Mom's Surgery (and Updates)
My mother had her surgery at Northlake Medical Center this afternoon and everything seems to be fine. She had to have a section of her colon removed, along with a lot of scar tissue. I talked to the Doctor after the surgery and he said that he got it all and she should be fine in no time. I had to ask him if she'd be able to play the violen and he said of course. That'll make her happy- she's always wanted to play the violen!
It was agonizing to see Mom when they rolled her to her room. She was crying and in so much pain. I've never seen anyone hurt as bad as she did, and there was nothing I could do to comfort her. After taking her vital signs, they gave her a couple of shots and she was out like a light. The nurse assured us that she will not wake up until tomorrow and the pain should subside greatly by the time she wakes up. I sure hope so! In hindsight, I feel extremely guilty for leaving. I should have planned on spending the night- I don't know what I was thinking. What if she wakes up alone during the night? What if they don't keep her medicated and she wakes up in an unfamiliar room by herself in pain and doesn't know how to contact the nurse's station? I called the nurse when I got home and spoke to Madonna (!) and she again assured me that everything was fine and they would be paying close attention to her throughout the night.
She'll be in the hospital through Friday for recovery and observation. I know she'll feel 100% better when she comes home, I just hate to see her hurting so much in the meantime.
Please keep my Mom in your thoughts and prayers this week.
UPDATE (July 19, 2006) - Yesterday and today were still very painful, with very few signs (if any) of improvement. But-- tonight at 5:45pm (exactly 48 hours after her surgery) we witnessed a mini-miracle. I won't get graphic, but if you're eating while you're reading this, you might want to come back to my Blog later! Mom has felt nausious (sp?) for 2 days now. She's been on medication to help alleviate that symptom, but it hasn't gone away. Anyway, tonight she asked for her pan and proceeded to vomit twice. Immediatly afterwards, she was a different person. The light came back into her eyes, she was able to sit up in bed and talk and laugh and feel less pain. We helped her out of bed and the nurses changed her linens, and gown after giving her a full sponge bath. She actually felt good for the first time! They put her back into bed and gave her the pain medicine again and she was zonked out again when I left. She was able to go a lot longer without pain killers today... normally she gets them every four hours and after an hour she's asking for them again and has to white-knuckle it for the next three hours. Today she was going 5-6 hours between meds, and didn't really mention it. Hopefully they can wean her off the pain killers by going 6-7 hours between treatments tomorrow. She is scheduled to go home (to my Aunt's house) on Friday.
One thing that really bothers me (there's a whole list, but I'll just point out one item) is that they didn't have her IV inserted properly following surgery. It wasn't going into a vein, just into her hand. So, for a day and a half, all of the medicine they injected didn't go into her bloodstream, just stayed in her hand. No wonder she was in so much pain. A family friend of ours (a nurse) came to visit last night and she noticed how swollen her right hand was. They removed the IV and placed it into her left hand (this time into a vein!) and it's working so much better now. Her right hand and lower arm are swollen up like balloons and numb. Thank God for a visiting nurse for pointing this out. We've kept warm towels on her hand and arm all day, and hopefully the swelling and bruising will go down soon.
She's still got a ways to go on her route to recovery, but I thank all of you (on Mom's behalf) for your phone calls, "Get Well" cards, flowers, prayers and good thoughts. They seem to be working so please keep it up!