Up All Night

When I got home at 5 I made some supper and tried to give Pasith a break from the kids.  He was trying to keep up with his computer business in the midst of all the chaos.  Thankfully he had very understanding clients even when he had to bring the kids into their homes.   So when the phone rang just after 7 I had finally started to relax and had plans of spending the evening with the kids.

It was Auntie A on the phone.  Mom was in the ambulance again and on her way to St B. hospital in Winnipeg.  Would I race to meet her there?  Mom was in trouble.  I got off the phone, took a deep breath and went downstairs to talk to Pasith.  I told him I would be back when I could but that I might be there all night.  He also took a deep breath and took it in stride.  I went upstairs and told Sidney that I had to leave again.  She was upset and Alex cried at the door.  My heart broke as I got into the van and backed out of the driveway.

I drove past the emergency entrance and didn’t see an ambulance so I figured I had beaten them.  I drove around and got parked and ran through to the emergency waiting area.   I was only there a minute before Mom was pushed in on the stretcher.  We said hi and she introduced me to the paramedics that brought her in.  She knew at least one of them and had been so thankful to have someone with her that she knew.  One of them went to let the nurses know that Mom was there and I was able to ask the other paramedic some questions about Mom.  She had been throwing up again after I had left town.  She knew where she was.  And she was scared.

They moved her into one of the little curtained off areas all lined up behind the nurses counter.  She had to have a CT Scan and because she was allergic to iodine she had to drink the contrast liquid; 16 ounces of contrast liquid when she had been throwing up off and on for days and now from the smallest of movements.  They set her up on a very heavy dose of Gravol and a few other meds.  She started to get confused as the Gravol took effect so I answered her questions and waited.  The nurse brought the contrast for Mom to drink in a disposable cup and a straw.  I looked at it and didn’t know how we were going to do this.  All I could do was hold my breath, hope and pray.  I picked up the cup and held the straw for Mom to start drinking.  After a few sips she stopped and looked like she was going to lose it.  I begged her to breathe through the nausea.  I tried to explain how important it was that she kept drinking.  She started up again and we had a few more breaks.  A few that I thought were going to push her beyond the point of no return.  And with each break I begged and said a prayer.  If she threw up the contrast we would have to start all over again.  This had to work.

Mom finally got through all of the contrast.  It was about midnight when the technician came down to wheel her up to the CT Scan.  I was desperate to keep the contrast down so I asked the lady to, “Please be careful.”  And when she glared at me I added, “With all due respect.”  I followed her up the elevator and cringed every time there was the slightest bump.  I waited outside the room and held my breath.  Mom came out a few minutes later.  She made it.  Barely.  She had thrown up as soon as they got her out of the machine.  We were so relieved.   We went back down to the emergency room to wait for a room on the 3rd floor.  I called Pasith at about 12:30 and said that I wouldn’t be home that night.

When we got upstairs I waited in the hall while they put the dreaded tube back down her nose into her stomach.  The nurses brought me a recliner to sleep in.  But we ended up having another rough night.  Mom was up about every hour wondering where she was.   The noise from the tube machine made it difficult to hear what she was saying so as she muttered in her sleep I was jumping up thinking that she was getting out of bed or needing something.  I was exhausted but still couldn’t sleep so I took my blanket, took a walk and tried to sleep in the visitor area for a little while but couldn’t sleep there because I was worried that she needed something.  I waited for morning.

At some point the previous evening I had called work to let them know that I wouldn’t be in the next day.  I was very thankful to have an understanding workplace.  Auntie A was on her way so I left the hospital at about 9am and went home to pick up Alex for speech therapy.  I had promised to take him to speech.  Pasith offered to take him but I had missed so much time with him.  I tried to hide the fact that I hadn’t slept all night.  I truly enjoyed seeing his progress and how much he loved it there.  After dropping Alex off at daycare I went home to sleep before going back to the hospital.