Thursday, January 6, 2011

'Condensed' Soup Pt. 2

Did I make y'all wait long enuff? Too long? I can't help it it. I'm a sucker for cliff hangers. Know what else? It tickles me pink I actually have readers. Pinker still when they call me DRAMA QUEEN. (Thanks Shawn!) And when I'm asked, or even begged to continue . . . now that's an all together different shade of pink.

And in the spirit of 'Seasame Street': The color pink has been brought to you by Dr. Sullivan and the American Access Care of Atlanta. "Ha! Ha! Ha!" adds The Count (my favorite Seasame Street resident). "So far in this entry Angela has used the color pink four times. Count them with me. One - Two - Three - Four. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

And the number four has been brought to you by, "NOBODY!" yelled Oscar the Grouch. "And furthermore, YUCK!" he grumbled. "That's an awful lot of pink for just two lousy paragraphs." So although clearly aggravated The Count had nabbed his top spot on the street, the beloved trash talking goblin had a point.

And how on Earth had I wound up on Seasame Street to begin with? Perhaps I should have simply said: Knowing I have readers makes me smile. I hear tell smiling now turns my cheeks a rosy pink. And to what do I owe this new found pigment? LIBERATION. The End. Boring, heh? Yeh. I liked my puppet dialog much better.

On with it then . . . I believe I'd left you not knowing the outcome of something or the other. Had it been a steel cage match between The Grouch and The Count? No? Of course not. I was telling you about traveling with the varsity basketball team my sophomore year of high school. No? Not that either? All right already. Enuff with the teasing.

I'm on the bed waking up from my procedure. And when I say waking up, I mean waking up. "Rarin' to go," as my Dad used to say. But unsure of what the doc had or had not found OR was or was not able to fix, I did not want to immediately go bragging. Besides, how does one explain feeling 'awaker'? And another patient had been a curtain over from me. What if his procedure hadn't faired as well?

Thus far then I am 'awaker.' A definition, please? By this I mean faster to wake. Easier to wake. Even eager to have woke. How 'bout that one? Was my vision better? I know that light was not that bright earlier! Hearing? Tennis shoe squeaks on the floor. Interesting, but maybe that was just 'cause nobody was talking to distract me. Deep breath in. And out. VERY NICE! People had reported breathing better - deeper. And until just at that moment I'd had no idea what they'd been fussing about.

I was thinkin' I needed pinched at this point. Where was that gorgeous husband of mine? You know the one - the one who actually told the doctor to "balloon something - anything - whether it needs it or not!" (Not an irrational request since he was paying for this himself.) Anyways, I knew Jason would tell me the news - good or bad, just as the poor guy had to back in May.

So all this, and before I'd heard whether or not all had gone as it was planned. And as soon as our eyes met I could tell somethin' wasn't as it should be. How disappointing. And I'd thought I was feeling improvements. Hello Mr. Placebo. C'mon in. I'm just as big a sucker as the next guy. Too bad I can read my hubby's non-existent poker face. Screw the pleasantries. "What happened?" I demanded.

And then he smiled. Or tried for one anyways. Enuff with the teary eyes. Enuff with the swallowing hard. He cleared his throat as I continued, "There wasn't anything wrong with me was there?" He looked perplexed as if I weren't meven speaking English. I rephrased my question. "They didn't fix anything did they?" And with that he was up on his feet standing over me and holding my hand. (A sidenote: His hand was warm. Was my being able to feel the warmth of his hand on mine another improvement?)

Finally he talks over my nervous rantings to tell me the right jugular was blocked % and left was blocked % . . . AND that they both appeared to respond well to ballooning. Welllll, correct me if I'm wrong but that sounded like pretty good news to me. Who am I kidding? Phenomenal news. Fan frickin' tastic! Music to my ears. Why wasn't he dancing a happy jig? Had the despair he'd been fighting so hard to mask not been so telling - - -

Commence with the interrogating. Boys okay? Yes. Mom then, or g'pa, I'd thought. Still with no offering of information, I ask, "You talk to Amelia?" And with those four words my friends, all Hell broke loose. "Ha! Ha! Ha!" laughs The Count. "Count with me. One - Two - Three - Four. Ha! Ha! Ha! Four words 'til all Hell breaks loose."

"That's garbage!" interrupts Oscar. "Using us to stall with details is just plain dirty." Again with the infinite wisdom of a trash can inhabitant, right? Couldn't be all that bright, heh? Then forraging thru the gnarly green hair on his head with one hand and pulling at his chin with the other he asks me, "Know what would be even trashier?" What with the loaded questions I wonder? I pause to think. And I got nothin'. So I reply, "What?"

His monobrow raised hauntingly over his left eye and quivering with anticipation, he looks around to be sure no one is listening and whispers slyly, "Can this entry. Make 'em wait for part three." Hmmmmm . . . as I take a moment to ponder this genius he begins to grin ear to ear and laugh devilishly arms flailing all about. Genius indeed, I'd thought as I raised my right eye brow in contemplation. Not a bad idea.

But, not a good one either. Sike! Did I getcha? No? Well, my sister nearly got me. And now, without further ado, an explanation. "Well, what did Amelia say?" I asked. And he says, of all things, really and truly, "She told me not to tell you." Yep. Those exact words. "She told me not to tell you. WHAT? Well whoopity doo! Them's was a fightin' words my friends. Who cares if she's Red Sonja? It was on like Donkey Kong. No joke. Nobody was keepin' nothin' from me. Not no way. Not no how. WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?

A bit of backstory must be inserted here. Way back when, when my Dad had his first heart attack - it was kept from me. Whilst I was partying at a slumber party my Dad was having a heart attack. I was dancing, singing, maybe even drinking and he was near death. The next day when I was supposed to go with these same friends prom dress shopping I was told "No!" by my Momma. And my g'pa would be there to get me in an hour or so. WHAT?

Long story short I report to my grandparents house instead of home. Anyways, there I was all mad I wasn't still out havin' fun. I was quite a little brat about it if I remember right. Guess what else? Had I not gone off the handle about missing out on a girls' day out I'd have prolly never been told about it at all. Had they thought I wouldn't be able to handle it? Amateurs!

When finally I had dragged every last detail out of 'em I was livid. I coulda been there. I coulda helped. If for nothing else I coulda been there as support for my Mom. What if he'd have died? Huh? What then? All whilst I was partyin' hard. Well, not that hard. But still, you get my point. And from that moment on it was sworn I would be made priivy to everything pertinent and done so immediately. Get it? Got it? Good. And so it had been 'til this escapade. Grrrrr! For my own good and whatever. I know that now. But still, WHATEVER.

I finally get that they MAY . . . just MAY have to take my Mom's foot. Please pay extra especially close attention to the word MAY. It's not just the month between April and June. Without looking up the word's official Webster's Dictionary definition, to me it means possibly. Not for sure. Might. Maybe, get it? Notice how the word MAY is even in the word maybe. Coincidence? I think not. Propping myself up on my elbows (as if getting closer would help me to understand him better), I ask, "When?"

Had I been getting loud? Or was it that I should have still been laying flat? The real reason unknown -- seconds after this exchange -- enter Jacob. Yes, the nurse. "You doing okay?" he asks. "I know it's early," he says. "But I just have to ask. Notice any improvements yet?"

Bring on the water works. No. That description does no justice to what actually went down. A better illustration: Niagra Falls. I answered Jacob with a "no" although it had not exactly been the truth. A "no" however was all I could muster thru the tears. And as I had not been given the chance to share these potential improvements with my husband yet either, he somberly explained to Jacob the news I'd just received from home. He looked concerned thru out their conversation and nodded his head several times to let us know he understood. His only request before leaving my bedside was that I try my best to lie still for as long as I could manage.

Fine. Now back to the "When?" WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? We were at least 7 hours away. And I was supposed to lay flat for four hours. She had to wait. "Call 'em back," I'd demanded. "Tell 'em we'll be there as soon as we can. They gotta wait." Irrational much? I know, right? That made no sense whatsoever. It was gangrene, people. Wet gangrene even. That shit travels fast people. And if it gets in the blood, welllll, I don't even wanna go there. But until I got to my trusty internet, those delicious morsels of information were unknown to me.

Allow me a tick to clarify. Ask me about Multiple Sclerosis, lung cancer, kidney failure, dialysis, heart failure, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, heck, even pit bulls and I've done my fair share of research. Somebody gets somethin' or worries about somethin' I dive in to learn more. It's what I do. But had I done it with gangrene? Not exactly. Self-centered hussy! I'm going to forever feel like I should have/could have done more. Again, Mom, I am so sorry. So I knew a smidge about gangrene but as she'd never been diagnosed with it - I didn't know enuff and what I did wasn't exactly good. The short version was that gangrene meant infected, rotting flesh that needed to be removed. But Mom was only admitted for IV antibiotics, right? Couldn't be anything that horrific. Couldn't be.

So back at home: Mom was being prepped for surgery. Or already under the knife? I still don't know exactly for sure the timeline. Remember I learned later that they were even considering doing it the night before? Remember the night I got aggravated at my sister for not being able to leave my Mom alone? Remember me telling Amelia that Mom was a big girl? You don't remember? Wellll, I do! So --- under the knife in a surgery deemed 'emergency' and for a longer time than they had originally estimated.

I hear tell it was touch and go for awhile during, and even after surgery. I can't imagine what poor Amelia had been going thru. And all whilst 'The Wheel' was partying it up in the ATL. I'm aggravated I wasn't told the truth and aggravated I wasn't there. BUT, and this is a big BUT - BUT I am and forever will be eternally greatful I was given the opportunity to get my life back. What a mixed up mess 'o emotions. Geesh! And that's not all folks. She didn't just lose a foot. She lost almost her entire right leg. No one would know 'til the next day whether or not the doc was able to get all of the gangrene or whether or not the infection had spread to her blood.

All this excitement whilst I'm layin' in a bed balling my eyes out. Uncontollably sobbing. Hmmmm. Jacob? Where you at? "Could I get another one of those little somethin's to help relax me?" He checks with the doctor and - booyah, score! And not long after the Xanax arrived so did Dr. Sullivan. Very concerned. Came to my bedside. Sat. Talked and listened about my Mom. Yeh. You heard me right. What doctor does that? And the very same one to give you your life back? WOW! This man rocks! P.S. He even wrote RX for a little somethin' for the next few days. Help get me thru the rough stuff. Unheard of.

Where was I? Mom touch and go. And me a mess in ATL. Ahhh, yes. Lunch time marked my halfway done mark. A turkey croissant from the deli next door. Oh, my! The best food I'd ever eaten. Ever! Had my tastebuds been revived too? Another improvement? If all food was gonna taste this good, I dunno, could be a problem. 200 lbs was already more than enuff. So with my belly full and my xanax, ummmm, xanaxing time flew by. It wasn't long and Jacob came around with discharge instructions. I was to return the next day at 9am to get a blood thinning shot in the belly. WTF? Nooooooo! I'd done my four hours flat and that was hard enuff. That was four hours closer I coulda been to home. "Please, please, please, no!" Was there anyway I could do without? Had I not made it clear I wanted to go home? C'mon Jacob. Work some sorta werewolf magic would ya? Hehehehe. And with the good doctor's approval Jacob readied a syringe that my hero hubby could administer in the a.m. no matter what our location.

Soooo, we're ready then? Ready? Ready. And we were off. Welllll, off to the lobby. We needed paperwork and the prescription from the doc. Not really so much a part of the story, but definitely worth mentioning: The clinic is also a dialysis center. While we are there waiting an older gentleman enters with a nice big lumpy fistula on his left arm almost exactly where my Dad had his. I know Jason noticed this too as I caught him doing so. Our eyes met then and we shared a smile thinking of Dad. Then a nurse came out to get some of the patient's information. You won't believe what his name was? Give you one guess. Robert. And as he exited the lobby, "WHAAAAAAA!" You'd have thought I'd cried myself dry, but alas I had not. What a blubbering baby! Had that been a message from beyond? Was Dad telling me Mom would be alright? That I needed to take care of myself? OK, now I've cried myself delirious.

Anyways . . . The plan was to swing by the motel, check out and head home. Who cares that my sister had given instructions that I was to stay there overnight as had been planned? Who did she think she was after all, heh? A pretty darn good 'wheel' I hear. I'm so very impressed with how she handled everything. I've heard stories since I've been home. Stories even that she'd actually wished I had been there. A source (who I'll leave unnamed for safety's sake) even told me she'd said, "I don't know what I'm gonna do without Angela." And she may not have known. Not right away. But she sure figured it out. I'm so proud of her. (I taught her all she knows, ya know. wink, wink)

The 16 lanes of Atlanta traffic were stressing on a girl from a town that not all that long ago only had two traffic lights. We're big time now tho -- we got five. "Count with me," says The Count. "Ha! Ha! Ha! One - Two - Three - Four - Five. Ha! Ha! Ha!" Needless to say by the time we'd made our way back to the Drury, I was spent. Physically and emotionally drained. Where had those improvements gone? Were they a figment of my imagination? Had they been there at all? Would they come back? And even more important, how did any of this even begin to compare to what my mom and sister were going thru? God be with them!

And He was. He was with me too. Even at the Drury. We'd gone in just to get our bearings and maybe rest up just a bit. Maybe. And covers up. I was out and out fast. No drugs required. Zonked. And I don't think I moved a muscle 'til 4:30 or 5 the next morning. I had to peeeeee, BAD! Huh? I'd held it all night? Another possible improvement? Or a fluke? Or maybe complete and total exhaustion had been the culprit. Either way, I was a happy, well-rested (and dry) camper. Yippee for me. I walk without any disorientation, support or stumbling to the potty. Another yippee. And then, "Yeeeeeooow!" The tile beneath my bare feet in the bathroom is ca-ca-ca cold! No big deal, right? The big deal is that I could feel the cold floor.

Wanna hear more? No cliff hanger this time, but there is more to come. A part 3 ought to catch us all up quite nicely. So much has happened. Improvements, improvements, improvements! For me and my Momma! You won't believe the stuff we can do. Heck, I don't believe alot of it myself.

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