Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Battle, Part 2

Sick. Sick, sick, sick, sick, sick. We're all sick. My mom, Micah, Maya and me - we ALL have a cold, and we're pretty miserable. When I came home from the hospital yesterday, I was concerned that Micah had a cold. When he woke up this morning (complete with a bloody nose), I was certain he was sick, which did not help his mood any. I knew I had a sore throat, and I was worried that I was coming down with something, too. I debated whether it was safe to visit Mom, and decided that I could put a face mask on and wash my hands frequently and it would be okay.

The babysitter arrived and we decided to keep Micah home from class today because he was too sick and miserable. I tried reaching Mom's insurance and had a work conference call (I still have one project going strong). Our family friend stopped by with a lasagna for us for dinner, too. Added bonus - she helped change Maya's diaper while I handled a few odds and ends. I finally left for the hospital with Maya around 11:15, and Micah through a total and complete fit, screaming "Mama, no go!" as I walked out the door. It is so hard to leave him behind when it makes him so sad. To make matters worse, Maya hates the car, so, per usual, she screamed the entire trip. I asked DH to stay behind today because the babysitter needed to leave a bit early, and I knew I would need to stay at the hospital late.

On my way up to the hospital, the insurance coordinator called back. She was not particularly helpful today - she told me the decision was out of her hands and she would not be able to do much to help us. She did inform me that the insurance company and the doctors were scheduling a peer-to-peer conference to try and work out a solution.

When I arrived at the hospital, I checked in with the rehab doctors to learn more about the peer-to-peer conference. I also expressed my concern about the transport issue for my mother - whether she could be safely transported (and withstand the trip time-wise) in a wheelchair. The resident said she would check back with the attending physician and get back to me.

I stopped into Mom's room, and immediately realized that she has a cold, too. I felt terrible for her - someone must have exposed us all to a cold at the same time since we all woke up sick today. Luckily, mom doesn't seem terribly sick (or at least she did not seem that sick today). My cold has been progressing - my chest is definitely tight and congested.

I helped Mom finish her lunch, and we sat and talked for a bit until Dad showed up. We then went down to radiation around 1:45, and once again, Maya was a hit! Mom told me that it was so important to her that Delicious came to visit with her every day...she said that she wanted to soak up every minute she could with her. Everybody loves seeing Maya, and she gets so much attention from patients and nurses. I think Maya is getting spoiled! For once, radiation was relatively on time, and we were back up to the room by 2:30. The psychiatrist was present to help us have a family discussion, and my brother was just arriving. We also learned that her GI consult showed up...while we were at radiation. They informed us they would be back tomorrow, but we were frustrated that we had to wait yet another day.

The therapist was very kind...she let my mother lead the discussion about how she was feeling. We were all a bit emotional - my mom had a chance to express that she is worried about my father (and my brother and I chimed in on that point, too), and she shared with us some of her fears about death. Before we were able to get too far into the discussion, my mother's stomach issues kicked into high gear - she was in too much pain to continue the discussion. The therapist told us she would continue to come back over the next few days. We hope that the sessions are helpful to mom - she has so many things on her mind right now, and we all want her to maintain her good spirits.

Right after the therapy session, we got word that the social worker wanted to talk to us because she had an update from the insurance company. We were nervous...we were afraid that the insurance company was not going to extend her time. While we waited, we went with mom to physical therapy. She does seem to be making progress - she was standing and walking more, and she seems to stand more easily and stay up longer. She is still having issues with her left knee buckling when she stands and walks, but it does look like real progress. She is standing taller and straighter, and she is much steadier, too.

It took almost an hour before the social worker showed up, but she met with us after mom's therapy...and told us that they agreed to extend her in rehab at the hospital until Sunday!! That gives us a number of days to identify a good rehab center with a bed available and work out the transport situation (and it means she'll be able to claim that foot massage, Donna). I just hope mom can manage the transports back for radiation.

Such a relief for us! If Mom starts making more significant progress, there is a chance they could extend her stay longer, but for now, it looks like we will be moving her next week to another facility until the end of radiation.

After our meeting with the social worker, we went back in to mom's room to share the news. Dad decided to head back home, and my brother and I stayed to help with dinner. Actually, my brother did most of the helping since I was nursing Maya and giving her reflux medication. My brother left towards the end of Mom's meal, and I helped her with dessert. Mom was exhausted and needed to nap. I helped her get comfortable, then Maya and I left for the day.

The ride home was uneventful. I was back around 7:00 pm, but DH and Micah were not home yet - they had gone to synagogue for Sukkot services (Sukkot is another Jewish holiday that celebrates the Fall harvest season). They arrived home around 7:30, and Micah was thrilled to see me. We sat down and ate dinner together, and then spent some time playing with Micah after dinner.

He definitely has a cold, but the worst of it seems to have passed. His nose is a little less runny now, and he is practicing wiping his own nose! He went to bed a little after 8. I changed Maya into her pajamas and tried nursing her to sleep. At 9:00, she was out cold, so we took her upstairs to bed. Unfortunately, she woke up crying about 20 minutes later, and we had to bring her back downstairs. In fact, all night tonight, she has been cranky and waking up. I tried nursing her to sleep around 10, but she woke up at 12 again. I nursed her again and she went back to sleep, but she woke up again screaming at 3:00. I realized at 3:00 that she was stuffed up and uncomfortable - seems that Maya has a cold, too. We gave her some Tylenol, and we decided to put her on an incline sleeper in our bed for the night. DH and I took turns rocking her to sleep, and for now, she is snoring loudly on the bed. I used that blue nose bulb to try and relieve her congestion - she hates it *almost* as much as Micah did.

I can hear Micah snoring over the monitor (and he has woken up with a cough a few times). My chest is killing me, too, but I'm not particularly congested. I'm hoping that we all start to feel better tomorrow, and that my mother's cold is not nearly as bad as the kids seem to be.

Tomorrow I plan to head back up to the hospital. My father and I may go check out a few facilities, too. We are still exploring other options, but we have identified a few top contenders. Hopefully, tomorrow we will all be feeling better. Okay - I'm headed back up to bed tonight...and hoping that Maya sleeps through the rest of the night.

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