Some days, you wake up thinking everything is the same and POW, something hits you. I went to the hospital yesterday thinking it would be more of the same: visit a while, go to work a while, come back and visit a while, go home and be Mom to MY kids. Wrong...
When I got to the hospital at 8 am, Dr. C (my favorite surgeon) wanted to take a look inside Mom's stomach to see what exactly was going on. She was stable enough for an EGD by then. Amazingly enough, they were actually doing scope by 9! (Here's what I love about small towns: the anesthesiologist's daughter was on the quiz bowl team with my eldest, one of the nurses' daughter graduated with the eldest, another nurse is a friend of mine from church, and have I mentioned that Dr. C's son was in L's class this past school year.)
In 10 minutes, Dr. C was out telling me the bad news. Most of Mom's stomach was necrotic (dead) tissue. They needed to remove the dead tissue, and fast. I wondered if she were strong enough for surgery and he said there was no choice. She was much more stable by then than she was when we first brought her in, but this was life-saving surgery and without it, there was no chance. He drew me some pictures and was on his way. Then he turned around and said, "While you're praying for your mother, pray for her doctor, too." You got it, dude!
The surgery seemed to last forever, well from about 10 until about 3. The doc came out and told me just how much of her stomach they removed and what they had to repair in the process. She'll be eating just a few bites at a time for the rest of her life. I got to go see her at 5. She had to big oxygen mask on (surgery patients tend to breathe through their mouths so the nasal O2 just doesn't get it done) and her hands were restrained. Because they had to remove so much of her stomach there wasn't much wiggle room for the tube that was aspirating through her nose. NO ONE was allowed to touch it and they were afraid she'd do some real damage to their work. She kept saying, "I need to get up!" How do you convince your mom that even if she weren't attached to the bed, she couldn't move much under her own power?
When I went back at 8, they had taken the big mask off and she was back on the nasal O2. I must say that for as much surgery as she had just undergone, she was more aware of her surroundings than she has been for the past week. I just hope that all her tissues are able to hold the stitches and staples until they heal. The steroids that Lupus patients have to take tend to break down the tissues: thin skin on the outside and just as thin for muscles and organs inside. I am encouraged by my visit last night. I'm hoping to have a good talk this morning.