Monday, December 21, 2009

Watch what you wish for

/wave
Hello everyone,

I'm going to condense here because I'm writing this on 2 hours sleep which is where I can go once I'm done with this post so you see my motivation. Sheesh this rambles a bit but you will get it.

I was in Austin for a holiday party and was talking to another super individual(s) about the whole blogging thing and how to gauge what to write etc, and my point was I try to make blogs when something interesting happens. Well, as they say, watch what you wish for.

So this story begins on Sunday and is currently running it's course as I write (you read) it. For those of you who don't know we (we meaning me and Em) moved here in order to help my mom with her ranch and to make sure if anything happens that we are there to help. Now, with all of that foreshadowing out of the way this particular headline reads: Mom went down on Sunday with sharp pains in her lower abdomen while doing nothing more than conversing with a neighbor and exchanging Christmas gifts. As it turns out Christmas is to blame! /shakes fist. Ok settle down, no it's not, just keep reading.

While she was waving goodbye to her good friend an acute pain hit her in the lower abdomen. My mom isn't in the best of health but is still pretty good for the things she does every day so this general pain could have been almost anything. Of course initially she resisted calling EMS however she was quickly overruled and a call to 911 was made. I heard the call go out on the radio and knew help was on the way. Because we are part of the fire department we kind of know where stuff will come from and have a pretty solid idea of how long something will take to get to you. Then again if it's a busy night you might be in trouble, but it was a Sunday night in paradise and it was apparently quiet on the chaos front. Besides I think the Cowboys were playing so the streets were empty like the rapture had occurred.

It was 3pm when she went down. We were picked up by EMS at about 3:40 and transferred to the helipad in Tarpley where Airflight was inbound to take her to San Antonio. The reason she was going this way was because everyone agreed that she was waning and time was of the essence. See, driving would have been a good 1 1/2 hours of travel/handling time, so as the crow flies was the best choice.

As always a tip of the hat to the EMS folk, the helicopter crew, and the Tarpley VFD and Especially Doug the EMT as everything went off without a hitch and she left the ground with them a little after 4pm. We drove to the hospital and arrived a bit after 5pm where we finally located her in the Adult ER. They had started prepping her and had called a vascular Dr. already so he was on the way by the time we got parked and located her. Then almost as quick they left with her for a CT scan which only took about 30 minutes.

Around 7-ish we met with the Dr who asked many questions and made many notes. The scan had showed up with what he perceived to be a burst artery that she had a surgery on in the 80's. So life threatening it was and something had to be done. Of course in an instant it was decided to operate and a team would be assembled for the deed. Again what seemed to be a short amount of time passes and some people start showing up wearing scrubs and introducing themselves with a lead in like "I'm (insert name) and I'll be handling (insert critical job thing) tonight, so how are we feeling?"...

Now we are on the move and it is about 8:15pm. We've seen these people enough now to seem familiar and they escort the bed mom is in to a huge elevator where we are told a fun fact about the cost to the hospital being 1 million dollars when it was built. Which of course was meant to cut some of the stress hanging in the air, and I have to say it did for a moment for as soon as the doors opened we would be separated and our fates still intermingled would take different paths but I was all 'Damn! elevators are flippin' expensive yo! But let's keep it moving...

The vascular operation rooms are up on 5 and they went left and we went right. They to do what they do and us to do only what we can do, wait. We were told that this would probably take around 2 to 2 1/2 hours to complete if everything went well, but you know. Yeah, you do.

At about 11:30pm we got a call that everything was going well and they would be closing up in about an hour. Wow, that was a good phone call. Get some of those if you can.

After about an hour and a half the original Dr met us in the waiting room. The surgery was a success and she was being transferred to Surgical Intensive Care Unit for recovery and we are to go up there to wait for them to let us in to see her.

After about an hour we were called in by a nurse and saw mom surrounded by the set from Star Trek. She looked like she was sleeping and chewing on some licorice (more tubes). All bundled up you could see many wires and tubes eminating from her from all directions hooked up to all manner of machine. I think the machine that went 'PING' was there as well.

She was out like potatoes so we chatted with the nurse on duty at that point about next steps, expectations etc. If she did well through the rest of the night they could take the breathing tube out and she could be awake as early as later that day. Good. Yep it was.

At this point it is 3am and we dragged ourselves out in to the cold night to make the trip back out to the sticks. We arrive out here after 4am. Foof it's late and it's cold. We feed the dogs and get ready for bed to get as much sleep as possible. This will turn out to be 2 hours for me and 3 hours for Em.

And speaking of the phrase that pays I am headed off to go to sleep. I'll do more tomorrow to catch you up but know that she has been doing very well and already is breathing on her own. She should be in a room as soon as Wednesday, maybe even Tuesday. We'll see.

Sorry to cut you off short but I need some sleep as tomorrow will also be a long one. Thanks for coming, talk to you soon, maybe tomorrow night even.

Jim of Jimily.

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