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Friday, October 3, 2008

The Week from Hell!

The household has had one hell of a week.

1. We began almost 2 weeks ago with the blind diabetic dog walking into the stool my mother was sitting on, becoming startled, and biting my mother's calf. She sent me a picture that following wednesday, the docs and I scrutinized over it, and advised she get it checked out. But here's the thing, last year about this time, Morgun bit Dad. The health department came out and quarantined him. My parents were convinced the town would take Morgun away. So, my mother didn't want to go to the ER. She, instead, agreed to keep it clean and call me the minute it looked worse. Friday, Helen called me and said that my mom's leg was really bothering her and maybe I could call and check on her. I tried, but the storm from hell was knocking out the cellular sites and I couldn't get through.

I had planned to get my hair cut on saturday. It took much longer than planned but I got to the shore around 4pm. When I walked in the living room, I immediately smelled infection but could not be sure where it was coming from. My mother wanted me to see the leg, so out to the deck we went to get the most light. The minute I took the bandage off, I was hit with the smell and her leg was swollen and red from above the knee to the tips of her toes. The wound was horribly infected. Off to the ER we went and after many tests, we all agreed that she had a nasty wound infection with associated cellulitis, and would need pretty severe antibiotics. The Doctor wanted to admit her for IV antibiotics but agreed to give her one dose via the IV and then send her home with antibiotics on the condition that she would come back if it got worse. My mother realized that the only reason she got to come home was that I was with her... It pays to have your own Advanced Practice Nurse! The leg did improve but the bite is still pretty ugly and will take a long time to heal. The worst part was telling this fiercley independant woman, who never stops, that she could not drive or take care of her animals and that the one thing she could do was sit with the leg propped up. The inactivity lasted until tuesday when she no longer could take it but driving was still out.

2. Several weeks ago, the parents called me because Dad had an awful stomach ache that had been going on for 8 hours. He had tried the usual tricks and nothing made it better. I was pretty sure it was his Gallbladder by his description and managed to talk him into going to the ER to get it checked out. I met them at the ER and 5 hours later, we discovered my amazing powers of phone assessment were correct and that he needed to have it removed. He went to see his family doctor who referred him to a surgeon. He got cardiac clearance from his cardiologist. And today was the day to have the offending organ removed.

I was sure that he would do fine but my job allows me to see all that possibly could go wrong. Subconciously, I have been agonizing about today, all week. I have been short tempered, irritable, and my back and shoulders have been incredibly tense. Dad did great, better than his 3 daughters fared from the same procedure, but the tension has yet to release. They will keep him overnight and I will bring him home tomorrow.

We all have been agonizing over this. They took him off to surgery and my mother dissolved into tears- "He will be alright, won't he?" So, when she insisted on driving the two hours back to the shore house, how was I to say no? It was her form of control. She did turn the car over to me an hour into the drive and passed out in the passenger seat. Finally able to relax, she slept the remainder of the trip home. Her foot is slightly swollen but no worse for wear and with any luck I can keep her relatively off it for the remainder of the weekend.

3. This morning, Helen and MB were taking the dogs to the North Jersey house while Dad had the surgery and my car was blocking them. I moved my car and pulled back in, inches from my mother's bumper. Something possessed me to move my car when we got back to the house tonight and the damn thing would not start. I tried and tried and it just sputtered at me. I cried. Seriously, I could do nothing else. (I would like to point out that it was this same day last year that my previous car died a painful death, causing me to buy this car!) On a whim, I went out an hour later and the car did turn over. Not easily but it turned on enough for me to move it. I will take it to be checked on monday. I am sure that it is the original battery to the car but I thought I was going to lose it if the damn thing was dead... The week has to get better, all the bad stuff is behind us, now ;)


Suz said...

I am so sorry to hear you and your family have had a bad, bad time. I hope dad is recovering....and Mom's leg is healing. The car? wow, what bad luck. I hope some GOOD luck comes your way soon. ;)
take care. Suz

karengberger said...

Thank goodness for your nurse's training! What would they do without your expertise?
May I recommend that you treat yourself to an hour and a half of massage this weekend? It helps me when I have the symptoms that you describe, and YOU DESERVE IT. (It takes about 30-40 minutes to totally relax; that's why you need the full 1.5 hours.) God bless all of your family.

painted maypole said...

oh. wow. I hope next week is as proportionately fabulous as this week was bad

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I hope things get better soon! My PIF gift should be arriving any day now. Hope everyone is well.

the dragonfly said...

Wow wow wow.

Did you at least have a happy birthday??