Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Medical Weirdness Runs In My Family

We just can't play "by the book," it seems. Mom is doing really well in all aspects of her recovery, except that she's leaking a mystery fluid (which is now assumed to be chyle) at an alarming rate. The weirdness that put her back in the hospital over the weekend is now thought to have merely been a rather severe reaction to a cephalosporin. There was no infection (a huge praise), and everything looks great.

She's gotten three of her drains out, and is spinning her wheels at home, but the two remaining drains are collecting an abundance of this chyle at present, so they stay in. There is most likely a fissure somewhere that is allowing this fluid to leak out, and unless it heals spontaneously, we're looking at more surgery to locate and repair it. Obviously, no one wants that, but we can't get her to stop leaking!

Thanks again to everyone for all the continued support, prayers, and positive thinking on my mom's behalf. If she could just get rid of those stupid drains now, she'd be back in full swing in no time. What's worrisome is that she can't proceed with the treatment of the cancer (if such treatment shall be required) until this issue with the leaking chyle is resolved.

It's all very frustrating.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I'm only just now, as President-Elect Barack Obama prepares to make his victory speech, beginning to relax emotionally, and realizing how very beaten-down and pessimistic I have felt for the last eight years, particularly the last four. Deep down, I really didn't believe this could happen--that the incumbent power would ALLOW it to happen. That we could have, for a blessed change, a voice of compassion, kindness, and thoughtful intelligence in the White House once more. I honestly believed it would be taken from us, yet again...that Americans would succumb to the campaign of fear, separatism, and bigotry that's been playing out all over the country. Even as I type this, I'm still thinking of the possibility of the "official" results changing after I post this entry.

On a personal level, for the last eight years, I've had a gutful of having my faith hijacked by a party of hatred and division, people flying the "Christian" banner while displaying behavior so un-Christ-like that it seemed at times they must be reading some Bizarro World version of the New Testament. And yes, abortion = bad. Very bad. But there are OTHER BAD THINGS IN THE WORLD. And not being afraid of The Gay does put me in a minority as a Southern Baptist, but so be it. I'd rather keep company with a tolerant and loving Jesus than, oh, I dunno...Pat Buchanan.

I let Bella stay up until the major swing-states were called. To get her to go to bed, I had to promise to TiVo Obama's acceptance speech. I could not believe how interested and engaged she was in the whole process. She was listening to the reports, and reading the "crawl" along the bottom of the screen, shouting out each new posting of electoral votes. I hope that this is something she remembers for the rest of her life, because she experienced history in the making. When I voted, she watched, and pushed the final button that cast my ballot for Obama--for hope instead of fear. Hope for HER.

I've been afraid to let myself hope that this could really happen. That maybe America can return to a place where we will not be hated globally. That we can move FORWARD for a change, and do good instead of just looking out for number one. That our "two Americas" can get back to being the One America that it was before the politics of fear and divisiveness choked the hope and charity out of her. That, perhaps, Bella's generation will one day be known as "the greatest generation." Lord knows we're due for one.

I love my Republican friends and family. That has never changed. But, guys? You've had eight years of having things your way, and you have to admit, it's just gotten worse and worse. At this point, even if Obama pulled a Carter, we would still be moving in the right direction for the future, because another correction would be bound to occur.

Signing off now to give my full attention to the best speech I could possibly have hoped for, with this thought, borrowed tonight from my Republican friend Mandajuice, who was truly happy for her Democrat friends this evening, and has shown remarkable grace throughout this difficult election process:


Now, let's do this thing. TOGETHER. Let's get purple, people.

Monday, November 03, 2008

And The Latest

Well. Mom has now been seen by a specialist in infectious diseases, who has concluded that she doesn't have any. Infectious diseases, that is. He believes that the whole mess--the fever, the rash, the vomiting, was all a reaction to cephalexin. And if I'd been paying attention today when the previous doctor ordered her a dose of Rocephin, I'd have recognized that he was, in fact, ordering her yet another cephalosporin. OOOPS. But so far, she hasn't had a reaction to that one.

They are not yet willing, however, to release her from the hospital if there's any risk of another reaction to antibiotics, and since she MUST stay on antibiotics due to the reconstruction surgery, she must also stay in the hospital at least another day. She's bored out of her gourd, but looking strong and healthy, and full of energy and good spirits.

She did tear up a little at the compassion of a (to her, anyway) stranger, when I read her the letter that accompanied a hand-knitted cap (thanks so much, Robin) that had a prayer "knitted into" each stitch. She is touched by the kindness and support of pretty much the whole world right now, and very thankful that the treatments she's enduring are even available to her.

In other news, I did not get hit in the kisser by any poultry today, but I did run from one end of my house to the other, peeking out each window in succession, and crying tears of hysterical laughter as the water-meter reader was very nearly sexually harassed by my Tom turkeys. When they first came running at him, the poor guy froze in this tracks--he didn't know whether to poop his pants or wind his watch. Really, it wasn't funny. Except that it was. Especially that first "group gobble."

Good times.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

An Update So Brief, I May As Well Have Used The Telegraph

Mom's still in the hospital, doctors are still stymied as to the source of whatever infection is inflating her white blood cell count and keeping her feverish, and she's still breaking out in a bizarre rash in (apparent) response to antibiotics. But she's feeling downright perky tonight, unlike horrible, terrible, no good yesterday.

More news tomorrow, hopefully.

Oh, and I got hit in the face with a live turkey. FINALLY, I have something in common with Fabio!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

And Back Again

It's almost midnight. I just got back from the hospital, where Mom was re-admitted, via the Emergency Room. She's doing much better now than she was when we brought her in, but she's had a rough day for sure.

After just doing great in her surgery recovery over the last 10 days, today Mom suddenly spiked a fever, with hard chills and vomiting. There was a lovely rash that seemed to go along with it for a while, but since that pretty much went away when her doctor d/c'd her Keflex, we're thinking the rash was maybe a coincidence.

She's been admitted to a (thankfully) private room in the hospital now, after being seen by both her surgeon and an internist. They're doing nine (or more) kinds of bloodwork, culturing everything in and on her that can be cultured, and have performed a CT scan and gotten her on IV fluids. She was dozing comfortably on a very quiet wing of a quiet floor of the hospital about an hour ago, so Andrea and I went ahead and came on home, after extracting a promise from her that she would not hesitate to make use of her call button if she needs anything during the night. We'll go back over in the morning and see what's what.

Repeat after me, universe: NO SURGICAL INFECTION.