There Isn’t Enough Starbucks

Has it really been only a week and a day since my last post? As the title of this entry indicates, there isn’t enough Starbucks in the world to snap me out of the time fog I’ve been in for the past week.

I’ve got to keep this short, but I thought maybe a post here to update would be faster than emailing friends and family individually.

My mom had her vertebral fusion surgery one week ago today (Sunday, November 21). The surgery itself went very well, and I am so thankful for that. The nerve damage seems to be very minimal (slight numbness in her left index finger) and is expected to improve as time passes. The bummer side of the coin is that my mom is still in the hospital, as she had developed a blood clot in her right lung that was found early Thursday morning after her nurse noticed that her heart rate had become quite elevated (unexpectedly) on Wednesday night. While her physical and occupational therapy had been going well and she was progressing on schedule post-surgery, the blood clot has been a definite setback, and the last few days have been overwhelming, at best.

The clot was not causing any symptoms at first, but by the time my dad and I arrived to see her yesterday morning she was experiencing severe pain under her right breast. More tests were run to determine if the clot was extending or traveling, and after a rough CT scan (my mom didn’t appreciate the extra pain sustained with the flushing of her expired IV line) it was determined the clot was lodged in a lower, smaller branch of her pulmonary artery (can’t remember the medical terminology), and the good news is that this meant she wasn’t at any greater risk, as we had feared. As a precautionary measure, she was relocated to the Cardiology ward for better monitoring of her heart rate and oxygen levels. At the time it was very difficult because it meant leaving the care of our favorite nurse, Carol, and my mom became very confused and frustrated in her new surroundings (layers of pain medication will do that to you). She didn’t eat, couldn’t get her pain under control, didn’t get out of bed other than to use the bathroom, and was slightly belligerent towards family and staff. To sum it up, yesterday was the worst day of the week, and there have been some toughies.

Today my mom woke up much improved, and I was able to spend more time OUT of the hospital than in, which was sweet relief to my soul. I got some laundry done, and did some heavy house cleaning at my brother’s place to get some sweaty time in. I’ve also taken some walks around the hospital when I can get them, but it certainly doesn’t give me the “buzz” of energy I from the gym. The local Anytime Fitness isn’t as convenient to the hospital as I had hoped, so unfortunately I have only made it to the gym once since I’ve been here. <shame> Truthfully I didn’t feel as comfortable there as I do at my home gym in Woodbury (not that I expected to), but it certainly makes me less motivated to go. So, I settle for walks here and there, and sprinting with my mom’s cat in my brother’s basement. I feel kind of terrible about that, and I am sure come my next weigh-in I’ll regret it. By the same token I feel that I have to put my family first right now – my dad and brother have been completely drowning in drama since my mom took the fall, and there is more help needed just keeping on top of daily chores (like cooking, cleaning and shopping) than I could have imagined. And obviously, my mom has needed someone present often to take note of updates from the doctors, as she has been heavily medicated and isn’t always coherent enough to remember what they say. I do expect that my mom will be seen by her neurosurgeon tomorrow, and that he will hopefully approve her to restart therapy again so she can go home within the next couple of days. I would really appreciate any prayers in that regard, too – we are ready to have her home with us so we can have our Thanksgiving dinner as a family… it would be a crime if that turkey expired before we could eat it!

Speaking of food, I have been making pretty good choices (save for a small slice of pecan pie and two orders of fried potatoes, of which I only ate half), and it’s good to know that my newish eating habits have begun to stick, even when in crisis mode. The bad news is that I haven’t been journaling my meals or exercise like I should be, and now that I have mentioned it here, I will begin to make a better effort to do that tomorrow and each day after that.

Sadly, my sister won’t be with us for our belated turkey feast because she flew in last Saturday and had to leave Wednesday morning to fulfill a promise to take my niece to Disneyland. I know it was hard for her to leave in the middle of everything, and I have missed her help and compassionate nature. She can always sense what my mom needs before she even knows she needs it. You can imagine how much I miss that extra help, but at the same time I am glad she made her trip as planned. My brother and dad are here and the more time we spend together, the more we can push aside our dysfunction and work together to accomplish what we need to do. I even expect that I’ll have time to take another crack at the gym, weather permitting. I am looking forward to Malcolm getting here so I have my best friend and workout partner by my side. I miss him so much, it aches. I’m just not cut out to spend holidays without my greatest love.

Thanks to all who have read, left comments and have sent out healing thoughts and prayers. I do feel your support, and it gives me comfort and strength. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and that you aren’t yet broke from all the tempting Black Friday deals. <Air kissies>  :-*


2 thoughts on “There Isn’t Enough Starbucks

  1. Write another post soon! I enjoy reading these. Makes me feel like I am there with you…You are such a great writer. I love you Sis, talk to you soon! 🙂

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