Monday, February 09, 2009

Uncommonly Miraculous

Bringing in the sunshine... pictures with my macro.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think I mentioned that my mom had her fourth joint replacement surgery in November. Yes, it finally happened on the 17th. I truly believe this will be the last major surgery she will ever be able to have done. The complicated aspects of her medical state have reached the inevitable stage where everything is a fine balancing act... surgery or any superimposed illness upsets this balance. The surgery itself went well but the post-op period was more difficult than ever. She had to remain in the hospital until the Friday after Thanksgiving and problems with kidney function, gastrointestinal tract function and a more generalized edema came up. I really had faith that these would work themselves out and they did... just more slowly than would have been the case with someone younger.

Pink variegated geranium... after the rain.

She only spent two weeks in the rehab nursing facility and I wasn't ready for her to be home. We had to rent a hospital bed that would adjust lower so she could easily get in. Fortunately, their master suite in the new house is more than ample for this. Slowly the swelling went down and her in home therapy began. I do think Mom enjoyed this stage of therapy the most. She arranged to have the same therapist as she has had previously and really enjoyed her visits... although she is not as enthusiastic about the actual exercises. The in home therapy lasted a full four weeks.

Baby pink chrysanthemums ... soft and simple.

Near the end of January, she began her outpatient therapy... three times a week. She works on a step machine and with other exercises and it is good for her to get out of the house. On January 30th she went to therapy as usual and was using her cane instead of the walker. Instead of waiting for my Dad to come up to the 2nd floor entrance she decided to meet him down in the building lobby. Right outside the door of the therapy room, she lost her balance and fell forward on the carpeted floor. She hit her knees and her head. The therapists wouldn't let her move and called the ambulance to take her to the hospital. The emergency room doctors thoroughly x-rayed her knees and hips and while there is extensive bruising and a hematoma on the right knee... there were no broken bones and all the implants look to be secure. She also had a CT scan of the head and that was fine as well. But now she is still sore and her knees hurt worse than her hips and we are staying with the walker for a bit longer.

When my dad called from the ER I couldn't hear him well and just got little bits.... "ER".... "hospital"... "ambulance"...... Finally he used a hospital phone to give me the whole story. We have been doing the icing treatments on both knees and the bruising is slowly going away. She is continuing with outpatient therapy.

This past week we have had to deal with the viral gastroenteritis... (stomach flu). Dad had it start on Saturday night... no nausea, just the diarrhea... and against my advice he took Imodium ... his symptoms lasted for almost five days. Wednesday evening, Mom suddenly became nauseated and had the vomiting and diarrhea all night. Thursday she couldn't eat much but dry crackers and a bit of broth in the evening.... but she was able to keep her medicine down.

Friday, she had an appointment with her family physician and physical therapy. She took her medicine in the morning as usual but had a lower fasting blood sugar than usual. She ate and went to therapy but there her blood sugar really began to drop so they gave her orange juice, grape juice... things that would normally send it skyrocketing... only managed to get it up to 72. From 3:00 pm until 8:00 pm, I gave her crackers with jelly, cinnamon toast, tea with sugar, regular Jello... anything with sugar in it that would also not upset a stomach with recent viral gastroenteritis.... all to no avail. Her blood sugar dropped into the 30's and wouldn't go above 40... so I called the doctor on call and told him we were bringing her to the ER and please call ahead. On the way, she seemed more oriented and her blood sugar did go up a little but not much. They gave her more crackers and juice and started a glucose drip in the ER but her blood sugar again dropped into the 40's... so she was admitted. She required glucagon injection during the night but by Saturday evening her glucose was getting higher.

Mom was released yesterday. She can eat most of her normal diet now and it seems the excess diabetic medication is out of her system. In fact, today we are having trouble keeping the glucose down... I am waiting to hear that we can restart one of her diabetic medications even as I type this. I am hoping that this bump in the road will make her become more consistent in her blood sugar testing.....

Glowing fall heat... orange flame chrysanthemums. Posted by Picasa

So, here we are... another day... another drama........
How boring life would be without the drama... right???
The flowers? Here to brighten the day!

(end of post)

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