Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mystery Solved

I’m writing this fast, as I’m short on time, but I wanted to give an update on my mom. This is an extremely condensed version. Please forgive me that my writing is not at it’s best ;)

Last Thursday, I left with my hubby and kids to meet up with my twin brother (and his family) at Lake Mead for a long weekend of fun. I felt nervous about leaving mom because she still wasn’t eating. By Thursday night, she was throwing everything up again. I talked to my dad Friday morning and he said he was taking her into Urgent Care, again.

After spending all day in Urgent Care and undergoing some tests, they found that a number with her liver was way too high (sorry, I don’t know all of the medical terminology-I wasn’t there). They then did an ultrasound and found a blockage in her bile duct which meant she had a gallstone. This blockage is the reason why she cannot hold anything down and why she has been throwing everything up. They admitted her to the hospital (Friday night) and said they’d do more tests on Saturday to get a more clear picture and determine their next step, which would be either removing the gallstone or removing the gall bladder (this is what they told my dad).

Saturday came and they took her out in the afternoon to do a few tests. Upon returning her to her room, they gave my dad no further information. When he finally asked, they told him that the attending doctor would be by that evening to speak with him. Dad waited until 9:30 pm and no doctor ever came by. He also ordered mom some soup from the cafeteria around 7:00 pm and it never arrived. Dad went home feeling frustrated and not really sure what was going on.

When he arrived back at the hospital early Sunday morning, he was told the doctor had already made her rounds. He asked if the doctor would call him and he was told she would. He also gave mom an Ensure, as she had been asking for something and nothing had ever arrived from the cafeteria. The nurses gave my dad no instructions on what she could or could not eat (the communication with this hospital has been lacking, to say the least), so he figured he’d make her happy and give her the drink and if the nurses had a problem with that then maybe it would be a lesson of communication for them. My dad waited…and waited…and waited for the doctor to call. My mother-in-law, who is the President of Volunteer Board at the hospital, got wind (from me) about what was going on and she put in a heated phone call to the charge nurse. The nurse told her that the doctor was on the phone with my dad “as we speak”, which turned out to be a lie. However, the doctor finally did call a couple hours later for the first time throughout mom’s stay-after the doctor who would be removing the gall stone came in and explained the whole procedure to my dad. She (the attending doctor) was a day late and a dollar short.

They sent mom in for an MRI Sunday afternoon and the doctor who was removing the gall stone told dad that the procedure would take place likely sometime on Monday and that it was up to the surgeon to decide, after looking at the MRI, if she would need her gall bladder removed.

Yesterday, as we were driving home from the lake, mom went in to have the gall stone removed. They never gave a time or anything for when it would be done; it was just a spur-of-the-moment “okay we’re going to take her in now.” My sister (who was with mom) called my dad, who was finishing up on a job, to come and he rushed over, only to wait a couple more hours for them to finally take her in.

By the time I arrived at the hospital (around 4 pm) she was back in her room and confused at whether or not they had taken her out to do surgery. Try as we might to explain it to her, mom could not understand what had gone on. Furthermore, they hadn’t said a word to dad when they dropped her off about what was going on. We finally called a nurse in, who was under the impression that mom would be going home now that the stone was removed. My dad told her that the operating doctor had said the surgeon was supposed to look at the MRI (taken the day before) to determine if the gall bladder needed to come out. The nurse went to make a phone call for clarification to both the doctor and the surgeon and confirmed that the surgeon would “definitely” be by that evening to check on mom and make a decision on her gall bladder. She also put a call in to the attending doctor so she could fill dad in on the details (I think there was a little confusion about that…we were hoping to speak to the surgeon himself to know if he would, in fact, be coming to the hospital). The attending doctor eventually called dad and made it very clear to him that she did not have time to come by and check on mom. I don’t know what the point of her phone call was; she gave no useful information and she has been absolutely useless throughout mom’s stay (not to mention she has had a very witchy attitude with dad). They are paying her for nothing.

We waited…and waited…and waited for the surgeon to come by and let us know what the heck was going on. If mom did not need the surgery, she would be free to go home. Mom was getting very restless and couldn’t understand why they were making her stay. 

“I don’t think these people here are being very supportive of me and helping me. I want to go home please…your sister was here earlier and wasn’t being so supportive of taking me home so please your dad and you can take me home now, please, I want to go.”

Over and over mom asked what time we were leaving and demanding that we take her home. My sister had also reported to me (earlier that morning) that mom had already taken her IV out 3 times over the past 2 days; the poor dear is tired and restless and wants to be home in her comfort zone.

The nurse put in a call to the surgeon that we were waiting to talk to him and again reassured us that he would be by. By 9:00 pm the surgeon still hadn’t come and I headed home. I felt bad for leaving when she was so hopeful that I would be the one to save her and rescue her from the hospital.

I called my dad this morning and he related to me that the surgeon finally called him THIS MORNING to affirm that he would indeed be removing her gall bladder. He claims that he had no knowledge that our family was waiting to speak to him and also claimed to have an emergency today; therefore, he cannot perform the operation today but rather, mom has to stay ANOTHER night and wait until tomorrow to have her gall bladder removed.

My Aunt is with my mom now and has been texting me that she is very upset this morning. I will be heading over shortly and maybe I can distract her. Although I am not hopeful.

It was a bit nerve racking being away while all of this was going on. Not that I could have done anything to help her…but just being away while she was going through all of this was hard. I had fun with my family, but mom was constantly on my mind and I was constantly nagging my dad and sister for updates. My sister and my dad did a great job taking care of her, making sure someone was always with her, and my sister has done an excellent job keeping my family and me informed of everything going on. I know she was in good hands. But I can’t help feeling guilty being away. We have another weekend trip planned for the holiday to visit my twin in Arizona and pick up a couple of my kids (who went home with him). And again, I question myself for leaving. I know there are others who can step in; I am not, by any means, irreplaceable. But I just feel guilty being away when she’s going through this. Thank goodness for family and for friends and for the good people at church who fill in and help take care of my mom.

Hopefully, once her gall bladder is out, and she begins her healing process, this will resolve most of her stomach issues and we can get her eating again!!!

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