Posted something at FFT...hesitated to do it there...hesitated more to post here. But it is therapeutic.
Just a kick in the nuts over the last few weeks. Not sure I was going to post this...but as good of a place as any to vent some of what is going on in my head after losing my mother yesterday.
Super Bowl Sunday...I came home from a little football and poker and damn good ribs...talked to my mother to find out that she had a liver condition that had her liver at about half size and she needed a transplant. She was given 3 months if nothing changed.
Backstory even needed here. Last year she had some health issues in the summer, but nothing seemed serious. In October...she was sitting with one of those heated throw blankets on and left it on for almost 3 hours as she fell asleep a bit. Ended up with 2nd degree burns on her legs. Through all that...she started retaining fluid and the burns were pretty bad on her legs bringing her a lot of pain. Had physical therapy and everything as it took a lot of her strength. Right before Christmas...she had a bone marrow biopsy as the doctors were not happy with her blood work. My mom is pretty stubborn and always trying to protect her children from having the worst thoughts and would not really tell us what they were looking for. She also was not the type to have a smart phone or spend much time on the computer after she had retired...so I guess us googling things was not really on her mind. Basically...they were looking for Leukemia. I was there for the holidays and went to her appointment with her. We found out the good news that day that there were no signs of Leukemia...maybe the blood issues were due to her still fighting the infections that happened from her legs and the strength she was trying to gain back.
Back to the last 2 and a half weeks. So...3 days after learning about the liver...I have my sinus surgery that Wednesday. Later in that week I find out they are taking her to the hospital in that small town in Wisconsin. Her kidneys were having issues and she was a bit jaundiced too. There was confusion whether she was going to head to Madison to where the liver team was or what. Finally they came around saying that they would not take her in Madison until they had her on the transplant list for sure and had something ready. So off they went in pretty bad shape to Milwaukee. She was in ICU by Saturday or Sunday the week after the Super Bowl as he kidneys were in rough shape and she was retaining even more fluid. I started planning on when to come up to visit immediately...but still felt ok with where she was in Milwaukee. Lots of ups and downs that week...ventilaters as her oxygen levels started dropping...dialysis...you name it. I planned on driving up on a Friday...staying the weekend and back home on Presidents Day. To get to see her then and then plan later trips to stay longer once she had surgery.
Well...after my surgery...I was still having a bit of swelling in the sinuses deeper in my head. It was giving me a bit of vertigo and motion sickness and by Wednesday/Thursday I knew I could not make that trip yet. So I had planned on going up this week (Today actually). We found out at some point over the weekend good news that she was officially on the transplant list. This was a very good thing...had to clear up infections she was having...and she fought off the start of pnemonia pretty well. Came off the ventilator some and had a few good days there. This Monday we hear there is a donor match...once they can confirm everything...we thought even with the infections they said they wanted to go ahead and do the surgery as a working liver would help with other issues and so on. I waited overnight and into Tuesday to hear that they were prepping her for surgery. Figuring Id be there Friday then once she is a bit past the surgery and could see her. Late Tuesday they were worried about some of the brain activity and blood pressure and decided to pass on the donor.
Wednesday about 10am...while I was trying to get things together here to make it easier on my wife and kids while Im gone...my sister called very upset. Doctors were unsure she would make it thru the day. I packed quickly after talking with my wife and got in the care to get to Milwaukee in hopes to see her (had checked flights but could not get up there til 8:30 even with a flight...driving had me possibly there a little before that). Before I even got to Indianapolis...I learned she was gone. I pulled off an exit to gather myself and talk to my sister...then my wife. Then struggle with what to do. Do I keep driving north. Be there for my dad (step dad...but have called him dad since I was very young as I lived with he and my mother and he was big in raising me). If I do that...(and we talked about this before I left some...but didn't know what Id do until I really had to decide) my wife would have to drive or fly with 2 kids to Wisconsin...may have 2 cars there. Oh, and she has narcolepsy. Didn't know when any services would be. Went back and forth for a while...before making the decision. The voice in my head of my mother telling me what the hell was I doing...get back home to Tennessee...take care of my family here and prepare all of us to get to Wisconsin Friday/Saturday. I struggled with that for a while even while driving back south. Was I doing the right thing? I still am partially unsure. I waned to be there yesterday with my dad and sister to help make arrangements. But know they have it pretty well handled and I may just be in the way trying to make myself feel better. Services are early next week...
My mom was awesome. From a divorce having to raise 2 boys under 6 for a couple years on her own. To dealing with the move to TN that her company had for us. Then moving back after a few years with the same company to be there as her parent's health dwindled. She definitely lives a lot through me in how I do what I can to take care of my family. Her kids and then grandkids were always her focus in what she did. That and her love of the Packers. She was at 2 of the coldest games ever showing she was a strong woman...(the ice bowl with my grandfather...and then the NFC Title Game against NY...that Giants game was her last cold game...she said she wouldn't go to another if it was below 40). She loved the mountains of East Tennessee...or the quietness of her back deck either in Knoxville or Wisconsin. I will miss her dearly...
So pick up a phone and call your loved ones...give them hugs. Things can go downhill very fast on this earth. Took a break from here and elsewhere...taking a break from the political crap. None of it seems even interesting right now to post about. Ive read things here and there...but haven't been posting in there. Too much crap and just not enough to care about this week.