Greetings from the Hoosier State. I found out a week ago that my Mom had been taken to ER and admitted. Each day the report wasn't good. After praying, tossing and turning, and talking with one of my sisters, I awoke Tuesday feeling like I needed to fly back quickly. I got confirmation when I spoke with my RN niece and bible study friends. Late that night I jumped on a "Red Eye" headed East.
I swore I'd never do another overnight but my Mom being unwell in the hospital trumped my comfort and sleep...
It's been a week of ups and downs. We watched the numbers on her oxygen machine going up, then coming down. Thankfully after several scary days, the treatment for my Mom kicked in, prayers were answered, and she began improving. She still has quite a road ahead of her but we are optimistic. Here I sit at the Indy airport, waiting for my flight back home...
Here are some observations I've made about the hospital and my former hometown over the last few days:
1. Do not send a package/present across the country and expect it to be delivered to a hospital patient's room.
Before I knew I was jumping on a plane, I did the only thing I could think of to help besides praying; I baked my Mom her favorite cookies.
I shipped her box on Monday and the USPS email told me it had arrived Wednesday morning, about the same time I did! Well... the box was not delivered to her room Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Friday afternoon I put on my detective hat, found a hospital volunteer who knows my Mom, and we went down to the basement mail room. Low and behold, there on a counter was my little box of cookies with no one to walk it up to the 2nd floor.
Apparently they "outsource" mail and no one is a point-person. I envisioned a sweet older person with a cheery jacket making the rounds with mail. NOT! Although my Mom is on a no-salt diet, the nurse let her have one cookie. I'll have to send one of my sisters on a search of the basement to find the card one of her grandsons sent!
2. Do not put Barb on a no-salt diet and expect her to like the food.
My Mama LOVES salt. So do I. With her current health issues, the doctors have put her on the Cardiac Diet. So many items on the limited hospital menu are off-limits for her. Sad, sad, sad. Thankfully she isn't very hungry but I wish she wasn't so used to salting ALL her food. She has shown all her nurses and doctors such kindness and she hardly complains...except about the diet.
3. In Washington State we prepare for Earthquakes and Tsunamis. In Indiana, they have Tornado Shelters in the grocery store.
Carmel prides itself on roundabouts and they might keep traffic flowing, but they've made it tricky for this out-of-town girl to find her way around when running errands! I spent most of my time hanging out in my Mom's hospital room chatting and knitting. I popped out to a few of my favorite Carmel stores while my Mom napped, had some meals out with my sisters, and a quick dinner with dear friends.
4. The hospital stairway isn't as scary as it looks.
After several days of taking the elevator, my middle sister said she always takes the stairs. I said cement stairwells seemed scary but then I just "did it" and realized I could be brave and get more steps in.
5. Planning is hard, but necessary.
When things were getting scary a couple days ago, my Mom asked me to bring her "Funeral File" to the hospital so we could talk over some of her desires. We found notes of all her favorite scripture verses, poems, hymns and songs and thanks to my oldest niece we compiled a list. Did I want to think about this? No! Was it a good idea? Yes.
I feel that allowing her wishes to be heard was a way of honoring her. I am glad that it is behind us and now she's almost "out of the woods" so we can stick that file away for a long time. When God chooses to bring her home we won't have to guess... It was also a sweet time when her Pastor visited and we got to pray together.
I was excited to find a Genealogy file at my Mom's place last night and discover some new things about my Great-Grandparents, Great Uncle who lived in Tacoma and my Uncle Jim. I'm really into family history...I just sent in my Ancestry.com DNA test.
Hopefully it won't be long before my Mom's viral infection clears up so she can get released from the hospital, complete re-hab at the skilled-living Plaza, and be back at her apartment in The Barrington where all her friends are.
Mom and her 3 Story Girls a couple years ago.
I want to thank all my friends who have kept my family in your prayers and encouraged me to follow my heart and come back quickly to visit. I'm so glad I did... It's been a sweet time with my Mom, and I've gotten to visit with my sisters, nieces and nephews, and some of their kids.
Please keep "Barb" in your prayers. I love my Mama!
"The Lord would have us not have the answers, that we might find ourselves wholly submitted to him, trusting in his care, and dependent on his leading.” Troy Simons
In His Grip,