Thursday, October 28, 2010

Moving Time!

I think the panic over all I have to accomplish in the next nine days is starting to set in...we are moving to our "new" rental house on November 4th, and Mom is coming home on November 5. I'm excited, but have no idea how to pack everything up and get it ready for moving.

Today felt like a lazy day...Maya woke up around 8 and I crawled into bed to nurse her. Micah was still asleep, and I had some time to doze a bit. I guess I must have fallen asleep for a while, because I woke up startled at 9:12...and realized that Megan, the babysitter, must have been trapped outside. I realized that the phone line to the house must not be working again...because I definitely did not hear the phone ring from Megan or my Mother. I quickly sent DH downstairs to let Megan in and find a phone.

Turns out, there was nothing wrong with the phone line...just several dead phones. I called my father, worried that I had not heard from my mother since early the night before. He called the nurse's desk to check on her...and all was well. My mom called a bit later to check in, and she sounded great. She told me that she had an appointment at 1 for therapy, and we were wanted at the session.

Dad and I had been given specific assignments by Mom...she wanted chicken salad from Panera and she wanted salad and breadsticks from The Olive Garden. I guess Dad was a bit on the late side arriving with the chicken salad from mom had already started to eat her lunch (hey, it was in front of her and she is taking steroids...the woman will eat ANYTHING the minute you set it in front of her these days!!). Apparently, she polished off her hospital meal...and then ate the chicken salad, too.

Today was Mom's first day without radiation/chemotherapy! Unfortunately, it was kind of a rough day for Mom. I arrived at the nursing home just as Mom was beginning her therapy appointment. I had hidden the salad and breadsticks to save for later, but she definitely asked about them when I arrived. We watched Mom do her exercises, I spoke to her occupational therapist about equipment options for the house, and then we watched the physical therapist demonstrate how she has been working with Mom to do the transfers. Mom has been doing most of the work with her right side recently, but still needs a lot of assistance with her right. Her physical therapist demonstrated the transfer...but Mom seemed too tired to help much. They worked on sitting up straight, but Mom couldn't seem to lift her head straight for anything. She kept flopping over...and then out of nowhere, she became nauseated and threw up.

I was pretty surprised...she made it through 6 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation without any nausea, and then suddenly, today, she started to vomit. She threw up a couple times in therapy. She lay down, and they had her do some leg exercises before returning her to the room. She threw up two more times in the room. I started to worry we were dealing with another brain swelling episode, but Mom insisted that she did not have a headache or any other symptoms. We talked to the doctor about getting some Zofran for her...but she threw it up immediately. They gave her some composine, and had to give her the steroids via IV today. I called over to the hospital, and ended up speaking to a fairly grumpy PA who told me to take her to the hospital.

We then had a dilemma...should we take Mom to the hospital or not? I knew that if we were dealing with a brain swelling issue, the hospital was the best place for Mom. But, if it turned out to be bad chicken salad (or the fact that she over-ate at lunch), then we would likely get to the hospital and be released. Unfortunately, we were told that we would lose the bed at the nursing home if we could not be back before midnight. With only a few days of rehab left (and after everything we went through with the transfer/evaluation time), I knew that if we lost the bed at the nursing home, Mom would not be able to complete her therapy. Without another 3 day hospital stay, insurance might not approve another visit back to rehab...and with only a few days left, there would not be enough time for Mom to go to a new place or wait for a new bed at the nursing home and get anything useful out of rehab. I was quite torn about what to do. At this point, it was after 4:00 pm, and Mom was feeling better. We decided to wait and see if she threw up again before going to the hospital.

Mom thought it could just be from over-eating...apparently, she kept saying she was full, and Dad wanted her to eat the chicken salad he had just picked up for her. Mom's intention was for Dad to pick up a big container of chicken salad for it to sit in the fridge and be available for her to eat over the course of several meals if she did not like the food on the tray. I guess my father did not understand this, and in his head, he was focusing on the fact that he brought her lunch for today and the nurses want her to eat 75% of her lunch before they'll give her insulin...but all he heard was that she should eat 75% of her lunch. I guess it did not occur to him that she is not REQUIRED to eat 75% of her lunch at all, she just will not get her insulin if she doesn't eat, and that 75% means 75% of her food tray, not 75% of everything that is presented to her!

By 6:00, Mom was feeling much better and decided to eat some dinner. Her nurse from the hospital finally called back (he apparently was at an appointment and missed the earlier page). We gave him an update, and he said that he thought we made the right decision. He suggested that we ask the doctor to give Mom a bag of IV fluid just to be safe. We requested it...but my guess is that they did not administer it. After talking to the nurse, we decided to leave because Mom seemed fine again (and we were fairly certain she was sick from either the chicken salad or simply over-eating). We asked the staff, Mom, and her aide to call us if she got sick again, and we spoke to the floor doctor and indicated we would probably want to move her to the hospital if she got sick again.

I made it home around 7:30. We had already canceled our appointment with the architect, so my evening had freed up a bit. Micah and DH had gone to a work event for DH, and were well-fed. Micah was rolling around on the floor when I walked in and excited to see me. We had a nice evening, and Micah was just being so cute.

Tonight, we had our mover come by to survey everything and start planning with us. He is great...and he is probably thrilled to have met me 12 years ago. In that time, he moved both of my grandmothers...twice, me seven times, and I have recommended him to a slew of friends. Dad called to check on Mom around 8 and all was well. Micah went to bed easily at 8:30 after the mover left. Maya was a bit more challenging...she was nursing and napping, but just did not want to go to her crib. We tried putting her in the swing...she woke up. We put her in the crib...she woke up. I nursed her again...and she woke up. It was after 10 again before she finally was in her crib and asleep for the night. In the middle of our bedtime struggle with Maya, Mom called me at 9:30 to tell me she was feeling well, and she called Dad around 10:30. So...I think we can blame the chicken salad (although I think Mom is blaming Dad for forcing her to over-eat).

I'm not even sure where to begin with moving this time. Everything is such a mess, and I cannot figure out how to get it all ready. I need to be sure not to move the mess - the last thing we need is boxes of crap all over the place in a new house. Some of the things will be quite easy to move, but other things...

Our current plan is to bring over some basic things on November 3rd at night...a pack 'n play, some toys for the kids, and maybe some of the food stuff. On Thursday, November 4th, I think I'll send the kids (or at least Micah and Megan) over there mid-morning to play, have lunch, and take a nap. We'll spend the rest of the day moving. I'm hoping we can make the move fairly easily, without disrupting Micah's schedule too much. On Friday, November 5th, we'll just drive up to the nursing home and bring Mom home.

Wish us luck!

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