Mom is home, discharged yesterday afternoon from the hospital with instructions to see her GP by the end of this week and her new cardiologist next week.
While no cause for the nausea or the slow heartbeat has so far been found (except for advancing age), she’s feeling a hundred percent better: the miserable sick stomach is gone. The slow pulse? Well, since she’s not wearing a heart monitor, I don’t know. I’m guessing it’s not; that it continues to drop into the basement periodically and then climb back up. Mom has a treadmill stress test coming up soon because of that scary pattern. Maybe it will uncover some clues. In the meantime, it seems that the whispers about an impending pacemaker were just that: whispers. We’ll wait and see.
So, she’s feeling good, if a bit weak from three full days and nights down, half of the time spent without nutrition and water (she wouldn’t take either). They rehydrated her intravenously at the hospital. Here at home again, she ate well today, and she’s reluctantly promised me she won’t climb or descend the stairs without telling me so I can be on hand. Just in case. Naturally, she thinks I’m being annoyingly overcautious. “I’m just fine, you know!” I smile and reiterate how much easier it’ll be for her to go along with me than it will to recover from a broken hip—or neck—should she become suddenly dizzy and take a header down the stairs.
It’s odd, this subtle flip-flop of the parent-child relationship. Neither of us is comfortable with it, yet there it is. I find myself taking huge pains to be respectful, couching my words in gentleness and lacing them with humor. When she responds with a sarcastic “Yes, Boss,” I bite my lip and take a deep breath, trying not to let it hurt, to let it go, to remember how hard it is for her to relinquish tight control over her life. After all, it would (and perhaps will, one day) be equally hard for me.
And I know that often, she’s honestly puzzled by my concern. She was talking on the phone to her brother in Washington, DC today, and told him that I made her go to the hospital because of her sick stomach, and they made her stay. Then her stomach got better so they let her go—and she wasn’t sure why a stay in the hospital had been necessary in the first place. After all, she’d had a tricky tummy all her life…
I couldn’t help but overhear this astonishing conversation, so I said, “Mom, they admitted you because your heart was beating too slow, not because your stomach was sick.”
“Oh, yes!” she laughed. “My heart! That’s right…” and she told him a truncated version of the Rest of the Story.
Did I say OMG?
I didn’t have much discomfort during the day today, and no outright pain from either the RA or the bursitis. It was rather nice. Tonight, though, the RA dragon is gnawing playfully at my fingers, thumbs, and my great toe on my right foot. He’s not biting down hard. Instead, he’s just giving me a prolonged sample of what he’s capable of should I get too complacent. I wish there was a way to tell him that I’m not. In fact, I’m too often just the opposite of complacent—I’m anxious.
In a too-calm way, though. I try hard not to worry, to keep myself upbeat and positive. I try not to think too much about my rheuma and the insidious damage it’s doing in my body. But I’m not complacent.
Enough. It’s time to call it a day. Thanks for dropping by.