Last week when I visited she was more alert and talkative than she’d been in some time. We were having a cold snap, so I asked her how her family had kept warm at home. She was getting gas furnaces and wood stoves mixed up, but I did learn two new things. One was that they would pile snow up against the front doors of the brick house on Sheldon road and around as many windows as they could to keep the cold air from leaking in.
She also said that when nights were really cold, her mother would put a lantern in the laundry room off the kitchen, put down old towels and blankets, and let their dogs sleep there.
Saturday morning I got a call from the nursing home at 4 a.m. She was bleeding from the rectum, “cantaloupe sized” was the way they described it. What did I want to do?
Geesh! I’m not a doctor! Had they called the doctor in charge at QO? Yes, and he told them to call me. Big help.
But bleeding has to be stopped, so I told them to call a medical transport and I’d meet them at the emergency room.
It was 7 a.m. before we both got there. She wasn’t uncomfortable, just sleepy, disoriented, and very very grumpy. She kept asking how the babies were. Hadn’t she and some other woman just had babies? I told her I was her first and she chided me. “But you’re not a baby.”
Nope, good call, Mother!
X-rays showed nothing abnormal, her vital signs were all very close to normal, but they decided to admit her for observation.
By then it was 1 p.m., so I went home, grabbed something to eat, and took a nap. Went back to help her eat her supper and was blown away by the kindness and consideration of her nurse Jenni and the CNA, Janay. Janay wanted to watch how I helped her eat so she could do it, then told me to go home and get some sleep. I guess my fatigue was obvious.
That evening they did an ultra sound of her very enlarged abdomen. It looks like she’s swallowed a volleyball, just sitting there on her front for the last year. So it’s nothing new, and the ultra sound came back normal.
The bleeding stopped sometime Saturday afternoon. Last night (Sunday) Jenni told me she would be discharged today. “We’ll miss her,” she said. “She’s kept us in stitches. I asked her this morning how her stomach felt, and she said ‘It hasn’t told me yet.’ ”
She’s done this every time she’s been hospitalized! Once she’s feeling better, she wise cracks with the staff and they seem to love it. It’s wonderful that she’s kept her sense of humor, something I didn’t see much of until she moved in with me in 2005.
As I write this (Monday afternoon) she is being transported back to QO. No one knows where the bleeding came from, or why it stopped. Nor do they know why her abdomen is so distended.
I keep telling her she’s too ornery, that God’s not quite ready for her yet.