Sunday, July 26, 2009
I don't even know where to start. The past few days have been such a blur. But God is in control of every detail, and although it is hard to see it in the midst of "the storm", when you get a chance to breath, it is much easier to see how the hand of God was in it. I have shared before that my mom insists that she can still live alone. Whenever I approach the subject of "when the time comes", she insists she wants to stay in her own home until she doesn't know anything, or who she is, etc. I know God is in control, and that God has a plan and I don't need to know the plan, but you know, sometimes, we "control freaks" just want to know!! Oh well, I am trying to be patient and allow God to work His plan, and for me not to mess His plan up. Pray for me in that area?? Before I get started on momma's life, let me just say for those of you that are wondering, I finally got the call about whether or not I have to do radiation! My doctor was supposed to call me on Friday with the response and recommendation of the tumour board, but I got no such phone call. Yesterday, however, while I was sitting in the hallway of St. Anthony's hospital, waiting on mom's EEG test to be completed, my phone rang. It was the Nurse Coordinator that works with my Oncologist. It was about a 45 minute conversation, but the short of it is, they are going to recommend radiation. But, they did agree, that since I am receiving Herceptin on a regular basis, they will work around my travel plans in September! YAY!!!!! I told them, I don't even care anymore, I am not upset. I will be there with bells on in October. They did ask that I make an appointment to come in before we leave for Florida, to go ahead and do the preliminary mark-ups, and tattoos. I am feeling stronger every day, and gradually beginning to lose most of the fatigue and feel "normal". Anyway, moving on. Mom and I got back from Memphis on Wednesday afternoon. I spent the night at my house with my family, awaiting the arrival of my brother-in-law and the kiddos. Thursday I spent the day being fitted for a Mastectomy Bra and a prosthesis, which took over 2 hours, and getting groceries. Friday morning, I tried to figure out a way to do mom's car stuff from home. I called Hillsboro and tried to get her Personal Property Tax Receipt info, and they told me the license office could get it on line, no problem...check. I then called Sapaugh and asked if they would fax me the state inspection and emissions form, yes they would.....check. I called State Farm to see if they could fax me her proof of insurance, yes they could.....check. Then, the a slight problem arose. Her home owners insurance was due...TODAY! The last day of the grace period, had to be done today. Well, fiddle sticks, that required a trip to Herky. So, God worked it all out, despite my efforts to not go to Herky on Friday, I got in the car and went. I got there about 11ish, and mom was eating lunch. I sat with her while she finished her ham sandwich with a big slice of home grown tomato, LOL. When she was done, she put her face on, and we got in my car and headed towards the license office. I parked, we both walked in and she took a number. We sat there for approximately an hour, waiting for our number to be called. Once called, it was pretty quick, and we were out of there with renewed license plates. From there we went to State Farm, and got her Home Owner's Insurance renewed. From there we went to Keith's job site, picked up the checks he had and headed to the bank to get payroll. I left Mom in the car, with the AC, and ran in, got the payroll money, and was back out in less than 5 minutes. We ran it back out to Keith, and then headed to momma's house. Once there, we went inside, went potty, and I went outside to switch out the plates on her car. She came out and was sitting in her swing, while I was taking off the old plates, putting on the new plates. I was finishing up, putting tools away, when momma stood up and said, "Deb, I am getting hot, I am going in the house." I told her I was finished, and was right behind her. We walked into the house, momma sat down in the red chair. I turned to look at her to see why she sat there and didn't go to "her" chair. She was sitting there, with a blank stare. Her arms were stiff straight and her hands were curled up like fists. I started talking loudly to her, momma, are you alright? Momma! Talk to me! I said, "Momma, I am gonna call 911". She grunted real loud and began to shake and shiver. Her face was twitching like crazy. I kept talking to her, and she grunted her answers. So I knew she was "in there", she just couldn't talk to me. I got a cold rag, and wiped her head and she began to come out of it, and talk to me. "Debra Faye, I am fine, I just got over heated. I used to do this all the time when I was a child. I am fine." I was kneeling at her feet, crying, momma, please, either let me call 911, or lets get in the car and let me drive you to the ER, and get you checked out. That was not normal. She kept refusing, saying she was just over heated, and she was fine. After a few minutes and yes, I was convinced she was "back", I told her I needed something out of my car and walked outside. I went down to Ada's and just cried, asking her what I should do. She urged me to call Keith, and call mom's doctor, Dr. Willey. So I called Dr. Willey, told him what happened, and he said to call 911, and they would check her out, and if they decided to transport her, have them take her to St. Anthony's. I then called Keith, told him what happened, and he said he was on his way, and for me to call 911, now. I then called 911, sitting right there on Ada's couch. She gave me a much needed hug, and I ran out the door back to momma's. I stood in the driveway until the "army" began to arrive. Within seconds, the Herky police rolled up, with lights going. He walked up to me, and followed me into the house. Momma said, "Debra Faye, what are we doing? Is he coming to arrest me?" She laughed and began to "put on the show" to convince him she was ok. Then, of course, here came paramedics, ambulance, and the fire department. And yes, all with lights and sirens. We had the neighborhood rockin'! And all the neighbors out in their yards I am sure. Anyway, the paramedics checked her out, then the ambulance crew checked her out again. Her blood pressure was low, and her heart rate was high. They decided she was dehydrated, and gave me instructions to pour the fluids into her. She opted not to be transported, and signed the appropriate papers. They all cleared out of momma's living room, and left Keith and I sitting there with momma. I went into the kitchen to get her some more water or orange juice, I don't remember at this point, but I went into the kitchen for something. Momma started to get up and follow me in there, and we stopped her and told her to sit back down, we would get whatever she needed. She sat back down, and I got her some more to drink. When I was bringing it back, I looked at her and she was doing it again. Only this time it didn't last as long, and didn't seem as bad. But, Keith saw it this time, not just me. She came out of it, and said, "what, I did it again?" I said, "yes, you did momma. It wasn't as bad, didn't last as long, but yes." Since it didn't last as long and wasn't as bad, we thought, ok, more fluids, apparently that is working. Keith sat with her while I ran to Shop N Save, the closest grocery store to momma, and got some Gatorade, and some other grocery items (mostly fruit). When I got back, I fixed us all something to eat, because by this time, it was like 5 or 5:30. Keith declined, said he was going to head to the farm. Mom and I ate a Caesar salad, with some sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the side. Mom ate good, and drank some more Gatorade. We watched some TV until bed time, and mom found me a sleep shirt and a toothbrush, we went to bed. I can't say I slept well, but mom did. I kept running all the events of the last few days through my mind and my mind would not shut down. Saturday, I put my momma in the car and drove her to St. Anthony's hospital. All the way, momma kept saying, Deb, we don't have an appointment, why are we going now. I said, momma, we will go in through the Emergency Room, we don't need an appointment. She kept saying, what day is this, is this not Saturday? I said, yes, it is mom. She said, there is not going to be anyone there until Monday. I said, yes, mom there are always doctors at the hospital. She said, you know what I mean. I said, yes, I do, we need to do this. She said can't we wait until Monday? Nope, we are doing it today. I pulled up to the door of ER, momma got out and went in. I parked the car, and then joined her at the front desk. She had already given them her name and insurance card. I explained to them what happened and how we needed her to be checked out to see why this happened. They did look at me funny when I told them the seizures were yesterday (Friday) and this was Saturday. They got us moved through the system, and before you knew it, we were back in a room in the ER. Memories. That is where we took daddy, back in December 2007. And yes, momma kept repeating that as well. Momma asked me to call Bennie, so she could start the prayer chain. I did that, and allowed her to talk to Bennie. When we first got there, she was alert enough to tell them why we were there. It wasn't very long, and she was showing signs of confusion. The memories of daddy, and ER, and St. Anthony's hospital, and "this is where your daddy died", began to take over. Repeating the events that led up to that day, over and over. Her short term memory may be bad, but her memory of history is clear. And when she gets rattled, she repeats over and over the past events that she remembers. I can't even begin to tell you how hard that was, not to mention emotional for me. My mom is NOT a doctor person, and once we got there, we spent a lot of time doing what you do in hospitals on weekends...."hurry up and wait". And I had to continually remind her why we were there, why we couldn't leave and come back on Monday, why we needed to stay and find out what was wrong. They did an EKG, which showed that yes, a seizure had occurred. At some point, I don't remember when, they came in and told us they were going to keep her, until she could be seen by the Neurologist. Some time around 5:30, my daughter Kelly showed up, and she offered to go get us some food. We had not eaten for hours!! Kell went across the street to St. Louis Bread Co. to get us some soup and salad. Yummmmm! Kelly stayed with us until they came in to say they had found her a room. Momma had been saying whatever they do, I hope they don't put me on the 7th floor. Kelly was there, when they came into the room to tell momma, they had found her a room........on the 7th floor. Momma teared up. About a half hour or so, they came to move us, and Kelly picked up her stuff to go home. She said she needed to go let Jen's dog out anyway. Sometime around 7:30 or so, they came and moved us from ER to the 7th floor. We had not been in the room very long, when Jen and Cole came in. They visited for about an hour before they left. I don't think we ever turned on the TV. We both just did our "bedtime routine", and turned out the lights. I barely had the lights turned out, when my phone lit up with a text. It was my friend, Susan Vaughn, texting me that she was in the ER with Naomi. I picked up my phone, and slipped out quietly to go downstairs and visit with her. I sat there and talked with Susan until about midnight. I then went upstairs, got in my recliner, pulled up the covers, and tried to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep. Mom was sleeping soundly in her hospital bed. However, my mind would not shut down. I was running all the events of the past few days through my mind. Momma driving to my house by herself. Our trip to Memphis to visit our dear friend, Janice Dugger, and to get mom's hair cut and permed. My brother-in-law and nieces and nephews all being at my house, with just my husband and my kiddos. Two men with 14 children, and no mom! My Thursday fitting for the mastectomy bra and prosthesis. The seizures, the 911 call, BLAH!!! It was just crazy spinning. I talked with the Lord for a long time, only it seemed more like screaming and crying than talking. Before I knew it, morning was here, and they were bringing in mom's breakfast tray. I left and went to get me some breakfast and to find some coffee somewhere. When I returned, they were telling mom that she would be going for her MRI of the brain in a few minutes. I walked down the hall and waited outside in the hallway for mom as she endured the 45 minute test. We then went back to the room. The rest of the day was full of company. Word had spread, and mom was getting phone calls and visitors. Her Sunday School teacher called first thing, even before the MRI. The Hargis's came after church, then the Southard's, then Bro. Imhoff, then Nick and Jess and Ruger (my son and daughter-in-law and grandson). Somewhere in all this, the "lady" Neurologist came in. She explained that mom had moved into a different stage of Alzheimer's, and she was no longer considered "early stages". She also informed mom that she could not drive for 6 months. She then said they were going to order one more test, and a meeting with her partner in the morning. What that meant, was another night in the hospital!! Monday morning, mom's Primary Care Physician came in, Dr. Willey himself. The last time either one of us actually saw him, he was explaining to us that he was going to execute daddy's last wishes as far as his health care directive, meaning, unhooking him and taking off his oxygen mask. Yea, again, memories flooding over me. Same hospital, same floor, same doctor.....blah. Anyway, he went over all the suggestions for mom as far as her immediate care, her long term care, etc. This is long enough, so I think I will save all those details for another day. Right now, I am at peace with all the decisions that are being made for mom, and I know God is in control. In the midst of all this madness this weekend, my doctor's office called and informed me that yes, they are going to recommend radiation. They do agree to go along with my travel plans in September, and not start until October. So, if I didn't have enough on my plate, stuff just keeps getting added. But, I changed my prayer a long time ago, from "please don't let me have to do radiation, to Lord, just help me be ok, with whatever cup you sit before me. I trust the Lord. He loves me, and I know He wants the best for me. Whatever Lord, whatever. I'm ok. I truly am. I am feeling stronger everyday, I am. Thanks for all your prayers.