[Lots of Real Life stuff ahead. Pass by if you only like reading about SL. :)]
You get a lot of time to think when you’re in a hospital.
Oh, I’m fine. My mom was in the hospital overnight one week ago for a blood transfusion. It was kind of terrifying for me, although I didn’t show it. She’d gone in to her doctor just for some routine lab work. Insurance purposes, you know. She’d been putting it off for a while but then figured she might as well do it. Thank God that she did because she was severely anemic. I mean, the kind of anemic where she was walking around with basically half the blood in her body that she should have. The kind where she could barely get off her chair most days. The kind that had it gone on much longer, it would have killed her.
I knew why it happened. My mom has a pretty weird relationship with food. For the past couple of years, she hasn’t eaten much and what she has eaten has been junk. There’s only so long you can eat what you want, when you want. She wanted just little bites of junk and not very often. She’s not dieting and in fact has wanted to gain weight, but it wasn’t uncommon for her to go a couple of days without eating. She would say to me, “I don’t know how your dad can eat so much! He eats like 4 or 5 times a day!”
As her anemia has progressed over the past year, her appetite has gotten smaller and smaller. [A symptom of it.] She got more and more tired doing even the smallest things. It’s old age, she’d tell me. But she’s 68. My dad is older and although the pain of arthritis keeps him from doing as much as he’d like, he still had energy. Her sister is older and she dances. It couldn’t just be old age.
So into the hospital we went last Friday afternoon. My mom is extremely modest and I knew I’d have to stay with her in case she needed help getting to the bathroom or anything like that. They did lots of tests on her because someone with that kind of anemia MUST have internal bleeding somewhere, right? When they couldn’t find anything, they started asking questions about her home life, if she lived alone and if she had food at home. They even asked if she was a vegan. But no…she simply just ate what she wanted when she wanted to eat it, and that was her downfall.
We had a truly lovely night shift nurse and after all the tests and questions, and after my mom had eaten a quite sizable hamburger, she finally brought up the first unit of blood to my mom. Within about 30 minutes, my mom’s hands started to get pink, and warm. It was kind of remarkable! About an hour in, she told me she was feeling a lot better, and would like to go home. I told her good for her, but she was staying put because she had another unit of blood to get. Blood transfusions are kind of slow, about 3 hours for a large bag, and so we were definitely in there for the night.
I had to stay over at my parents’ house on Monday night because we had a plumbing issue here at my house, and I worried about my mom. She still seemed tired, and irritated [yet another symptom of severe anemia], and I kept thinking that maybe this just didn’t work.
But, it did. I talked to her yesterday and she sounded like her old self again. Happy, strong, and full of jokes. She said that she’s been simply ravenous and even cooked dinner on Wednesday night! She hasn’t cooked a meal in months, they mostly just eat out. My dad is thrilled because he loves to eat, and he loves when she is happy. Even the dog is excited because my mom finally has the energy to play with her and take her outside. [I suspect the dog will be less excited when my mom dunks her in the bucket for a bath now that she has the energy to do so.]
As happy as I am that everything appears to be working out, now I feel like I want to kind of fall apart. I haven’t really been able to talk to anyone about all of this, although my plurk friends were very supportive last Friday while we were at the hospital. But in general, I haven’t talked about it much. I mean, what do I want people to say anyway? There’s nothing TO say because everything came out fine. But I still feel like I’m on shaky ground emotionally. I’ll get over it, of course. This is not the first time either of my parents have been sick, or have been in the hospital, and unfortunately it is not likely to be the last time. I will get over it. I don’t even know what I want right now or what would make me feel better and THAT is what pisses me off.
Anyway, I know this post is kind of long and it’s more RL than most people would want to read, so thank you if you managed to read this far. 🙂
I had a different idea for this photo when I was taking it last night but it just didn’t come out how I wanted, so I slapped a filter on it and called it a day.