This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

April 27, 2012

The Avalanche Continues....

(I'd prefer to title this My Life is a Shitstorm, but to avoid being moderated I decided to use some filter)
There are not enough martinis or lattes to help me through the hardships that has fallen upon my family.   
      Trust me, I'm not a 'woes me' kind of girl and am one to tend to see the glass as half full but there's just a point in your life where you have to say ENOUGH. I'm waving the red flag now, unfortunately, my surrender will have to wait a bit longer.
     My mom has been hospitalized with a long-term illness since March 7th- nearly two months of daily hospital visits and holding my breath whenever the phone rings. For the most part the journey has been emotionally taxing, not to mention one that took a toll on my job, my home-based business, my husband, my daughter, my friendships and even my health.  It's been a roller-coaster ride that I would very much NOT like to repeat in this lifetime; unfortunately it's getting worse. 
      I underwent my very first invasive surgery last week (the same day mom had a tracheotomy!)- had to have a cholecystectomy- a fancy medical term for gall bladder removal. Okay, so I wasn't even quite sure what a gall bladder did until it kicked me in the ass, er, rib cage a few weeks ago.  I was leaving the hospital after visiting with Mom and had the inclination to walk myself into the ER on my way to the parking lot, but that hospital wasn't my provider. After agonizing at home for a few hours, and a call to the advice nurse, we dropped Mini off at the grandparents and went to the ER.  The nurse called it on the spot- I guess fluffy (not so much anymore) white females of childbearing age present for gall bladder disease quite commonly. I thought I was going to give birth again. Quite painful. After a five hour stint, I was released with pain meds and a follow-up appointment for an ultrasound. The ultrasound did in fact determine that I had gall stones and would need a surgical follow-up. Fortunately, I wasn't harboring an infection and didn't need emergency surgery, but would have to watch my diet.
      This is something that is normally caused by a fat-laden diet, which mine is not. I am not a fast-food junkie- my idea of fast food is in fact Subway.... well there is that pregnancy craving of an occasional crumb cake donut- so what if I've had 32 months to do so.  I suspect that it was a rapid weight loss with the stress of my Mom's medical situation that caused my gall bladder to produce enough stones to fill up more than half of its capacity. Meanwhile, I've been off of my feet to recover and Anti-latte had to fill in my spot to go visit my mom, and his step-dad and take care of Mini and take care of me. I swear that I was as low maintenance as possible. Even after the second 11-hour ER visit (long story- I'm fine, but a bit pissed at said hospital's lack of ultrasound techs during the night shift). I'm recovering although a bit slower than I had hoped- I suspect an inordinate amount of stress has been a factor.  What's more stressful than a loved one being hospitalized and undergoing the knife yourself? Oh just a the fact that I hate CANCER.
    My father-in-law has been battling a very nasty bout of pneumonia, well, since my mom was hospitalized, actually, and an infection on top of that. He visited my mom at the hospital when she was on her deathbed and it prompted him to quit smoking cold turkey. Between being ill and the smoking cessation patch, he has been really miserable and after several weeks and numerous doctors appointments, he has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  After his initial diagnosis he had to wait for almost two weeks to meet with an oncologist to find out that it was Stage 4, and that is had spread to his liver, lymph nodes and more. As I write, Anti-latte and his mom and other family members are awaiting a visit from the hospital chaplain to discuss the plan to discharge his to hospice to live out his final days. We thought it would be months, but there's a chance that it could be just hours..... so fast. It was like he was playing with Mini one day and unable to walk the next. Now he is suffering and everyone sits by to support him.  It's torturous. I love this man and know how the family feels- the waiting and pleading is all too fresh in my memory from seven weeks ago. Now we just hope that with enough medical intervention, they can keep him comfortable. We'll surround him with all the love that he needs while we await him earning his wings.  I know that Mini will miss him dearly and we'll ensure that she won't forget the man who claims that she has his eyes.... (um, no, but it was always a source of laughs at family get togethers.)
     This presents an additional problem with child care as they were my main providers- we can wing it for the next week while I'm on medical leave and then have to figure out what to do next. Mini's grandmas' #1 priority should be caring for her husband... I think I have it figured out, but it's yet another stressor to deal with.
     And if that isn't quite enough to make anyone crazy, there's more.  We've had two other family members who had to make ER visits within the last 12 hours; and my mom was moved to another care facility that is a 40-minute drive away. It's a step-down rehab unit to prepare her for surgery, still a hospital, but the drive is going to be so very inconvenient. I used to work out that way and don't look forward to the daily commute, but we do what we have to do. It's just another wrinkle.... as usual, I'll iron it out..... your good vibes and prayers are much appreciated.


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