Dec. 10th, 2010. A gain. A loss. Both miracles. A contract I'd have never signed, but one I'm sure my Momma would have. Silly girl! And now (pause for dramatic effect) - an explanation, not only of my LIBERATION, but of my mother's fight for survival. [cue cliffhanger music]
A two for one, heh? Now you can't say I never gave you anything. MERRY CHRISTMAS, late my friends. But a very MERRY CHRISTMAS just the same. My apologies for the wait. Please know I have written and re-written this first post-angio entry a bazillion times in my head.
Do I give the gritty details of the trip? Do I focus on the clinic? Do I write only of Jacob, my nurse? How's about skipping to the results? Soooo very much has happened since my last entry there is no way to truly catch you up. And tho my memory is among my many improvements, well, nobody's got that much time on their hands.
That said, this prose doubling as your Christmas gift, I shall condense it down (note the catchy title) and hit upon the more miraculous of events as best I can. And of course wrap it all up with a fancy bow. Deal? Deal.
Where'd I leave off? It was snowing. Mom had a wound. G'pa was in the hospital. And I was, by way of a 'Wizard of Oz' analogy, coming to the realization that the world did not revolve around me and me alone. The weather. The illnesses. My baby boy's begging. So many reasons to stay crossed thru my mind. But never a quitter I had to take one more swing.
May 2010. Strike 1. November 2010. Strike 2. Sooo, if and only if this third attempt was a strike would I officially be called, "OUT." You know what? I don't even follow baseball. Let's make this easier on all of us, shall we? It's fourth down. Seconds on the clock. With me?
No punting. No field goal attempts. And even as beautiful as they can be at times - no hail marys. If I'm runnin' the show we block like our lives depended on it and run it right up the middle. So. Down. Set. Hike. The 'ol 300 gassed and ready - we were off for the ATL.
Boys off to school and Ryan calls to see if he can take us out to breakfast before we leave. Well, of course! I loves me some breakfast. But alas, he took only Jason as I had made a last minute appointment with my hairdresser, and dear, dear friend. Thank you, JoAnna!
Thank you for just so happening to have a little extra time at the beginning of your day for me. And on such short notice. And get this readers, after working her magic on me, she wouldn't even let me pay! And I got a hug. Meanwhile in the Vern, Ryan bought Jason's breakfast. We are so blessed in the friends department.
9:30 a.m. Thursday December 9, 2010 and we were off. Whether or not I'd return successfully LIBERATED this time out -- I would come back with a new do and a new additude. Pinky swear. That was the deal. Christmas was coming and it had beenm a year I'd been wrapped up in all this business.
Hell or high water I was coming back refocused. Less me and more them. Them being my boys. My mom. My g'pa. My Jason. My Gooch. My sister. All my family. All my friends. You! Yes, you! So aside from not having received the call from my Mom that I'd been promised the night before . . . all was right with the world.
We were 'On the Road Again,' Mr. Nelson. But country wasn't among our listening repitoire. At least not at first anyways. Thru some of Tennessee it seems to be all we could pick up. (Truth be told, this 'ol country girl didn't mind.) Talk of Christmas and of Santa and of hopes for what the new year may hold set a cheery tone making this mountainous trek much smoother than the first. "Roll on 18-wheeler. Roll on!"
Almost too easy some might warn. Little did we know everyone at home seemed to be paying for it big time. Earlier in the afternoon I had called my sister to see if she would be able to get to the Christmas program and grab a video of Abe for me. "Sure. No problem," she replied.
There'd be plenty of time after taking Mom to the wound clinic to get back, retrieve the kiddos and the camera and be at school by 7. Again, with the easy peezy, right? Looking back I should have thought it odd her overly eager willingness to help. Anyways . . .
So Mom had a wound clini9c appt. the previous Thursday. If you ask me she should've seen somebody way before then, but stubborn does run rampant in the family. They 'treated' the wound and instructed her to return in a week. (Nothing new here, as that is always how they do there. Same 'ol, same 'ol).
But what with the unbearable pain? Did that not make this different than the other sores or wounds? Guess not. Well once home -- it worsened. So much so all I will say is KUDOS to my sister for being able to care for it - her weak stomach be damned. Or perhaps a better phrasing would be blessed. Alas her weak stomach had been blessed with the strength it needed to endure what lie ahead.
Back to the story. Something was wrong at the OK Corral. Mom called the wound clinic everyday reporting in to them with new foul findings practically begging to be seen again, yet they repeatedly answered, "That's normal. We'll see you next Thursday." Grrrrrrr!
I pushed for her to go see her general practitioner, dear 'ol Doc Lee even having offered to accompany her although we all know how our last attempt at that turned out. I even offered Jason to assist in the endeavor to no avail. And Amelia pushed for visiting the emergency room. I'd have been happy either way. WHAT HAD SHE BEEN WAITING ON? Me?
So Thursday gets here. Finally. I'm on my way and Mom will finally get to show the (forgive me Lord) idiots that have been putting her off all week just the horror she's been dealing with all week. I discover not until my return home post-angio that she was welcomed at the wound clinic with many, many dropped jaws. (Forgive me again Lord) Dumbasses! Grrrrr!
She is sent immediately to the hospital. Not by ambulance. Not by bed across the street. Nah. They instruct Amelia to take her to emergency. Great people, heh? Not an "I'm sorry" in the hole group. One lady I hear tell even followed them around with an aerosol can to mask the horrid odor.
Pop Quiz: Did you know wet gangrene travels fast and is accompanied by an odor? I didn't. But you'd think that a wound care clinic would, right? Geesh. I feel so horrible I didn't drag my self-centered crippled butt down there and take a look at it myself. Why hadn't I? And why hadn't I taken the time to consult my handy dandy internet about it? I'm so sorry Mom.
Just as it's starting to get dark we arrive at our destination. Drury Inn just outside of Atlanta. We even got the same room right next to the back door that we had last time. As little walking as possible makes this gimp a happy girl. Yay, me! Awww, the king-sized bed. Hello, lovely!
And Jason left for Taco Bell. I loves me some Jason and some tacos. Then a call to my sister. Or did she call me? Either way . . . I did not get the news of my mother being admitted to the hospital until I had confirmed my arrival to Atlanta. And with that all I was told was that they were admitting her to administer IV antibiotics.
Fine, I had thought. Nothing out of the ordinary. We had suspected as much. Was it odd that Grandma was with them? Nah. Not at all 'cause g'pa was still at the hospital himself so she would have already been there when they arrived. Weird I still hadn't talked to my Mom tho. Just plain weird, I tell ya.
Weirder still Amelia calls back as I'm finishing up my taco feast to ask me why my in-laws couldn't get a video of the Christmas program. Simple answer: Welllll, 'cause they don't have a video camera. And there's plenty of time to make it home and to the program. Mom's already admitted. "Mom's a big girl," I said.
(Such a smart ass, I had been. Please Lord, forgive me.) "Why can't you leave her? I think she can handle a night at the hospital all by herself." Such horrible words. Had I only known the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Yikes. Unbeknownst to me at the time thy were considering removing her leg right then and there.
Of course, Amelia should have been there. Guess who else woulda been there too had she known what her baby sis knew. Damn right I would have come home. Damn right, I'd never have left to begin with. WHAT HAD SHE BEEN WAITING ON, INDEED? "I dunno," Amelia replies to my taunting. "I just don't think I can make it home in time," she says.
A bit put out, even aggravated, I go to Facebook and commence to begging anyone attending the program to getting some video of it for me. The only thing I should have been begging for is prayers for my Momma. And for my sister. God she was gonna need strength for the upcoming days. 'Cause her big sister - 'The Wheel', as our Dad had come to call me - would not be there to take charge of things.
Boys skyped goodnight, alarm set and prayers said Amelia calls to say she's on her way home. (About time I had thought.) Whatever. Glad to hear Mom was all settled in, Amelia was nearly home, boys safe and sound -- I could drift safely off to dream land. No limits to what tomorrow may hold. Thank you God for everything! Amen.
Bright and early Friday morning Jason went down to the lobby for that meal he dare not speak of since I couldn't partake before my procedure. Tacos don't fail me now! And yeh, I'd eaten extra knowing I'd be without for so long the next day. A bear preparing for hibernation, if you will. It makes no sense. I know. But I've never advertised as making sense now, have I?
With minutes to spare I must, must, must talk to my Mom before I do this. It had been waaay too long since I'd talked to her last. Somethin' just wasn't right people. I tried everything. I called the switchboard. I called her room twice. Then her nursing unit. Then her room again.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch. 'Cept sitting just outside the front door of the clinic I was about to make us late. Jason reasoned we'd better go on in and we could try her again before I went back. Had he somehow known something I had not?
Enter the clinic. Familiar smiles welcoming me. Hands reaching out for payment. Ha! We got this. As if we'd come all that way again empty handed. Then just as I was feeling sour about the whole ordeal. Beginning to see nothing but $$$ signs dressed in scrubs in comes the x-ray tech.
Was his smile forced too? Had his out stretched hand been searching for the $10,000 cashier's check that I'd already surrendered? As my dad always used to say, "If you snooze, ya lose." If I was a bettin' man I'd say the girl I gave the check to already had it cashed and deposited, maybe even spent.
Paranoid. Yeh. Glass half empty, girl? Hell yeh. Bitter much? I know, right? God help me. I needed my Momma. But maybe my x-ray tech would just have to do. Hand outstretched he introduced himself to both my gorgeous husband and myself. Great sincere eye contact. I love me some eye contact.
Then he asked me if I was nervous. Wow! What a loaded question. I could have unloaded on this poor unsuspecting soul. But prolly having asked this a few times before, he quickly followed his own question with further nurturing reassurance that all would be okay. "Even better than that," he'd said.
Tricky sort I had thought at the time. How dare he not allow me time to answer. Then he went for my hand again and eye contact locked in he continued, "Just know that if my mother needed this done, I'd be sure Dr. Sullivan was the one doing it." Jason says he wenton about the good doctor's caring and compassionate ways, but alas HE HAD ME AT "MOTHER."
Exit the x-ray tech. Teary eyed eye contact with the hubs, a couple breaths in and out and enter Jacob. Not the werewolf - the nurse. And a very good one at that. All this time later and I'm still considering having a Team Jacob t-shirt made although I am not a fan in any way shape or form of the Twilight saga. (Sorry dear sister!)
Soon I was dressed (or undressed rather) and ready to go. Vitals checked and rechecked and a little somethin' to relax me. Hmmmm. When was that little somethin' to relax me ever gonna kick in? And more importantly when was I gonna be given an IV? Time was a wastin' people and I was not gonna be an easy stick. Just sayin'.
I'm not one to tell anybody their business. Well, okay, maybe I am - but, I knew there were patients scheduled after me and I didn't want my lousy veins to hold anyone up. You sittin' down readers? NEWSFLASH: They do not feel having IV access in the arm is neccessary when they will already have access once in the vein in my leg. BRILLIANT!!! Absolutely, positively brilliant. Makes perfect sense to me. You?
Guess what else? I didn't hurt like hell during the procedure. I didn't beg for pain medicine. I didn't cry. I felt pressure at times, but mostly I slept. Now there's a concept. Why cause a patient excruciating pain when you don't have to? Again with the brilliance. Yay, Atlanta! And more important - yay, me!
And then there was the after I had sooo been dreading. Coming home from my failed attempt in May I remember breaking out in whelps and itching and just being plain miserable. Commence with the high dose of Benadryl. Yikes! I don't wanna have to go back to the blind Maverick. He might not see my rash. (Mean. I know. Forgive me Lord.)
Anyways, back to recovery. Woke right up. Not groggy in the least bit. Kinda cool. Should at least be groggy from the meds, right? Wrong. Hungry then? Nope. Plenty of tacos I suppose. Itchy. Had to be itchy. Nearly two hours of dye vs. the maybe 15 minutes of it in May - in my pea brain that meant I'd prolly had enuff of it in me to kill me this time around.
Or worse yet maybe I'd just change colors and swell up like poor little Violet did in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' Surely my husband and Jacob could fight off the Oompa Loompas when they came to roll me away. Fear not movie-goers. I always fancied myself more of a Veruca Salt anyways. Singing, "Don't care how - I want it now!!!!!"
And whilst I'm on a movie tangent I must pay homage to 'TRON.' Not the original. The Legacy. For seeing it last night is what has spurred me back in to blogging. How easy it was for the creator to heal Cora. I cried. It seemed as equally easy for me to be healed. Tragedy not everyone is having this done. Grrrrr. But more on that later. Promise.
Where was I? Comin' round, heh? Feelin' good, heh? Then why the long face gorgeous husband 'o mine? Can't be there wasn't anything wrong with me. Dare I shout it out that something is different already. Dare I climb upon my bed and shout? Nah, I was suppose to lay still for awhile. And so I would try. Didn't wanna jinx this new feeling.
But still, "What up, Buttercup?" Hello? Husband? What's the haps? (To Be Continued)