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Feeling worse

They took out Mom’s epidural earlier today. Five days is as long as she is allowed that as the threat of infection gets worse. So now she is on morphine which makes her nauseous and icky feeling. And when it wears off she hurts far more than she expected to.

I got here about 8:30 this morning and was getting ready to leave at 4:30 but she just looked too pitiful. I told her I could stay; I was sure her friend who had invited me to dinner wouldn’t mind. She said, “Well, you should do what you want to do. I don’t want Jan’s dinner to go to waste.” (Translation: I would like you to stay.) So I called Jan and told her what Mom said. She laughed, cause she knows my mom well, and said that I could come to her house tomorrow.

Jan is a nurse who works nights in a different unit in this hospital.  When she gets off at 7am she makes a fresh pot of coffee and brings my mom a cup. Then she goes home to bed. She wasn’t surprised that Mom was trying hard not to be whiny from the pain. Mom was a nurse for years so intellectually she understands that she isn’t getting worse, she is just feeling things that she didn’t feel while she had the epidural. Emotionally she is is frustrated and worried because she was beginning to feel so much better and now she feels like crap again.

She has always hated making a fuss and demanding attention, but she is getting better at it. She no longer hesitates when she wants me to fill her water cup, adjust her pillows, turn the fan off, on, sideways, or fetch a nurse.

I know she is glad to have me sitting here. Right now what she needs is for me to be a quiet, undemanding presence while she tries to lie very still and ignore ***

*** okay, I’m back. The surgeon came in, told Mom that the pain was normal. They argued a bit over whether he had informed her it would be this bad. They put her on her side to check her dressing, etc. After they left ***

that was when I had to stop to get Michael* to get her diet ginger ale and ice, after which I adjusted her pillows again.

HOWEVER, before the second interruption I was going to tell you that after they changed the dressing I helped her stand up (very slowly) and then adjusted the bed, helped her get back in, held her hands and feet and directed so she could get straight, readjusted the pillows and the rest of the bedding.

Yeah, so I would say over all that it is a good thing I stayed her this evening.

*Michael is a darling teenage boy whose mother is one of the nurses on the evening shift. He is volunteering. When a nurse goes around to take vitals, he follows and takes notes. He also keeps the ice water pitchers full. He tends to get bored so someone gives him something to do he grins. When Mom wanted the ginger ale she said to get Michael to get it. When I went to the nurses’ station he wasn’t there. One of the nurses would have got the ginger ale, but when she found out that Mom had asked specifically for him, she went to get him.

Mom says that she and Michael are friends because she let him listen to her air bubbles with the stethoscope.


2 Responses

  1. I love your descriptions of how you and your mom communicate. I hope tomorrow is easier for her.

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