to your mother


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mom's Most Recent Adventures

Mom was diagnosed with anemia about a month ago. The multiple myeloma, chemo and Mom's kidney issues all contribute to lowering her hemoglobin level. Over the past month she has been receiving shots to boost her hemoglobin (normal is over 12, her level was dipping below). On Friday, March 6th Mom got herself dressed, prepped and ate some breakfast then Dad took her to get blood work done to check her hemoglobin level.  A short time after getting home, while Mom was rolling around the house doing her thing, Dad received a call stating that Mom's hemoglobin was 5.3 and he needed to take Mom to the ER. Dad loaded Mom into the car and took her to Waynesboro Hospitial ER. Doctors were amazed with this woman...most people with a hemoglobin level of 5.3 are unresponsive in a bed with concerns of heart failure...Mom was going about her day, then laughing and carrying on with hospital staff. This woman? She is on ox.

Mom spent three days in the hospital, visiting with nurses, doctors and staff...bringing smiles to even the most stoic of people...while she received 3 units of blood. I describe it as a wilted flower that finally received the water desperately needed to fully bloom. By Monday morning Mom was raring to go home.  During her final bedside visit from her hospital doctor, as he removed the oxygen tube up her nose he replied "Why do you still have this? This makes you look sick. Let's get rid of this." Mom triumphantly raised her hand,  laughed, cried out for joy, danced in the bed, as if this moment meant she would be going home soon. Her doctor laughed and asked " Are you ON something? Because if so, I WANT some."

After some discussion and trepidation of whether Mom would continue to be independent at home, we decided to take her home with consults for home health care, specific nursing care, and home physical and occupational therapy scheduled for the next day.  We brought Mom home and I hovered over her like a mother hen while she transferred from chair to toilet to bed and such. She seemed to be functioning with strength and confidence. We all went to bed.

The next morning I came downstairs to find crumbs on the counter next to an opened bag of sliced bread, a buttery knife and a margarine container turned on it's side. Mom sat at the kitchen table with half a cup of coffee, toasty crumbs on her plate and a cup of fresh water with ice. She greeted me with a "Ahhh!" and a sunny smile. "Feeling better Mom?" "YES!" Mom was joyously back to her old routine.

Later, as Dad and I sat at the kitchen table, Mom wheeled herself into the bedroom. Dad asked that I talk with the home healthcare people when they called to coordinate the various consults for the day and I agreed. Minutes later I heard a swift "shhhhingggggg" of metal rolling across metal.

PA: Did you hear that?
Dad:What was that?
PA:  The shower curtain...Mom is in the shower.
Dad: (shaking his lowered head) Call the Lutherns (home health care). Tell them we don't need them today.

Once again, Mom has persevered...defied medical knowledge and any of our expectations.

Since being in the hospital Mom has seen her primary care physician and oncologist. She goes for blood work next Monday to check blood levels. These levels will determine the course future chemo will take. Mom has been complaining of body aches and pains for awhile so we are pursing some pain management options.

Meanwhile, we keep on truckin'.  Thanks for your outpouring of love and support!