of sightseeing and shopping with friends.

On the way there, I had only one layover. While I was waiting for my transatlantic flight I a got a phone call from my mother’s apartment. She lives in an assitied living facility and the staff had found her on the floor, somewhat disoriented. They had her up and she was sitting on her couch She seemed like she wasn’t in any acute danger but they wanted to send her to the hospital for an assessment.

How bad was it? I really couldn’t tell from what they told me.

I called my husband – luckily he answered – and told him the story. He rushed off to see my mother and get more details.

He didn’t think she was disoriented (not more than usual as she has some dementia). But she had told him that she had been vomiting during the night (flu???) and that there had been blood in it (effect of the warfarin / blood thinners she was on???). She really didn't think she seemed too bad but he was going to take her to the hospital and keep me updated.

What to do? I still had a chance to turn around and go home and gone home. But what if it was a false alarm and she was really OK.

At this point, my husband and I aggreed that I would continue my trip. He kept calling me with updates from the hospital up until the time I got on my 9 hour flight.

You can imagine how worried I was during the trip. I couldn't get any info until I got to Barcelona. The moment I landed I called my husband.

The update: my mother’s red blood cell count was very low and they suspected internal bleeding. She’d received 3 units of blood and she was going to have an endoscopy to see what was going on inside. And they thought she’d been in the hospital for 4-5 days.

Feeling terrible about it, I decided that I would go to business meeting but fly back as soon as my presentations were over.

I kept getting updates. They found bleeding in her stomach, which they cauterized. They also did a biopsy. After the transfusions she was feeling better. She would be discharged sooner than expected. Yay!

I spent 3 days in Barcelona, then flew back home just in time to rush from the airport to get to the hospital and take her home.

Not a good trip at all.

Since then, a lot has happened.

The biopsy came back positive and she was diagnosed with a gastric adenocarcinoma. She had to go into a nursing home for a short time after the hospitalization for rehabilitation. (She didn’t like that, let me tell you. She can be feisty!) After the bleeding stomach was cauterized, she’s felt much better. (She probably was bleeding for a long time and it was never caught.) We’ve been to an oncologist and have had all types of tests.

At 89 years of age, she’s decided that she does not want to have surgery or chemotherapy or radiation. I really don’t know how much time she has left, but she seems to be doing quite well. And she is still with us.


  1. UniqueNurseGranny said...
    So sorry about your mother and also how hard the trip was for you.You were right and strong to go on with your presentations.She would have wanted that for you, I bet.Sounds like you have the support of your husband for the next phase as well.That is will be in my heart..
    maryeb said...
    Sounds like a very stressful time for you. I'm glad you shared what's been going on. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

    It's nice to have you back!
    Contrariwise said...
    Thanks so much for your kind words. They really mean a lot.

    I'm hoping that I can begin regular posting from now on. I've really missed blogging and have a lot of stuff to catch up on. You'll see!
    Unknown said...
    I can totally sympathize with you. my mother has Alzheimer's disease and I also worry about her when I am far from home and always feel quilty too. I hope you can continue blogging. I enjoy reading your posts. I will be thinking about your mom and sending her positive vibes!
    hopestudios said...
    I know that's a very difficult road to travel. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    industrialpoppy said...
    A very difficult journey you took indeed. It sounds as though things have settled down a bit for everyone, and will hopefully remain that way. I'm sure many have missed your blogging (I am one of them), and perhaps you'll take some comfort in the rythmic entries of your blog!
    Many hugs to you and your family, and especially to your mom, who sounds like a firecracker! (Reminds me of my own mom, who I adore).
    Anonymous said...
    I've been checking your blog every now and then in case you came back. I used to love reading, so I'm glad you're back.

    So sorry to hear about your mother. Your family will be in my thoughts.
    Jo said...
    I'm so sorry you've all been going through such a rough time. I hope that your mum continues to do well. I know what it's like to worry - my Grandma is 91 and everytime the phone rings late at night I worry.
    It's good to have you back - I missed your posts!
    Anonymous said...
    I am so sorry that your mom is not well, and believe me I will keep you both in my prayers.

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