{Days 142-155} Trying Times

Challenging times continue for my family. On May 19, my mother was taken to the hospital, and there in the ER, it was like watching an episode of House unfold. First, they said heart attack. Then they determined it was a mild myocardial infarction caused by multiple pulmonary emboli. These are life-threatening—most aren’t discovered until autopsy. The question then became: why were they happening?

Day 142 – View from ICU (iPhone)

On Day 142, we learned the clots were caused by The Big C.  After a few months of other not-so-good things happening, this felt like the bottom just completely dropped out from under us.

Day 143 – Best ICU Staff Ever (iPhone)

One thing that comforted was the wonderful care Mom received in the ICU. Aunt Jane joked to my dad: “Ut oh, she’s gonna get used to having this big hunk [Chris the nurse] fluffing her pillows every day. You better take notes.”

Now I’d planned to snap an image of the whiteboard message, which I’d passed many times in the ICU corridor. But after another long day at the hospital, I slipped into an exhausted sleep, and it was forgotten. I took the photo early the next morning, figuring that since I’d *planned* to do it on Day 143, it still counted for Day 143.

[For project purists: technically, I did take a blurry iPhone shot of the radio on Day 143 as I sometimes do when I want to remember the name of an unfamiliar song. This one was Little Richard’s “True Fine Mama.”   Yes, true fine mama, don’t go away…]

Day 144 – Blue Skies Outside the Hospital (iPhone)

On Wednesday, we learned Mom would be transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes, where  surgery—we thought—would be performed the next day.  Bright, blue skies seemed like a good sign.

Day 145 – Chapel, Our Lady of Lourdes (iPhone)

Upon arriving at Lourdes, I was drawn to the beauty and peacefulness of the chapel—not a calm shared on the always-bustling PCU floor.  There, the attending physician put the brakes on the surgery.  Mom’s particular situation was a bit complex, and it was not safe yet because of the blood clots.

Day 146 – Bruised Arm (iPhone)

Having blood taken around the clock while on blood thinners can result in easy bruising like this.  Still not as bad as having the Roommate from Hell.  (A story for another time.)

Day 147 – Munchkin Painting (iPhone)

A special painting made by Oma’s favorite girl brightened spirits.

Day 148 – Fall Risk

Finally, she was able to go home (where she could actually sleep through the night) until cleared for surgery.  Medical wisdom said we needed to give the clots some time to dissolve.  There were many at-home precautions to take, procedures to follow.

Day 149 – Oma’s Mug

Happily enjoying a coffee and watching her favorite show The Price is Right.

Day 150 – Lamp

There wasn’t much thought given to this image of the lamp, but I suppose in the midst of mental and emotional chaos, my mind found calm in the simple geometric pattern.

Day 151 – Rote Grütze (iPhone)

And once some appetite returned, also through dessert. 🙂

Day 152 – Poodle

And there is something about our wild and wacky surgeon that offers a calming influence, too.  He twisted this poodle out of a string of beads.

“Exactly what we want,” I said.  “A surgeon who performs magic.”   He busted up.

Day 153 – Apple Brown Betty

Did I mention dessert?

Day 154 – Opa and Munchkin

Of course, there’s nothing in this world that can beat Munchkin Time.  Here, Opa prepares to take her on the Fun Slide.

Day 154 – Rosary

Family and friends have been a tremendous support.  We are reminded how very blessed we are to have such incredible people in our lives.  In this image, Mom holds a rosary, a gift from a Catholic friend.

Day 155 – Tired Munchkin

A tired Munchkin heads home after a visit.  We’re all a little weary but hangin’ tough.


17 thoughts on “{Days 142-155} Trying Times

  1. So sorry to hear about your mom’s health problems. I have been worried about you — knowing your dedication to your project, I figured it must be something bad that was keeping you from your daily posts. Who knew that through it all you were still capturing some great images. 😦 We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Hey Kathy… best wishes to you and your mom. Hate to say it , but been there…last Oct at my place of work where my mom volunteers. She passed out at the front door…. blood clots went from her legs to her lungs. So keep strong for your mom and take care of your self.

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