A Rough Week

It’s been a rough week.  Mom went by ambulance into the hospital on Saturday.  My oldest sister rushed to be there so she wouldn’t be anxious or upset.  I followed as soon as I could.  They weren’t sure what caused the problems but suspected a TIA (mini stroke).  After we left another of our sisters stopped in to spend time with her.

After being there Saturday to support my mom and sister, I went back on Sunday as did one of my sisters and one of my nieces.  Monday I picked her up from the hospital and took her home. 

Yesterday my daughter was supposed to take my mother to a doctor’s appointment.  When she got there, my mother was lethargic, unresponsive, dizzy, and couldn’t get to the car.  My daughter called for an ambulance. 

In the last four days, my mother has had two CT scans, two chest xrays, an MRI, and ultrasound, and lots of blood drawn.  Now they think she has a heart infection.  They wanted to send her to Madison for a test – to be taken by ambulance, put under anesthesia, and then brought back by ambulance. 

I’m not thrilled with the medical community under normal circumstances.  This makes me even less thrilled with them.  Why did they release her on Monday?  Obviously she wasn’t well.  Perhaps if they had kept her in the hospital, she wouldn’t have deteriorated or they could have caught the other issues. 

We are facing a lot right now.  I have to say, as much as kid about my family and how we don’t always see eye to eye, we’ve been on the same page.  It’s all been about the best care possible for mom without infringing on her desires for little intervention. 

Mom is 86.  She’s fighting this infection.  I don’t know where this will take us but hopefully we will continue to all be on the same page.  We all have different belief systems but we are all sending our positive energy or prayers or whatever we believe in to our mother for the best possible outcome. 

My daughters have been amazing in offering me support and care, giving me a chance to vent and talk through all the things going on.  The family has all come together to support mom in this difficult time. 

And the Results Are In

In May I discovered a lump under my arm.  I had been crocheting a lot and had a stiff arm.  I thought it was just a bunched up muscle.  I kept an eye on it but said nothing to anyone as I didn’t want the “OMG you have breast cancer” reaction.  I didn’t know what it was.  I didn’t know if it was even a lump.
I made an appointment with my doctor to have it looked at but I still didn’t tell anyone.  I wasn’t trying to be brave or shut anyone out. I simply wanted more information before I talked about it. 
Ken found out before I went.  He was upset which is exactly what I wanted to avoid.  I went to the doctor.  He felt, said yes there is a lump and ordered an ultrasound.  The ultrasound was inconclusive.  I had to wait a week for the appointment for the ultrasound.  I had to wait a week for the results.
I talked to the doctor, he wanted me to go to a surgeon.  I went to the surgeon – this time only a few days.  He felt and said yes, he felt the lump.  He wanted a CT scan.
Now I’ve had two CT scans previously.  The first one had me freaking out because I’m claustrophobic and the second one – well it was bad all around but that was more because of the medical issues I was having at the time than the test itself.  Needless to say, I was nervous.  I only had to wait five days to have the CT scan. 
The technician was good.  She answered all my questions, listened to my concerns and took her time with me.  The test wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  But still I wait for results.
I have every faith this lump is nothing more than a cyst or bunched up muscle or something similar.  The waiting, the not knowing is the worst.  Like most people, when my mind is quiet and there is nothing to distract me, I consider all the worst case scenarios.  I try not to but there is a part of my head that won’t let it go. 
I’m trying to prepare – what will the doctor say?  Will there be more they want to do?  A biopsy?  How will we manage the time?  Ken’s vacation is gone so if he takes off it’s unpaid.  This has significant impact on our budget.  I know my daughters (any and all of them) would come in and help but they all live out of state.  All of these variables run through my head and I can’t get them to settle into any coherent form because I don’t know what the next step will be. 
The last time I had a medical issue, I pushed hard to get my way because I had a feeling something was drastically wrong.  I don’t have that feeling now but still my brain goes there.  I don’t know how much I want to push and I don’t know how grumpy I want to be about it.  I believe it is a cyst or muscle issue.  However, you can’t ignore lumps.  They generally have to be attended to. 
In some ways, I laugh at myself.  I feel like I can feel it in there but I know part of that is my worry.  The worry is manifesting itself as a lump in my armpit.  I laugh when I write this but I also know the feelings are real.  I laugh at myself and remind myself to not be so overwhelmed with all of this. 

Finally on Thursday I got the results.  No bad things showed up on the CT scan.  The docs think like I do – a cyst or clump of tissue.  Basically, I’m getting lumpy in my old age.  Of course, I’ll keep an eye on it.  If it changes, gets bigger, or I have more pain in my arm, I’ll go back to the doctor.  The wait is over.  I have answers and now my brain can stop doing the worst case scenarios when I’m trying to sleep.  Now I can think about – what am I going to crochet next?