My mother had to go into the hospital unexpected this past week. She is 87 and most days gets around better than I do. She and my sister
had just come back from a quick trip to Carlsbad, NM. She must have hurt for a while because when they pulled into the driveway she told my sister that she needed an ambulance. What they found was a twisted small intestine and a hernia. She spent the night in the ER doing tests and waiting and tests and waiting and being miserable. The next morning they intended to do laparoscopic surgery to fix the bowel and put a mesh patch on the hernia to repair that.
Morning became around noon when she finally went into surgery. When they got started they discovered some things were ‘stuck’ and had to forego the easy surgery for a 6-7 inch incision to open her up. They found her small intestine had attached itself to her stomach wall and they had to separate that before proceeding. Then they discovered small tears and holes in the intestine that needed a few small sutures to repair. And then they discovered they couldn’t use the mesh patch to repair the hernia. It seems that as we age, our skin gets thin, and the skin of her intestines was too thin to be able to use the mesh. But the surgery was still less than and hour and a half and she was in recovery.
It took her a couple of extra hours in recovery which scared us and we didn’t know until the next day what had happened. You can envision nurses and doctors circling the table working on the patient doing who knows what at a frantic pace. Imagination can sometimes be worse than reality. What I found out later was they were having a hard time waking her up from the anesthesia. My mind picture flipped to the frantic scene again and a conversation snippet saying, “You were just supposed to put her asleep, not euthanize her!” I’m glad I didn’t know about this until the next day. I realize every person reacts to anesthesia differently, but it was still a little scary to contemplate.
Yesterday was two days later. She still has her nasal drain tube which is always comfortable as well as a catheter, which tells me she hasn’t gotten out of bed yet. She has a push-button for pain medication and is still a little ‘out-of-it” from the drugs and the pain. Her legs are bandaged and she goes back and forth from hot to cold and can’t get comfortable enough to sleep much. There is nothing like your own bed at home. It’s a bit hard to be on the watching side of it all. You feel helpless and concerned but have nothing to offer in the form of relief.
Today she should get rid of the nasal tube and she will feel 100% better! Then, I am praying she heals quickly and easily and can start getting up and walking a bit. She had a stroke a few years back and had to transition to a nursing home for rehabilitation. If you have ever experienced that, you know you never want to have to go there ever again! They are notoriously less staffed than hospitals and the care is much less. I didn’t like her stay there at all! I wouldn’t want her to have to visit there again for rehab. Here’s hoping and praying that today is another improvement in recovery and strength for her on the way to a speedy recovery.