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Soooooo Grandma got out of the hospital Friday morning.  I went to bed about 23:00 Friday night and woke up again a little after midnight because Grandma was in the living room (I’ve been sleeping on an air mattress in the living room) having trouble breathing again.  I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty not-with-it or I might have more strongly urged her to go the emergency room.

As it was, she started feeling a little better about 0830, so I took an hour nap and got up to face the day.  Grandma continued to get sicker as she trended towards an adrenal crisis again.  I managed to get her to take her meds for that so we sort of headed it off, but was still pretty stressed and through it all, her breathing was just really difficult.

So, about 21:30 Saturday she decided that maybe she should go to the emergency room after all.  No squad ride this time; Grandpa, Uncle Todd & I took her in the van.  The admitted her to the hospital and got her into a room…  about 0300 Sunday morning.  I don’t think there are words to describe how exhausted I was.

About five hours of sleep, then back to the hospital Saturday  morning.  To sum up, Grandma’s heart isn’t working as strongly as it was before her heart attack, so that is causing things to back up a bit and fluid is building up in her lungs, which is why she’s having trouble breathing. There are ways to deal with this problem, but it’s all made very complicated by her Addison’s + one of the doctors thinks there’s a good chance that Grandma is allergic to wheat, whatever that disease is called.  (If so, that means that she has to be on a no-sugar diet for her diabetes, no-salt diet for her heart and a no-wheat diet as well, which pretty much means she can eat water.)

Dad & Mom came down on Sunday; they left home about 0300 so they were in Hickory around 11.  Long story short, Mom decided to stay in North Carolina and >>>I<<< ::drumroll:: am finally home!  Ohio never looked so good.  I love my apartment, I love my partying neighbors, I love the churchbells, I love my car, I love Erin’s TV that blacks out when we’re watching movies, I love the farm…  I am so so so so so happy to be home.

Although, ironically, I think I’m a little homesick for North Carolina?  In a way, I felt like I didn’t finish my job–Grandma is STILL there.  And I’m used to being the one in charge there, so I’m a little jealous maybe of getting all the updates secondhand now.  Plus, I miss my waiting room family.

Grandma might get out of the hospital tomorrow or Friday, depending on a bazillion variables.  We’ll see what happens from there.

In the meantime, thanks for traveling with me. 

Happy trails…

I feel as though I’ve been away from home forever, and it hasn’t even been two weeks.  Good thing I didn’t try to go away to college.

Grandma was looking SO good yesterday that I really thought that we were going to head north today or tomorrow, but when we got there this morning she was down again.  The pneumonia flared back up and she just needs to get home.

So today has been Work on Sarah’s Bad Attitude Day because I can tell you all that I have ::not:: been a cheerful giver in all this.  I am here kicking and screaming and basically got backed into coming at all because no one else could do it.  Don’t get me wrong, I really want to help my grandparents and I love them and I’m glad…ish…  to be of service to them but overall the last week and some has merely served to remind me how incredibly selfish I am.

In other news, I needed to mail a letter but it was in a weird-shaped envelope that said it needed extra postage.  So I asked at the information desk where the post office was and she gave me what sounded like good directions and they were except they didn’t end up at the post office.  So I had the pleasure of asking random strangers where the post office is and I don’t if people just don’t go to the post office any more or if people are really startled to have a girl bounce up to them on foot and ask for directions, because everyone I asked acted like I was crazy.

But I got there. 

Grandma has been sleeping most of the afternoon, so I’ve been sneaking in and out.  I only have one and a half books left to read before I run out of reading material, which is quite scary.  Since I currently have a ‘lost’ book at my home library, the one here in Hickory probably isn’t going to loan me anything.

(As an aside on that ‘lost’ book thing, I find it highly suspicious that I’ve ::never:: lost a book in all these years but as soon as the library had the huge budget cut because of losing state funding, suddenly I have “lost” TWO books in a month, books that I remember returning…  so mysterious…)

So that’s the update.  The doctor said he “hoped” Grandma could get out in “the next day or two” so we’ll see if I ever get home.  In the meantime——  ewwwww gum under the desk!!!!!!!!!

whatever.  As Strongbad would say, now my focus is all… crocus.

Talk to you kids later.  Stay in touch.  Until next time…

I’m afraid that I may have lost both of my faithful readers during this long delay between posts, but internet access is somewhat limited these days.  But, since Grandma kindly decided to come  back to the hospital, I’m once again within walking distances of the library. 

But to recap, as most of you probably didn’t know that Grandma was ::out:: of the hospital to begin with…

On Friday, after posting here, my day went downhill.  I was feeling SO lonely and homesick and frustrated because I never seemed to see a doctor and no one knew what was going on with Grandma and I was tired and had been living off of vending machine food and balogna and I miss my van and my dog died and I was just feeling very sorry for myself.  Plus, Mom had told me on Thursday that she and Dad were coming down on Friday, then she called Friday morning to say they weren’t coming until Saturday.

Then she called Friday afternoon to say they weren’t coming at all, and, well, I had a breakdown.  I just sat in the hallway at the hospital and cried and was generally ungrateful and whiney, but it worked, and Dad and Mom were there at lunchtime on Saturday.  That totally gave me a new perspective on life.  So happy!

Plus, Grandma got switched late Friday to a regular room where I could camp out and wait for a doctor and MAKE him tell me something useful.

So on Saturday Mom stayed with Grandma and Dad and I just wandered around, poking into antique shops and getting into trouble and it was SO nice to not have to be responsible for a few hours.

They left first thing Sunday morning, leaving me with renewed purpose although still pretty homesick.

Grandma was released from the hospital Sunday evening, which all of us thought was a pretty bad idea as she still didn’t look good.  Grandma has lots of complicated health problems, including a semi-rare disease, Addison’s.  Basically, in simplified terms, Addison’s eats your adrenal glands making it literally physically impossible for you to deal with stress.  Not to be too technical here, but your adrenal glands naturally produce steriods which are the hormones that give your body the ability to fight disease and other stress.  So, Grandma has no natural immune system, and something like a sudden shock, which would cause our bodies to give us an extral jolt of adrenalin to deal, can actually make her sick almost immediately.

Sooooo all this to say that when you have a massive heart attack and are stuck in a hospital over 400 miles from home it’s kinda stressful but no one around here thought to increase her steriods SO we took her  back to Aunt Darby’s and were there all day Monday but she was getting sicker and sicker and was too sick to keep down her meds, including the extra steriods we were belatedly giving her.

Long story short, I got to ride in an ambulance yesterday.

We brought her back to Hickory and this time got someone to listen to the fact that Addison’s is actually a very serious medical condition, got her a good shot of intense steriods, and she’s looking WAY better.  She ate more for supper last night than she’s eaten the whole last week combined, I think.

Still looking better this morning and hopefully we’ll get this squared away and still be home by the weekend.

In the meantime, I’m still working on the same ridiculous lessons about patience and having a good attitude.  Apparently, God thought I needed some dramatic intervention in those areas.

Sadly, I really need to dash, but hopefully all is well in Ohio and beyond.  If I stay here much longer, I’ll end up turning into a giant balogna, so I’m really hoping to make it back soon.

Until  next time…


Sarah E. McCafferty

September 2009

it’s in the past