I’ve neglected this blog for more than a week because I was at my mother’s house. She was scheduled for a routine inpatient procedure on Tuesday morning of last week. I had to drive my son back to school on Sunday (he was home for the weekend) and then headed to my mother’s straight from there, planning to drive her to the hospital on Tuesday and then stay with her for a day or two to make sure she was all right.
Early on Tuesday, I drove her to the hospital. We expected to be home by noon. After a few hours, a nurse came to get me from the waiting room. I expected to be brought to my mother’s bedside to hang out with her as the anesthetic wore off. Instead, I was ushered to a small waiting room. When I asked, “Is my mother OK?” the nurse said only, “The surgeon will be here to speak with you shortly.”
Suddenly, I was terrified. My mother has been in excellent health for her age, but she is 84 years old. The doctor arrived a few minutes later and told me that the initial procedure went well, but as she was closing, she noticed another problem, a much more serious one. She was transferring my mother out of the outpatient center and into the regular hospital’s O.R., where she had to perform another surgery, this one under a general anesthesia. It would require her to remain in the hospital for several days.
I won’t go into the medical details, to protect my mother’s privacy. But it was a frightening day for me, and much worse for her. In the end, the surgery was successful, but she still had to stay in the hospital until midday Friday. I suspect she would have been stuck there longer, except that a hurricane was rushing up the coast and the nurses seemed to be trying to release as many patients as possible before the roads started flooding.
I remained with her a few more days, but had to be home by Tuesday. When I left, she was doing well. She can’t walk her usual several miles a day, but she has been able to talk a short walk each day (except all of the days that the hurricane was causing lingering storms) and can take care of herself, with help from a visiting nurse a couple days a week. She is not comfortable driving yet, but she’ll get there. This weekend, my husband and I are driving back down to see her for a few days.
A complete recovery will take two or three months. I will make a point of driving down to see her more often than usual as she regains her strength.