out of emerg and into icu

April 11, 2016 § Leave a comment

At the end of the day yesterday I kissed my mom’s forehead and bade her good night as she rested with a tube draining the contents of her stomach through her nose.

She had woken up from emergency surgery to repair a perforated ulcer in her stomach.

The day started with a missed call from her group home to let me know she had decided to go into the hospital that morning. She had been unwell for a couple of weeks, most seriously the last few days as she dropped 10 pounds because she was unable to eat. Last Friday my sister had accompanied her to a consult with a general practitioner who diagnosed her with gallstones and arranged for a specialist appointment for a week later to deal with them.

I saw her on Saturday evening and was shocked at her decline. In two days she had gone from resting fairly comfortably and getting up for a smoke to lying on the bed barely able to turn over or pull the blankets up.

Sunday morning she agreed with her group home attendant to go to the hospital.

I arrived mid-morning at the hospital just in time to help out with the first round of diagnostic questions from the resident physician. For every question the resident physician asked Mom, I had to correct her answer to ensure the right information was conveyed. Mom was minimizing her symptoms and their effects. I hate to think what diagnostic decisions would have been made if they had only gone with Mom’s version of her condition.

As it was, they ran an x-ray and a ct scan and found issues in her abdomen. But these issues had nothing with gall stones. Mom had a perforated ulcer that was allowing contents from her gastrointestinal tract to leak into her abdominal cavity, causing damage and an infection. We were very lucky to catch it in time before she went into shock from sepsis.

By 2 pm we had the diagnosis and a treatment plan was put into effect. Mom was to go into surgery at 4 pm.

It was such a relief to drive home from the hospital at 10 pm knowing Mom was in ICU and on the mend. She has a bit of a rough road ahead, but it is nothing compared to not knowing what was wrong, seeing her in pain, and watching her weaken with each passing day.

Very grateful for her improved condition and the great work of the medical professionals at the hospital. Also, so very grateful for the wonderful staff at Mom’s group home, who do such a great job of taking care of there residents.


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