Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kiss it and make it better Mama!

I remember saying this when I had boo-boo's as a child.

Mama's kisses have magical, healing properties that Neosporin and Baind-aids don't have.

Growing up, I ALWAYS felt that Mama's kiss would make everything better.  But this past week, I experienced something that Mama's kiss couldn't fix.

My Mama, the one with the magic kiss, was sick ... and my kiss couldn't make it better!

Aside from the births of me and my brother's, the only time Mama was in the hospital was to visit friends and family. 

My dad noticed she was very listless, tired and groggy last Wednesday.  He thought she had a bug and was letting her sleep it off.  When he had a hard time getting her to wake up Friday morning, he decided to take her to the ER.  She was admitted for low oxygen saturation in her blood.  Basically her blood wasn't receiving enough oxygen and therefore depriving her brain and the rest of her body from air.  Over the next 4 days in the hospital, she was poked, prodded and examined and several other health issues arose. 

She was diagnosed with the following:
  1. Low Oxygen Saturation
  2. COPD  (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  3. Emphysema (which was just a matter of time since she was a smoker for 46 years)
  4. Elevated Red Blood Cell count
  5. Low Sodium Levels

I arrived at the hospital Friday afternoon just as they were moving her from the ER up to a room.  I have never seen my mama like that and hope to never, ever see her like that again.  She was incoherent and didn't even know who I was when she saw me.  I held it together until I was on my way home Friday night.  During that drive from Dallas to Plano, I broke down several times and cried, cried, cried.  I'm not sure who I cried more for ... my mama ... or my daddy.  My dad looked so helpless sitting there watching his partner of 39 years not even know who he was.  And my mama laid there sobbing because she didn't understand where she was or what was wrong.  All I could do was pray.

Over the next several days, pulmonologists, cardiologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, nurses and doctors tended to her and addressed all of her problems one by one.  She had breathing treatments and steroid shots to strengthen her lungs which improved the Low Oxygen, COPD and Emphysema symptoms.  As soon as her lung functions improved, I started to see a glimpse of my mom again.

I knew she turned a corner when I called Sunday morning and Dad felt comfortable enough to leave her side and go home to take a shower and change clothes.

The next symptom to address was her elevated blood count.  This was remedied by a blood-letting.  That's right ... the same good old fashioned bloodletting administered to our ancestors in the ancient times to rid their bodies of illness.  Apparently the ancient science worked because she looked and sounded great when I spoke with her Monday morning.

Thank God!

During our conversation Monday morning, she told me how she needed to quit smoking.  These are the words I had been waiting to hear from her mouth for the past several days.  I knew this was something I could help her with ... this was my way to kiss her boo-boo!

I jumped into action to implement my plan:
  1. Clean their house ... check (actually I hired Dallas Maids to do the cleaning)
  2. Air out the house ... check (I had the windows open and the A/C running all day Tuesday)
  3. Laundry, Laundry, More Laundry ... check  (there's nothing worse to a new non-smoker than the smell of smoke on your clothes and bedding)
  4. De-smoke the house ... check (I threw all of her cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays away)
I visited her in the hospital Tuesday after tending to their house and she looked amazing!  At one point when we were talking, I caught myself wanting to roll my eyes at something she said.  I have never been so happy for her to get on my nerves!  I wanted to kiss her all over!  My mama was back!!

She was released from the hospital today (Wednesday) and the next few weeks will be filled with various therapists visiting the house for follow up in-home care.  She also has to go to a clinic once a week for the next month for subsequent phlebotomy sessions (bloodletting). 

Her journey to recovery is just beginning and she has a long road ahead of her, but my mama is a strong woman and I have faith in her (and God) that she will come through a stronger wife, Mama and Grammy.  Her healing kisses will be more powerful and healing than ever!


joannakitler said...

I'm so happy she's doing better. I've been wanting to call or visit, but, didn't know when the best time would be. I wish there was something else I could do. Next time, call me to clean her house. I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing stuff like that! We've all been praying for her over here. Even the kids call her out by name and make a point to include her in our bedtime prayers. Please give her our love and let me know if/when would be a good time to call.

Kristy said...

So glad she's getting better! Much love to her and the rest of your family!

Shan said...

So glad she's healing. Hoping she can stick with becoming a nonsmoker!