Tag: life with parents


Really, we aren’t that kind of family.

4
March

Mom: Before you leave, will you hang Grandma in the hall?
Me: *gales of laughter*

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3
March

It was a long morning at Kaiser, but we managed to get everything done–including the chest x-ray. There’s definitely improvement in Mom’s lungs. I got to see the before x-rays and then today’s. But her left lung is not as clear as the right and we just have to hope that the fluid continues to recede.

Mom was a bit wiped by the whole thing, since it was three hours on her feet and wandering the Kaiser corridors. We had lunch and she had a rest on the couch.

And then I went out to the store. Grocery shopping. Who knew grocery shopping would feel so good?

Mind you, I’m not considering the loops I made around the store as fun, exactly. Unfamiliar stores slow me way down. I know where I think something would be and then it’s either a mismatch between my expectations and the store’s layout, or I simply can’t find the aisle.

Bread should not be hidden. It’s a STAPLE, dammit.

But no, there I was, over the raisins and through bottles of wine, searching, searching, searching.

Finally bagged a few loaves and left, swearing never to return. (Well, I won’t. Tomorrow, it’ll be another unfamiliar store instead.)

There was writing–some, and not nearly enough. But hey. SOME.

Report cards, not so much. OH WELL.

And tomorrow the Slug arrives. I have to wander downtown and find the train station.

Finally, an adorable dance video by the LXD that I happened upon today. Charming story, some lovely choreography, and major points for best use of a broken umbrella. Yes, it’s sorta Christmasy. Suffer. ;) Also, if you think the male lead looks familiar, that’s because he plays Mike Chang on Glee. It’ll bring a smile to your face, cross my heart, and I adore the opening.

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And so it goes

1
March

Life has really calmed down around here. Mom is working hard on her independence and is pushing herself to do more and more. She’s not cooking yet–I’m doing all of that, and what few real chores there are around here.

Today the big one was finding the trash can. Someone, and no one is admitting guilt here, stuck it in the garage. Wasn’t me, though. I was perfectly happy tossing her trash into the green waste bin. It was dark.

I wasn’t quite so thrilled to pull it all out–my arms weren’t long enough and there were… issues.

I managed a crit and stared at a short story–the one I’m sending to the short story online group, and actually worked on the alto part of a piece the larger choir is doing soon–My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord, arrangement by Moses Hogan. I’m kind of freaked by the whole thing, mostly because everyone else knows it cold, and I so do not. Throw in an occasional flat that messes with my sense of the harmony line, and I’m doomed. Mom’s going to be very tired of this song by the time I leave. But here it is, in case you want to have a taste.

I only like it right now, but that may change as I learn the darn notes and nail down the rhythm.

The Slug’s coming to stay with Mom as she gains her strength back. I have to be back next week; I have report cards and at least a couple of parents I need to talk to. I’m thankful to have her available, as are my sister and brother who live in town, and have… well, jobs. Lucky Slug–she’ll be the one taking Mom to most of her follow-up doctor appointments. I’m doing the one this week. The Slug will have to deal with the other three.

I’ve been researching methotrexate, which Mom has strongly felt is responsible for all this, and interestingly enough, found a study which points out that a folate pathway gene expresssion can influence the cellular accumulation of the drug. Granted the researchers studied leukemia specifically, but I have to wonder if it wouldn’t impact any one else with those particular gene fusions. Her physicians in town have come to agree that the culprit was methotrexate, but it was reluctant at best.

Considering how quickly Mom is coming out of it, what else could it be? I just wish methotrexate had a shorter life–we’re expecting a few months longer before it completely clears her system. Still, we’re so blessed by this outcome, and Mom’s thrilled to have the company.

I’m just grateful I get an unexpected week of vacation. I haven’t missed school a bit, although I do hope everyone (and most especially, my sub) is surviving.

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Thank heavens

26
February

Mom is home.

And for someone who was on bedrest yesterday and within twelve hours of death on Monday, she is very perky and running around the house–even sans walker, which she’s been using just to avoid any falls.

So yes, she can solo, but not for too far or too long.

I, however, am tired–and I can’t say I’ve done nearly enough to have earned it, even if I did run from the parking lot to Mom’s room on the fourth floor and back again several times. What I did do was to fight with my cell phone and its charger to convince them to work in tandem and actually charge. But as I threw in on the counter in disgust after an hour of playing with the two parts, it suddenly began charging.

I’m not breathing on it again until tomorrow morning.

But hey! MOM’S HOME.

(And I also got texts from my 2YO nephew today. He sent things like Phthh and Cs and Jobbing, while I made him belly laugh by sending texts back. This is why *I* got a phone call at his bedtime tonight. I win!)

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Ups and downs

25
February

The good:

I made it to Fresno in record time and without much trouble, although there was a section of I5 with whiteout conditions (fog and rain) that spooked me. Luckily it was only a few miles and then the fog lifted.

Mom’s looking good, and we had a great time chatting away.

The really good news is that the fluid around her heart did not contain cancer cells either.

The not-quite-as-good:

Her lungs are filling up with fluid again, and hey, she doesn’t have pneumonia after all. So here, have another lung x-ray while we try to decide what this is, because we’ve never seen anything like it and damned if we know. Oh, by the way, the fluid is green. Did we mention we have no idea what this is?

She was on bedrest all today because her heart kicked up a storm every so often for no good reason. And she’s back on oxygen for the shortness of breath.

She’s back on prednisone, 60mg. Hopefully, it’s only for one week.

The nurse takes Mom’s blood pressure and chirps, “Okay, it’s 98 over 36.”
My sister and I exchange glances. Laura says, “That can’t be good.”
I look at Mom and say, “You sure you’re alive?”
Nurse takes her blood pressure again. “Okay, now it’s 98 over 65.”
Laura and I, in unison, doubtfully: Well, that’s better.

I’m definitely sure it’s not better enough, though.

Got back to Mom’s and fed the cat, who was anxiously waiting for food. Dot had completely ignored the albacore tuna Stephen had mixed with her dry food, and really wanted whatever was in regular cat food can.

And now, I’m about to fall over. My hospital duties resume at 9A tomorrow.

But guess what? THERE ARE NO DOGS TO WAKE ME AT 6A.

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Onward.

23
February

Mom’s coming along–they’ve had her sitting today, and she’s back on real food. However, she’s still on oxygen since her respiration isn’t stable and they haven’t removed her drainage tube yet.

We’re all in holding pattern. As far as the cardiac stuff goes, she’s coming along, but we’re not too certain how much information made its way from Kaiser to St. Agnes–Kaiser doesn’t have full cardiac, so they have an arrangement to send their patients to St. Agnes a mile away. So St. Agnes is getting ready to release her–but what about the pneumonia?

Yeah, apparently they didn’t know about the pneumonia–although they do now–and they’ve been giving her the antibiotics.

So step one is getting her home, or if need be, a rehabilitation place for a bit as a transition.

And then we see what’s in the future–because we don’t know what caused the fluid buildup. The worst-case scenario is a final-stage cancer of some sort. The best-case scenario is that Methotrexate (a chemo drug) she’s on for her polymyalgia has caused all this.

And hey, she’s off that drug as of Monday.

But I’m making plans to head north, and most likely this weekend. If they release her, someone’s got to be there, and then I can be useful. Not as useful as the nurses in the extended family (four currently, with two more in or applying for nursing school) but I’m good at tending.

So it’s not as if any of us can relax yet, and I’m trying to clear as much stuff at school as I can and get sub plans ready for an entire week.

I’m kind of on overload, and I’m avoiding taking my blood pressure, because I really don’t want to know.

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I’d like it to just settle down

22
February

Right Now.

Mom’s going in for surgery shortly. They’re going to remove the fluid around her heart, and probably biopsy that, too.

With any luck, we’ll know more about in two hours or so.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping like hell I’m making the right decision by sitting here holding my breath and texting my siblings instead of bombing up the freeway.

ETA: Mom’s out of surgery. They removed a liter of fluid and no one gets to see her for a little longer. No idea what caused it and we won’t get biopsy results for a week. Trying not to chew my fingers down to stubs. Maybe the nerves will settle once I actually speak to my sister or brother instead of trading little typed notes.

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Update

21
February

Mom’s been admitted to the hospital and sounds good, even if she’s tired. She’s got an echocardiogram in the morning as they attempt to find out why she has fluid around her heart, too.

I’m just grateful she’s there and has a nurse watching over her. Keep thinking good thoughts, okay?

Plus, I managed to get a little rewriting done tonight, despite my inability to concentrate. Miracles do happen.

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