Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh, What a Night (and, Morning)!

This is going to be long even though all I really want to do is go back to bed. But, you know everyone loves a good ER story so I don't want to disappoint!

Yesterday we spent the day away from home doing a variety of things, including hanging out with one of my favorite families, who coincidentally were the first people to ever make hummus that I just could not get enough of! I severely disliked humus until yesterday, but I am a reformed woman....woo-hoo hummus! But, I digress.....

We came home to find GAS still hacking up a storm. For two weeks now her cough was not getting any better, but it wasn't getting any worse. Then she told me that she was scared because she felt something strain in her chest that morning and she had trouble breathing so I told her I would take her to the doctor in the morning. I later tucked all my girls into bed and as I was leaving #2's room GAS told me she had thrown up 4 times in the last hour.

Sweet nibblets.

SO, I called her doctor and she was concerned she could have collapsed her lung and said I should take her to the emergency room, and that she would even suggest calling an ambulance. Obviously, this doctor does not know my grandmother very well. She would have to be unconscious to get in an ambulance without kicking, screaming and gnashing of the teeth. So, I told the doctor I would take her. Cue the music for bitter thought #1......where are my aunt and my mom to help out with this problem? My mom basically wrote off GAS when she came to live here, being sure to tell me she would not take on any financial responsibility or care for her ever. She lives an hour away anyway so there wasn't much hope for anything to happen there. My parents have never been the kind of parents to drop everything and come help me. But, I'm not bitter......


My aunt who lives closer (Extreme Kitchen Makeover Aunt) is near and dear to me, but because they have been sick and it is taking a really long time to finish this kitchen remodel they haven't really been helping much with GAS other than to get her to a couple chiropractor appointments. I do have a cousin who I can't really blame for not helping because no one really asks her to.

So, anyhoo....I tell GAS to get dressed after she slightly protests and #1 hears what is going on and offers to go along to keep me company. Since there is no school today I let her join us. We got to the hospital sometime before 10pm, where I got to catch the last 35 seconds of the Giants/Packers game and this is the only time I will ever talk about football on my blog. It was a good game, but I was a little disappointed to see the Giants win, not because I have anything against them, but I don't think they can beat New England. Sorry, TCC. And, then I started wondering why I even wanted to see New England get beat. I mean these guys have been to 4 of the last 7 SuperBowls and I sort think they deserve to win the big one. If you build and sacrifice and represent excellence, then by all means "Go, Team, Go!".

I digress again....the game held my attention and then I read for awhile while GAS was taken back to get x-rayed and EKG'd. They were concerned she was showing some signs of another heart attack so they wanted to check her out to be sure. I was pretty excited because they took her back for those tests/x-rays within a half hour of being there so I figured this was going to be pretty quick (a miracle, God's favor shining down on me) .

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! Seriously, I know that God's favor is still with us....He just had other plans last night!

Afterwards GAS came out and sat in the waiting room with us for about an hour and a half. #1 fell asleep on a bench we were sharing so I threw my coat over her and watched the 11:00 news. I learned all about sucking fat from your legs and injecting it into your breasts, replay after replay of the Giants winning the playoff game, and all about the evil taking place in the world. Around 11:50 they finally called for her, but I didn't want to leave #1 sleeping on a bench in the waiting room alone so GAS went back without us. I then settled in and stared at the fish tank that had this one fish in it that was bizarre. It would swim over to a plastic plant and bite it and shake it while all the other fish just stared at it. And, the night went on....

A rather graphic version of Seinfeld came on...of course, we are on the bench right in front of the TV. I am faced with the dilemma of waking #1 up and moving which she will then be awake and able to listen anyway or just letting her sleep and hope all references of things I don't plan to talk to her about for another 2-3 years are not being absorbed into her thoughts as she lays there sleeping innocently. So, I stood looked, around and went over to the TV and turned the volume almost all the way down expecting at any minute for a worker to come over and yell at me not to touch the TV. I was becoming numb and wondering how I would drive us home......

Then, I made friends with a young couple and a little boy. The little boy was sleeping and the dad was hovering over him, it was so sweet. He just sort of sat on the floor in front of him. So, I struck up a conversation, wondering if I would have the opportunity to pray for him. The little guy was throwing up all night and the pediatrician told them to come to the ER so he could have an IV and be hydrated. They confessed they waited until the end of the game as the dad lifted up his sweatshirt to reveal a Giants jersey underneath. I wanted to beg them to go home because there was no way he was going to be seen until the sun began to rise over something like that. I'm pretty experienced in the ER and in my professional opinion, throwing up will get you no less than a 6-hour wait in the waiting room with Seinfeld and Elaine talking about faking it. But, I did not offer my advise or my prayers because when I came back from checking on GAS they were all asleep.

Sleep started to sound like a good idea so I curled into a ball as best as I could with one foot still on the floor. I briefly entertained the thought of putting my feet up on #1 and realized my shoes had germy, hospital filth on them....what kind of mom would I be if I did that? So, instead I stole my coat back off of her and used it as a pillow. She stirred a couple of times and I was back to staring at the fish tank. The crazy fish was still chewing on the plants and I started to stress out about how my best laid plans for the next day were shot. I was going to get up early, go to the gym, work at home for 2 hours and then hang out with the kids the rest of the day.

I dozed off in my pretzel-like state and was startled when the doctor came out and tapped me. He explained the plans had changed (they were originally going to send her home) because her blood work came back with elevated levels of what ca-ma-call-it and they needed to make sure she did not have a blood clot in her lung or congestive heart failure. He suggested we go home and she'd be done in the morning. I was seriously so tired (or trusting God) that the words "congestive heart failure" did not even scare me. I was actually thinking I should be scared, but I just wanted to go home because now the TV was showing Sex in the City and #1 kept waking up because she was uncomfortable. Her and I agreed we could join the circus and be a mother/daughter contortionist act after trying to sleep together on the 3 foot bench.

We got home a few minutes before 2am and the phone woke me up at 7am. It was the hospital to tell me she was ready to be picked up. You're kidding, right? The Husband had already left for work and my aunt was on her way to work and didn't offer so I didn't ask. My only choice was to wake the kids (the hospital was too far to leave them sleeping without an adult home) and go pick her up myself. It was 12 degrees outside. My gas tank was on empty. I started to whimper and grow resentful again. I decided that I would never allow my children to take care of our mothers while they were trying to raise their own families. As soon as I thought it, I was convicted. This is what God has called me to do and trying to blame the rest of my family for not stepping up to the plate was not going to make my situation any better. It just made me feel more icky.

The girls were wonderful, understanding and quick to throw on their bathrobes, grab blankets and jump in the car (while I was spilling my coffee all down the front of me). I was only able to heat up the van a little bit because I was afraid I would run out of gas in the driveway. I stopped at Turkey Hill, pumped my gas and went inside to get the girls some donuts. I, by the way, did not get one. It felt like my only victory. While I was in Turkey Hill the power went out. If I believed in jinxs I would start to wonder if I was one. But, thankfully, I don't believe in that stuff. The credit card machine didn't work at first and I started worrying that GAS was thinking we weren't coming. Man, my ducks were being slammed out of their rows. God, what are you doing here???!!!

We went and got her and the rest was uneventful. I'm too tired to think straight and get any work done, #1 has a doctor appointment at 12:20 to get a bunch of splinters out of her foot she got from sliding across the hardwood floor yesterday and the idea of going to the gym makes me laugh (although, I do hope to get there tonight after The Husband gets home and I drink another 3 buckets of coffee).

I will say that I'm glad for all the scripture verses that seemed to run through my head over the last 12 hours. I think it was the only thing that kept my wits about me. Specifically, the one that goes something like "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.". Thank you, Lord!


Natalie said...

Girl, I think the next time I'm bored silly I'm going to call and ask if I can just follow you around for a day or so.

Livin' Life said...

Honey you need a day off. Just let me know and I can watch the girls for you or something. Go hang out with your hubby. Seriously!!! Let me know if I can help.