Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I'm Back! (And Why I Was Gone in the First Place)

As you’ll have noticed (I hope… no one likes to go unnoticed!), I’ve been gone since mid-November. I’ve taken a mini-hiatus or two, but I’ve never just vanished without explanation. So here it is, the explanation. If you’re squeamish about medical talk, you might want to stop reading now. Last warning!

My mom almost died. Again. 

Readers from back before my disappearance may remember her bout with E.coli back in September and her diagnosis of Graves’ Disease back in August, so 2014 was a shitty year as far as her health was concerned. Right before Thanksgiving things got worse. 

She went into the hospital on November 22, and the next thing I knew, they were saying she had colon cancer. They rushed her into surgery for an emergency removal of the damaged organ, which resulted in a colostomy. The next day, the doctor said, “It’s definitely cancer.” 

Mom was in ICU, and I was stuck at home with bronchitis, coughing, sneezing, with a raging fever, and not allowed anywhere near her for fear of contaminating her. 

Several days later, we got good news: it wasn’t cancer, after all. It was severe diverticulitis, and the damage to the walls of the large intestine only resembled cancer at first glance. 

But there were problems. Due to massive amounts of infection, my mom also suffered from Myelitis, which is inflammation of the central nervous system. She should have been sitting up and using a standing toilet chair after a week, but she could hardly move let alone sit up without assistance. After a couple of weeks in the hospital, they transferred her to a assisted living facility (that’s a polite way of saying nursing home, not gonna lie) to work with physical therapists while receiving round-the-clock care.

SPN-watching to pass the time while visiting Mom...
For the first couple of months, she was still fighting off the infection, and the outcome looked bleak. We just weren’t seeing the progress we’d hoped we would see. The only bright side was that her diabetes improved thanks to a drastic weight loss — from 238 pounds (her admission weight at the hospital) to 161 pounds, which remains her current weight. But I was worried she might not be coming home for six months. The awful thought that she might never come home occurred to me more than once. 

I stayed overnight a few nights, and my uncle frequently made the nearly two hour round-trip drive, playing Driving Miss Daisy with me wailing in the seat beside him. (Sorry about that!) We ended up eating at the same Mexican restaurant four times (shout out to El Sombrero in Yazoo City; you guys have delicious chile rellenos!) and almost dying because of the shitty weather twice in one week alone! 

weather in Yazoo left much to be desired...
Finally, in February (just in time for my birthday!), she got stronger. We got to take her to try El Sombrero in person instead of bringing food back to the rehab. She came home the first week of March, and just the other day we got the date for her colostomy reversal surgery: May 6. We had previously thought it would’t be reversed until September(!) at the earliest. 

One thing I can say is that anyone in the Jackson area who has friends or family in need of long-term care should absolutely check out Oasis in Yazoo City. If not for Joyce, Sheila, David, and Ryan, I don’t know if Mom would even be home yet. They’re kind, hard-working people who really give a damn about their patients. If you guys ever read this, thank you, thank you, thank you. 

So that’s why I haven’t blogged. I’ve spent the past few months worried sick, and I just had no motivation whatsoever. I’m back now, but I’ve definitely changed as a person. You can expect plenty of product reviews and the like, but there will be less cutesy-kitsch on the blog from now on. I’m just not feeling it anymore. I guess it’s all a part of growing up. People change, and if they’re lucky, they change for the better. 

To everyone who helped me through this, I don’t even know what to say. There aren’t words, so I’ll just say that I love you, and you’re the best. 

Kudos to anyone who’s still reading! Thanks for sticking it out! We’ll be back to fun things very soon, though I have had a crash course in colostomy care and may post my thoughts on that from time to time. Not very glamorous, but it needs to be discussed!

TL;DR: Mom almost died, had emergency surgery, I went batshit crazy with worry, and now I’m back. (And this is not an April Fools joke!)

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to hear you all have had to go through all this. Having recently gone through the colostomy issue with my dad, I know exactly what you are talking about. Prayers for you mother's continuing improvement. My email is if you care to respond.