Thursday, February 07, 2008


For the last two mornings, Judy has awakened me in the middle of a great dream, but since I awoke startled I cannot remember either of them, I just know I was having a good time! This morning was because we had to be out of the house before 8:30, for the cleaning ladies to come in (I know this because we cleaned the house last night), but yesterday my mom had an emergency.

Tuesday my mom called, sounding half alive, telling Judy she needed her help. Apparently she had been vomiting (She says vamucking, a word they use in Alabama, which makes it sound twice as nasty as plain ol’ puking!) most of the early morning hours, some 6 or 8 times, and was subsequently very weak. She only weighs about 103 soaking wet, so, at age 81, it does not take much “vamucking” to zap all the strength from her frail little body.

Judy had a long standing dentist appointment later in the morning, so at 7 a.m. she shouts at me to “Wake up! Yo momma needs you!

After getting more details, and while I was taking a quick shower, Judy called the ambulance service. I was real glad she did, not because I didn’t want mom to “upchuck” in my truck, but because the EMT’s would get an IV going. It does not take much to dehydrate anyone with persistent vomiting or diarrhea, especially my little momma!

As I turned off the Interstate in Kingston, about a 15 minute drive from my house, I saw the ambulance pull onto the entrance ramp heading toward Oak Ridge and the hospital. So, I just whipped it hard left on two wheels and jumped right back on and soon fell in behind. I could see her little head bobbing all the way there!

At the hospital the EMT’s took mom to the ER while I checked her in – filling out all the appropriate forms and answering the questions I could.

I arrived at her room just as the doctor came in and started his routine questions. The first one was, “What’s wrong?”

I said, “That’s why we came up here!”

Soon, a physician’s assistant was there and attempted to take blood using the “saline lock” the EMT’s had inserted, but apparently that doesn’t work too well for “test blood,” so she kept throwing the vials of blood, 5 in all, away. Finally, she had to stick mom again, and, like me, her veins tend to roll, and the dehydration did not help much! She finally got enough, we thought, and left.

Well, about an hour later, a hematologist comes in and proceeds to get more blood. Her first stick did not produce any results, so she tries an obvious vein on her hand…nothing. Two sticks are all one person gets to inflict before having to call in another “vampire”! It’s the law, procedure, or something! Anyway, this guy pranced in and acted all cocky; talking some experience and seniority trash to the first one, but soon he is sheepishly trying his second hole!

They finally succeeded in obtaining enough, about 3 vials, and they leave with their tails tucked between their legs.

Long story short, we were there almost 6 hours awaiting the results, but in the end the test found nothing. We waited for them to start the IV back, but it was not until after the doc said she “must have a virus” and that she could go home did they give her a full liter to overcome her dehydration. Luckily, the IV was on high and dripped itself empty in about 30 minutes! Amazingly, she was much better after the IV infusion.

I tried to entertain her and myself with jokes and camera tricks, but as usual, the time just trickled by slowly.

I tried to nap, but could never really get comfortable, and with all the ER noises, punctuated with other people “calling Ralph on the big white phone” I ended up only more miserable! I found myself looking out into the hall at the “blanket warmer” (see the attached photos). There were two dents on the bottom door and I could not help but visualize one as an eye and the other, longer one, as a mouth! When I got home I Photoshopped the shot to highlight what my mind was seeing in an attempt to entertain itself.

I got mom home around 3 p.m. where Judy met us. She fixed her some soup and I went to get the prescription for Phenergan filled.

Mom was soon in bed and Judy stayed with her for the next 3 or 4 hours. Judy was finally able to get her up to eat something else and take more medicine, but mom was confused and thought it was morning! When Judy asked her what she wanted to eat, she replied “Oatmeal!”

We saw her bright and early again this morning and she is fine.

While I enjoy time with my mother, this is not the times I want to remember or do often. However, this was not the first time I have hung out with my mom in an emergency room. The older she gets the more I realize that the good days are to be cherished.

There is nothing worse than spending time in an emergency room!


Chuck said...

Wow, what an ordeal. I'm definitely glad to read that Mom's going to be okay. Sounds like a miserable time in the ER though.

Hammer said...

glad it's nothing too serious. this year has been awful for viruses and such. Hope your mom bounces back quickly.

Jeni said...

My kids have had that lovely experience of waiting in emergency rooms to find out what was wrong with their "old mamma" here several times in the past and they could definitely commiserate with you about the difficulty of doing that.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh Sweetie, how horrible for all of you. I'm glad she's on the mend. Everyone hates emergency rooms, if I ever get sent to hell when I die, that's where they'll put me. Give your mum a hug from all of us.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

I'm glad to hear she's home and all is well. I hope your granddaughter is fine too. There ain't nothin' like a boy and his mamma. And there ain't nothin' worse than sittin' in a hospital wonderin' what the helll is wrong and not knowin'. Take care brother.

Buck said...

I'm glad it all worked out well, Paul. Emergency rooms and such are NOT good places to be.

BRUNO said...

You've just taught me a lesson. The next time I go anywhere NEAR a hospital bed, I'm gonna be waitin' with a piece of the bed-railing, for the paparazzi with phone-cams...!

Glad to hear she's OK. People tend to get better, once they get OUT!

*Goddess* said...

I can't believe ya took pics of your sick mother! Is there NOWHERE that camera doesn't go?! LOL...

Glad she's feeling better.

BTW, here's little tip to tell the people drawing blood. Sometimes they just keep sticking and sticking when they can't get a vein. Putting a blood pressure cuff on the person, pump it up, THEN try and also putting their hands in as hot water as possible then taking it from the back of their hands works, too. Saves them from poking the person over and over. Seems like the older you get the harder it is to find their veins.

Mushy said...

They've always had trouble with me...their just deep and roll, plus I don't drink much water!

I appreciate the kind concern about me mum...she's doing fine and went to get her own groceries today!

pat houseworth said...

Best of luck and prayers, to you and your mom...times like these are hard.

Michele said...

Glad to hear your Mom is doing okay. You are right, though; cherish every minute you have. Both of my parents have been gone more than 20 years and I still miss them so.

Jose said...

But it's even worse to be stuck in a hospital room with no one sitting by your side. The last time my mom had to go to the hospital my wife stayed one night with her and I stayed the next. She said her stay was the best to date as she didn't stay there alone.

I am glad to hear your mom is fine, you are right your mom and my mom at their age we have to cherish each day we still have them with us.

Becky said...

There's nothing worse than spending hours in the ER and then they still can't tell you what's wrong with you exactly, and esp. after they've stuck you with so many needles! I'm glad to hear that you're mom's doing better, though!

Lin said...

When I started to read that, I began to wonder if she didn't pick up a stomach flu bog. She is a year younger than when the flu took my mother so I am glad that you didn't mess around but took her to the hospital ASAP.

david mcmahon said...

Hope your Mom is better now. Give her a big hug from me.

No, make that a B I G hug

Anonymous said...

Hard to deal with isn't Mushy..My Mom's 83 and has had some medical problems..which is why I got off the road..I couldn't stand the thought of her being alone and getting sick..

phlegmfatale said...

I hope your momma is fully recovered very soon!

Les Becker said...

I hope she's doing better, now, Mushy. Emergency rooms just suck, don't they? Cocky doctors don't make it any easier.

Miss Trashahassee said...

Goodness! Not a fun time at all! Saying a prayer for your mom.

Miss T

Jerry said...

It's good that you were there for your Mama. Hope she stays hydrated and well this winter. We gotta take care of our old folks!

Scott from Oregon said...

Glad you were there for your Mum.

I hope she's feeling better.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

You are a GOOD son! I hope yo momma is feeling much better now!