Friday, January 23, 2009

"Shine a light, shine a light, shine a light..."

Oh, happy day!

Finally, finally, after months of waiting, months of sulking, months of dreaming about what color we would paint our walls, salvation came in the form of an electrician! We can finally turn the lights on in our living room, and now that the repair is done, can paint the walls! I am so, so happy to be blogging by the light of the ceiling fan! Yay!

The repair delight came as the capper to what has been an exceedingly long week! It was a week of late nights with my gals and alot of drama with my family, so even though having the electricity fixed is a little thing, it's shining right into my heart right now!! It takes so little!

So....sigh. Here's the 411 on Mom-Mom. On Monday, she was having some mild chest pains, so she went to her family doctor, who promptly told her to go to the ER. Off she went, and several tests later, it was determined that she had a small blockage in her heart, and that a cardiac catheterization would remove the blockage.

Catheterizations are performed under conscious sedation,meaning that the patient is partially awake. It's not a fun procedure- according to Marla, who had had several, it "hurts like a bitch". A small tube is placed into an artery in the leg and run through to the heart. Unfortunately, when they tried to enter through Mom-Mom's arteries, they were found to be almost completely occluded (clogged up). When the tried to enter through an artery in her neck, she became completely combative and agitated and started to fight them- so much so that she had to be restrained. Mom-Mom also suffers from Alzheimer's, so it's likely that a combination of the pain,drugs, and her illness frightened her.

She had a rough time of things that evening as she came down off of the drugs, and by that time,the prognosis was pretty clear. Her arteries are in terrible shape, and at 87, she is not a candidate for surgery. She had a quadruple bypass 20 years ago, but even then she was already in her 60's! She would never survive surgery now. Another catheterization is a possibility to remove the blockage in her heart, but she's refusing. The more pressing issue is the blockage in her legs- called peripheral vascular disease, it can severely restrict blood circulation. And of course, if blood flow is restricted to a vital organ...well, it's not good. And with no other option but to treat her PVD with medication, it is very likely that this disease could take her from us.


You have to understand something about my Mom-Mom- she is one tough cookie! She worked almost all of her life and was an integral member of the Retail Workers Union in Philadelphia. She didn't even retire until she was 82! She is a cancer survivor, but had buried her husband, son, and best friend in her lifetime. She's teeny-tiny, but until Alzheimer's robbed her of some of her fire, she always had big hair, pink lips, and her nails done with her name stenciled on her index fingers. Nestled in that giant hairdo was always, always a bow the same color as her outfit. She always says to moisturize every night and save part of your paycheck every week.

She may be 87, but I am nowhere near ready to contemplate her mortality. She's lived a long life, but I selfishly want her to be there for all of my life, too. We just said goodbye to Greg; I am so not ready for this. Which is why it took me a few days just to be ready to see it all in black and white in front of me on my own blog.

UGH. Okay. That was rough. Thanks for listening. Your reward is this shot of Anna, demonstrating that the bite of salad she took was THIIIIS BIG!


Goodnight!

4 comments:

Shelly said...

i want to be like mom-mom when i grow up--seriously--she sounds like my kind of lady! praying for her and you all!

Ree said...

I am praying for your Mom-Mom!! That's what my kids and nieces & nephews called my mom.

I do what I want! said...

Your mom-mom sounds amazing! I love the descriptive details of her and I know that is something you will always remember about her. I'm praying for her and your family.

AnnMar said...

I'm always here if you need me! Love you!