Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"I Don't Like It"

So, my mom has been in the hospital for a week.

She first went to the ER last Monday with extreme back pain, and they sent her home with vicodin and a muscle relaxant which helped not at all. Daddy took her back in to the ER (at the hospital where he is chaplain) last Wednesday morning. They ended up admitting her.

They first ran all the tests making sure it wasn't her heart (she has high BP and cholesterol and a family history of heart trouble) which were fine. Tests on her back -- XRays, MRIs -- also normal. Then her lips became swollen and numb, which she thought was due to the morphine, but this concerned the doctors so the ran tests for stroke and TIA...also fine. The numbness spread to her eyelids and eyebrows (I know, weird), while the back pain began to get better. But they moved her into the surgical heart ICU so they could constantly monitor her, being concerned that the numbness/swelling could travel down her throat and stop her breathing.

They ran more tests and could not find anything. I talked to Mom on Sunday and she said the doctors said they'd never seen anything like it. They were even checking things like West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease.

By Tuesday morning, she was doing a lot better. I talked to her and she was alert, perky, in very little pain, the swelling had gone done and her speech was normal. They were going to run one more CT, and if she continued to improve, they would send her home today.

And then, she started having muscular problems in one of her arms. Then this morning my youngest brother emailed (he's the contact point for all this, bless his heart) that mom was now having weakness in her legs...and it's not because she's been laid up in a hospital bed for a week. So they kept her for more tests.

This afternoon, another email from TBro, that they were taking mom for a spinal tap because they now are thinking she might have this, Guillain-Barré syndrome. Sounds scary and it is, but if that's what she has, I think they've caught it early or she doesn't have what's described as the most severe case. At any rate, if the spinal tap is positive, they can start treating her right away. I'm also encouraged that there seems to be complete recovery even in the most severe cases.

She's getting good care there, which I'm thankful for. Daddy is tired, of course.

The "I don't like it" quote in the title is what I said to my cielo after seeing the fact sheet on Guillain-Barré and burrowing into her shoulder. I don't like that mom might have this, I don't like that I'm far away, I don't like that she's mortal, after all. I don't like it.

If you're the praying type, please say a good word for my mom and dad.