Back in October I wrote a series of four posts chronicling the saga of my sister’s hospitalizations. After she was discharged to home in September, she seemed to live in limbo for the next several months. I would visit once a month and watch the wounds get worse. Things looked pretty hopeless. She saw another wound doctor, who refused to do anything until she had the vascular surgery. But no one would touch her.
Then in March she got a referral to a vascular surgeon in Sacramento who was willing to attempt the surgery. In fact, she seemed pretty confident. Sis was admitted on March 27 and thus began round two of my hospital duty. The surgery was March 30, and it was successful! She was discharged April 4. I spent the whole 10 days with her at the hospital, all day, every day. She was discharged to a nursing home and I drove home, arriving a full two hours before my kids arrived for Easter.
We had a wonderful five days together. I cooked Easter dinner for 12 (with lots of help from my guests). Meanwhile, Sis’s hubby checked her out of the nursing home and took her home. He felt he could provide better care and I think he was right.
When the kids left, I had three days to finalize prep for a training conference I was doing on Saturday. In my exhausted condition, that one about did me in. I kept telling my body that it just had to make it through Saturday evening. It did – barely. I hurt all over. Sunday I slept.
Then the other shoe dropped. Sunday evening, about 9:00 pm, Mom called. She had fallen and thought she had broken her hip. Why she called me rather than pressing her lifeline button I don’t know. But she did. I told her to press her button and wait for the paramedics. I called the hospital an hour later and sure enough – broken hip. I repacked my suitcase and was on the road again Monday morning.
Mom had surgery Monday night. All went well. I stayed with her through Friday, when I drove home for my Saturday class. Mom was discharged on Thursday and moved to rehab. I went to my all-day class Saturday, slept Sunday, and headed back on Monday. Spent the week with her at the rehab facility. Drove home Thursday to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday. I think I'm home for awhile…
So, for the next several posts, I'm going to share what I've learned about hospital duty. And I've learned a lot.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/Boliston