Sunday, August 30, 2009

Laughter reigned in the ICU

As many of you know, my mom’s occupied a room in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital after undergoing open heart surgery more than a month ago. She experienced two respiratory arrests during the last five weeks and was on a ventilator/breathing machine most recently for more than two weeks.

Thank heavens . . . to quote a cliché, “she has turned the corner” and her health improves daily. The doctors decided to put a tracheostomy into her neck which sounds horrible but since then, her difficulty breathing has eased considerably. And as her breathing becomes better, her sense of humor erupts full force almost daily to the point she nearly made one of the nurses pee her pants tonight laughing.

Mom requested I place a cold rag for her head. A minute or so later, she made a grimace and gestured her fist towards her head several times like she was pounding something into her forehead. OH, NO, I think. She's got a horrible headache or is it a stroke?

Scared to death, I ordered her to tap out a message explaining the problem on an alphabet board. And this is the message I received:

“I need to tack the cloth to my brain. It keeps slipping.”

Relief swept through me. I laughed till I wheezed and me, being me, I told her I was going to ask her nurse if Mom could borrow her stapler. Tape would do if they didn’t trust her with the stapler. She chuckled silently and shooed me on to see what the nurse would say.

Of course, the nurse entered the room with a frown. “What do you need a stapler for, Mary?” Mom pantomimed that she wanted to staple the cloth to her forehead while I explained what she wanted. Thought we’d have to clean up the floor when the nurse finished laughing. I did end up taping the cloth to Mom's forehead anyway, just to tease her.

Candace, her nurse, told her that soon they would put a valve in her tracheostomy which would allow her to talk again. “Then you can cuss us nasty old nurses out.” Mom made the “who?…lil’ old Me cuss you out?” face and batted her eyelashes all sweet and innocent looking.

I told her I really wanted to know what word she said first when she could talk. That woman, my dear sweet 82-year-old mother, looked so pensive and thoughtful and onery (up to playing tricks) that both the nurse and I laughed till I ended up wiping tears from my eyes.

We’ll see what she says.

Report to follow . . .

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Slipper Sox

Mom's still in the hospital on a respirator. It's been almost a month since she had her surgery. Has had two respiratory arrests probably from a reaction to some medicine. Not as serious as a cardiac arrest, but serious none-the-less.

Her sense of humor is still there, however. She asked me to bring some slipper socks from home. She's tired of the icky old red ones they give you at the hospital.

I decided to make her day and bring her SPECIAL ones. BOught a pair of florescent pink one with heart shaped gripper thingies on the bottom. On the top is a picture of Ehyor, the donkey from the Winnie the Pooh stories. Just above his picture it says, LOVE ME.

I brought them in and said....don't feel like you HAVE to wear these. But she grabbed them and hugged them to her chest, her eyebrows wiggling their approval emphatically. It's so hard to talk when you have the equivalent of a fist stuck down your throat. Hard to read lips that way.

She's the talk of the ICU now. Gggrin! I don't suppose very many 82 year old ladies wear Ehyor socks up there. But then again, most 82 year old ladies don't wear ball caps with the caption ......
"Don't let the hallo fool you." (I'm not sure how to spell's one of those round shiney rings that angels wear above their heads. gggrin)

Anyway, it made my day to see her eyes sparkle when she saw them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

One more thing about mom

One of the male nurses who had taken care of her earlier stopped by to ask her how she was doing. She opened one eye, arched her eyebrow at him and squinted her infamous "How the *e*l do you think I'm doing, you big dope" look at him. When he left, she looked at me and shook her head so hard, I could almost hear her brains rattle.

If she hadn't been tied down so she wouldn't pull her breathing tube out, she would have taken the palm of her hand and thudded it up against her forehead several times. But then she just shrugged and grinned.

Setback on the Mom front

Mom suffered a setback in her quest to get out of the hospital. She's been in the ICU for 10 days since her respiratory arrest. She started getting so lethargic that she would forget to breath so they ended up putting a breathing tube back in last night. Her fingers were quite blue by the time they got it done. aCk!

She's back again. Last night was a little worrisome but my ex-boss's dad had just had open heart surgery by my mom's doctor and he (the doctor) got outa surgery just in time to go put a breathing tube in mom. PErfect timing, I guess. My boss was there for me and gave me hugs and talked to me till I could deal with things.

My brother is coming back from Denver by Saturday night and my sister will be here all weekend. Yea me! Yea mom! Thanks for all your prayers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Selling books before they are published

I made another sale for the novel my writing buddy, Joe, and I have written and it isn't even published yet. Whilst sitting in the ICU watching mother sleep, the nurse asked me what project I was working on.

I explained about writing the novel and how a professor had offered to edit the book for free. I decided to make her a beautiful hand embroidered crazy quilt quilt in return for her kindness.

The nurse then asked what the book was about and with very little explanation about the details of the book, she said...well, just let me know when it's published and I'll buy one. Ggggrin! Even gave me her email address so I won't forget to contact her. She was so impressed that a REAL person, someone she'd actually met, had written a novel.

I'm planning to publish on demand after the professor is done editing. Sooooooo, things are moving closer. I even had someone show up in my life who had self-published before and offered advice on things to ask so I make sure the the final product is made with quality paper and printing. Amazing how people keep showing up in my life to help me along the way.

Ain't life grand?

OOOOOOH by the way, Mom had had a relapse last week and ended up back in the ICU for the past 6 days. Not going to get out of the hospital any time soon, but she's getting slowly better.