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?
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.
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…]
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.
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.
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.)
A special painting made by Oma’s favorite girl brightened spirits.
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.
Happily enjoying a coffee and watching her favorite show The Price is Right.
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.
And once some appetite returned, also through dessert. 🙂
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.
Did I mention dessert?
Of course, there’s nothing in this world that can beat Munchkin Time. Here, Opa prepares to take her on the Fun Slide.
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.
A tired Munchkin heads home after a visit. We’re all a little weary but hangin’ tough.