Full Circle From Hell to Happiness

So…we’re all sitting at Gate 36 at Boston Logan Airport, waiting for our flight to San Diego, the final leg of our massive journey to bring home Angel Boy. YAY!!!

We can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I feel like I gave birth to him all over again.

It all started with the call at 3am that propelled the labor pains to GET TO HIM at any and all cost.

‘Cos you never know, right? What if we had been flying and it was too late? What if we had landed, turned on our cells, and learned the worst had occurred while we were desperately working to make it to the hospital before his emergency surgery? The what ifs were killing us. What if the surgeon couldn’t fix him? What if he had a rupture? What if he suffered a massive infection that couldn’t be controlled? It was touch and go for a while, but he pulled through  — we ALL pulled through…

Lucky for him AND for us, none of those fears came true, and that’s why we’re here at the airport, anxious to see my tugboat man and get back to my normal routine of going to the gym, cleaning the house, baking, and of course, SHOPPING!!

On a serious note…

This whole experience got me thinking…always a dangerous thing, right?

I believe that it’s critically important, if you’re ever hospitalized, to have a family member (or two) act in the capacity of an advocate —  with the docs, the nursing staff, and the insurance company.

It’s next to impossible for the patient to communicate on his own behalf or even function at all –when he’s in pain and suffering — before surgery, especially emergency surgery, and after surgery when he’s basically comatose and drugged up, during the entire stay and up to the exit strategy.

RNs have about eight patients at a time; because of that, we handled most of my son’s personal care.

DIL and I stayed with him 24/7, taking turns sleeping in the recliner next to his bed.

We took his temp, cleaned him, took him to the bathroom, kept after him every few minutes to use the little tool to keep his lungs healthy, and when he started walking the very next day post-surgery, we walked him further and further every day.

It was back to basics: baby steps. Measuring his urinary volume, charting his temp, checking for gas, helping him to the bathroom  — the simple joy of having his naso-gastric tube removed called for applause and cheers.

Baby steps. Walking further every day. Walking with the IV detached. Ditching the hospital gown and wearing his own clothes.

The first meal after eight days was spectacular. Chicken broth and apple juice constituted a feast. My already thin boy had lost so much weight.  More baby steps.

Even though they check vital signs once an hour, we were there to monitor any changes minute by minute.

When he started to run a temp, we alerted the RN and she alerted his surgeon and because of our “assertiveness”, a ton of blood tests were ordered along with a CT scan to rule out infection or abcess. It turned out that he DID have a blood infection, but not MRSA, the scary one, and it responded well to antibiotics.

The final issues were insurance-related, and we had to literally drive the discharge process and all that red tape in order to leave the hospital in a timely manner.

They’ve just called for our flight; back to sunny SoCal, back to the beach, back to retail therapy. Holla!

It was a hellish ten days, but I really feel like I’ve given birth all over again…to a healthy thirty-three year old baby boy! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

surf-WEB

 

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26 thoughts on “Full Circle From Hell to Happiness

  1. Happy, happy Mother’s Day to you. Bless your heart and his too. One really does need an advocate for someone in the hospital, – even in the best. Even if the nurses or caregivers get impatient or testy, when it is isn’t frivolous, things need to be noted, noticed, and acted upon and if there is someone there to do this, so much the better. Because of your proactive care, an infection was discovered at ground zero and acted upon, before it became worse. I know this was hard for and on you, but praise be, the worst is behind you. Now DIL can fatten your boy up and you can give moral support from a distance. Knowing what is going on because you.were.there. means even more. I am so glad this turned out well for all of you. Blessings.

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  2. A great epilogue to the story!

    Having a healthy advocate is ridiculously important. My mother would have been in much worse shape in her last hospital stay if we hadn’t been there everyday, following up with her doctors and nurses, getting information, pointing things out about her condition.
    Good on you for being there fighting for him!

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  3. Happy Mother’s Day of the BEST kind!! Get that boy back in shape! They never truly stop being “boys” in our minds, do they? And nothing beats mama’s love and care, and strict orders, during recovery. Cheers to you all!

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