Sunday, September 26, 2010


I think I am surrounded by insanity, and I am starting to wonder if life will ever again return to a semblance of normal. DH's Facebook status yesterday said it all (and perhaps some of you will appreciate the old tv show reference):

Dear Mr. Kotter:

Please excuse my son from school today. His grandmother has brain cancer. His Aunt had a stroke. His cousin has pneumonia. His other Aunt's brother had to put the dog to sleep. It has not been a good week.


Epstein's Mother

It just seems so ridiculous that all of this could be going on in our lives! Too much to possibly believe. My mother keeps telling us we should go buy lottery tickets with the way our odds have been running lately.

I'm not even sure exactly what time my day started today...I think the baby woke up early again (maybe around 7:30) and I went upstairs to nurse her and nap in bed (I know I was awake when she woke up). Micah, however, slept quite late...he did not stir until nearly 9:30! I realized that we had to get going quickly because we had Micah's second swim class today. We decided it would be easiest for us to all go to swim class and then leave for the hospital. This week, DH attended class with Micah (while I spent the time nursing Maya and on the phone trying to figure out how all of our sick family members are doing). Micah seemed to have fun, but DH thought Micah did much better in class with me than with him. I may be doing the rest of the classes with Micah, but we'll see.

After my 30 minutes on the phone, I learned that my niece was being kept an additional day in the hospital for observation. The doctors were still sticking to their asthma diagnosis, but SIL was a little worried that after all of the medication, she was still not improving. I agreed with her, and I shared with SIL a discussion I had with my friend who is a thoracic (lung) surgeon in Miami. She told me that it can take an extra day or two for pneumonia to show up on xrays, and that the shot of penicillin she had for the strep could also have confused the tests. She also said that my niece could be reacting to the pneumonia before they can diagnose it, but that if the nebulizers alone weren't helping, there was a good chance she had pneumonia brewing. My friend had asked if they had done blood work and re-done the xray, so I suggested that Jen request the tests if my niece was not improving.

I also told SIL that we could help out with our other niece. SIL is a stay-at-home mom and my brother has to go to work on Monday. I knew that left SIL torn between staying with her two daughters. I told SIL that I could either bring our babysitter and Micah to her house for the day to stay with her older daughter, or that we could bring her down to stay with us for a few days. She thanked me and said she would think about it.

DH, Micah, Maya and I arrived at the hospital around 12:45. We got a great parking spot on the street, and we went inside to help my mother with lunch. There were even a few extra items on the cart for us. Micah was kind of trouble - I can't seem to keep him off the floor of my mother's room. I took a bunch of Purell and a cloth and wiped the floor down as best I could...I hope that did something to keep him somewhat safe. Micah was fairly grumpy today. Every time one of us left his sight, he became hysterical. I think all of this leaving to spend time without him has given him separation anxiety.

All my mother wanted to do today was to "put her ears in" and sleep. I know she is exhausted, I just wish I knew if it had something to do with her reduced steroid dosage, increased brain swelling, radiation exhaustion, her cold, or depression. Some of those things we can help. Today was also a terrible day with her intestinal issues. I just wish they could figure out how to help my mother...she keeps telling me how miserable she is.

In the afternoon, friends arrived for a visit. My mom's friend made another beautiful hat and an apple cake. We all enjoyed a bite of cake, too. Micah was not behaving too well - I think he became hysterical over everything. He wanted to drink from a water bottle, but got mad that the top was stuck. I opened it for him and he got upset because he did not open it himself. He wanted to eat cake, but it fell on the ground, and he did not want the replacement piece of cake. He dropped something on the floor, then screamed because he bumped his head and wanted mommy to kiss his boo-boo. It went on and on...the tears were a constant, as were the temper tantrums. He was probably being so awful because he missed his nap today...perhaps we won't try that again.

After our visitors left, my father and I decided to run out to another rehab facility to check it out. My father was very out of sorts today. He wants to do what he can to make things better for mom, and he seems at a loss trying to figure that out. We talked again about how unfair this situation is, and about how awful it is to see mom uncomfortable, especially since it isn't the cancer making her so miserable. When we arrived at the rehab facility, there was no one there to show us around. We did talk to a few family members of people who had been there, including one man whose wife had stayed at both places we are considering. He seemed to think the staffing was better at the second place, and that for people with medical issues, it was better because there are doctors on staff. He felt the other location was beautiful, clean, and the rehab staff was good, but he did not think they were sufficiently staffed to handle his wife's issues. They gave us a lot to think about, and we'll have to finalize things in the morning.

When we returned to the hospital, Micah was kind of a mess. We spent some more time with mom and started to pack up for the day. We finally talked to SIL, and the doctors had finally determined that my niece has pneumonia. She is on IV antibiotics, but will need to be in the hospital at least until Tuesday (possibly Wednesday). They asked if we would come and pick up their other daughter to come stay with us, and we agreed.

At 6:00, we drove out to the hospital, picked up my niece and then drove home. Maya screamed almost the entire ride home. She kept asking why Maya was upset, and did everything she could to calm her down (held her hand, sang to her...she was really cute). We arrived home around 8:15, and Micah was exhausted and went straight to bed. My niece asked to stay up a little longer, so we talked and played while I nursed Maya. She asked if she could sleep in our room, and we got her into her pajamas and set up a cot on the floor for her. Maya fell asleep, and I took Maya and my niece up to sleep. Unfortunately, my niece was too tall for the cot, so she is now tucked into our bed with Maya asleep next to her in the bassinet. I'll go sleep up there with the girls tonight and DH will take the couch. Perhaps tomorrow night we'll set up the air mattress on our floor.

Tomorrow will be a big day as we figure out how and where we will be moving my mother. We know that she will not be moved until after her radiation appointment at 1:45. I am still very nervous about this move...I just hope my mother can tolerate the transports and that they can handle her needs at the rehab facility. I'm quite worried about that, but I guess we'll have to take it one day at a time, right?

1 comment:

Prather Family said...

I hope all goes well with the move and your mom does better than expected. Bless your heart for dealing with everything that is hitting your family. And ditto to it not being fair. Let me know how I can support the cause....I know you talked about bracelets, is that something I can help with?