Monday, March 13, 2006


Just got back from Brooklyn.
A five day visit turned into three weeks.

Here's what happened:

We went to the oncologist as scheduled and he had a "mixed bag" as a result of the scan. Lung lesions continue to reduce, but liver cells get worse. He wants to try yet another round of chemo, but before she can start mom needs an echocardiogram.

That was a Friday.

The next day, Mom was coughing and slept all day, so we thought it was just a virus.Sunday, she wakes up with 103 fever and my brother and I have to convince her she needs to go the ER. I was afraid she had pneumonia. So we go to Manhattan to the hospital where all of her doctors are.

After tests and x-rays, they said it wasn't pneumonia. They release her with a prescription for an antibiotic. By the time we get back to Brooklyn, Mom can barely walk from the car to her building. We figure she's just tired and weak and she just needs to rest. Mom goes to change and I hear a loud thud. She fell in the bathroom and fell in such a way, that she is trapped inside. She has no strength in her arms and legs, so she can't push herself away from the door. My brother comes up and he can't get the door open. Neither of us could. We called 911 and the paramedics got her out.

Rules dictate that can't take her back to Manhattan, so we have to go a Brooklyn ER. We end up at Coney Island Hospital, which has a pretty crappy reputation. Judging from what I saw there, I knew why. We then sign out AMA (against medical advice) and hire a private ambulance to go back to the first ER.

After a nightmarish 12 hours, Mom gets admitted with pneumonia as her diagnosis.

We visit Mom the next day and that evening I get the worst stomach flu of my life. I am alone in my mom's apartment with a raging fever, horrific stomach pains and everything else stomach flus dish out.

I can't get out of bed for days, so I can't visit mom in the hospital. They decide she needs rehab for a week or two, so I plan to stay until she's released.

Mom gets OT and PT to help her recover from the weakness that made her fall. I visit her for 7 hours a day and go with her to her sessions and am pleased to see her progress so well.

She was released and the rehab place arranged for a nurse, social worker and PT and OT at home for the next couple of months.

I felt very conflicted about coming home, but I missed my family terribly and had work to do here. I am glad that my brother is 10 minutes away and my mom also has good friends who will visit her at home.

The worst part of all of this, is that she's still got more chemo to take and I just hope she'll be able to tolerate it.

I'm exhausted, but I'll be back soon.

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