Friday, July 18, 2008


This has been a bummer of a weekend. My poor Mammaw's in the hospital, so I visited her at Wheeling Hospital. She had a heart catheterization earlier in the week and has 5 blocked thingamajigs. (It's a good thing I'm not a doctor!) They're going to try to fix three of the thingamajigs, so she's having triple bypass surgery two Mondays from now.

She's already not in the greatest health. She's had one major heart attack. She has one kidney and it doesn't work all that well. She has diabetes and glaucoma. It's really risky for her to have this surgery but the doctor said she doesn't have a choice. She can't survive without it.

When I saw her Saturday, she was pretty not-peppy. Today, she seemed a little perkier. She wasn't having chest pains and she was eating more. She'd been having chest pain when she was just lying down - and she's on a nitroglycerin drip. It's just hard to watch. My mom and aunts and uncles are so upset and trying so hard not to let it show.

The crappy thing is now Mammaw's talking about not wanting to have the surgery, which basically means she'll die. The surgeon had to tell her the scary possibilities - she might have to go on a ventilator for a week or she could have to have dialysis either for a week or for the rest of her life. However, he HAS to tell her those possibilities or he's not doing his job as a surgeon. He also told her he thought he could help her and he would tell her if he thought there was no chance at all. He said he was willing to fight for her if she was willing to fight for herself too.

She's just so worried about being on dialysis. She's managed to live 20 years with just one kidney and no dialysis. Who would've expected that?

I was so annoyed though - when Mammaw was rethinking the surgery, the stupid nurse said, "Well, if you don't want these things, you need to make sure someone knows. Maybe you can be treated with medicine." Obviously, she hadn't looked at Mammaw's charts, because medicine was not an option. It wasn't any of the nurse's business and I really wish she would've kept her nose out of it instead of scaring an 80-year-old woman. Or if she wants to give her two cents, give it after she's read the chart.

I guess I just have to wait and hope she gets through the week OK. I know she won't live forever, but I'm not ready for that time to be now.

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