Thursday, February 27, 2014

Its Been a Roller Coaster

Hello!!!  Are you cold?  I am today.  A wind chill warning was issued for my area today and boy do you feel it when you step out.   And a freak snow squall which was literally a wall of snow as I was driving into town to drop Dalwhinnie off at the groomer made driving interesting this morning.  

I just wanted  to catch everybody up on what has been going on in my life.  Why I have been not posting as regularly as I have hoped to.     And I will try to be brief as possible.  It has been a long year and a bit.  

 It has been a whirlwind few months for me capping off a crazy year and a half.  As many of you know my mom has been very ill the last 1 1/2 yrs.  She had surgery to remove a cancerous growth on her bowel Sept 2012 and things did not go well, she ended up in emergency surgery a week later and another emergency surgery the following week again.   In and out of ICU, and then in hospital until early Nov. 2013.  She ended up with an ileostomy, a drainage tube wound that will not heal and a permanent PICC line in her arm She was put in supportive housing, her own apartment but with Support Workers coming in a few times a day to help with meal prep, personal care etc. and nurses visiting  1-2 times a day to help her maintain her PICC line for hydration therapy, her kidneys are not functioning properly, and wound care for the drainage tube wound.  

 Since her initial discharge from hospital in early November 2013 until today she has been in her unit a total of 8 weeks.   She was re-admitted the morning of December 26 and had surgery January 2 in a major teaching hospital in London, Ontario for bypass on her legs for peripheral vascular disease that was diagnosed earlier in the fall.  The pain was not being controlled with pain killers and her feet were discoloring and developing ulcers.   Because of her current health condition they were unable to use her own veins for the bypass, they ended up using plastic veins.  After a lengthy hospital stay and rehab she was discharged January 31, to end up in hospital again on Feb. 20.   Shortly after discharge the visiting nurses noticed that her right leg wasn't looking right, turns out the surgery didn't work in the right leg.  We had an urgent visit with the surgeon, who confirmed that her veins were blocked again, the surgery didn't work.  There were  two options.  The first was to leave it alone, the nerves and flesh would die off, the pain that was already unbearable would continue and ulcers would develop. Or the other option would be amputation below the knee of the right leg.     After another emergency ward visit a couple of days later, we decided to go ahead with amputation to help with her quality of life.   Last week was a whirlwind of activity and emotions on top of all the  activity and emotions that I was dealing with the last year and a half.  We got the call there was a bed for her and on Thursday, Feb. 20 she was admitted with hopes to do the surgery the next day.  But surgery was postponed because she was too dehydrated, again her kidneys not working properly.  So they ended up doing the surgery very late Saturday night.  We were able to visit her the next day, my oldest daughter Laura goes to university in London and we had to bring her back at the end of her reading week.  My mom was in good spirits and it helped that one of her room mates had the same surgery as well.  

She was transferred back to the hospital in the town where she lives.  Where she is awaiting a bed in rehab where they will work with her to get as well as possible.  And we will be working with the local Community Care Access Centre of where is the best place for her to live.   Still a long road ahead, but we are learning to take things as they come.   

Through it all I have learned a lot about what I am capable of. And learned to navigate the realm of senior care here in Ontario.  While it is not perfect, I am grateful for our health system here in Ontario.   We have paid hardly anything out of pocket for her care, the support workers and visiting nurses are all covered by our provincial health plan.  While a lot of nursing homes won't take my mom because of the PICC line and that is a whole other story and I did say its not perfect, she is on the list for an excellent nursing home in her town, and if urgent there are other facilities in southern Ontario that we could have her admitted to until a bed becomes available in the home of her first choice. And we have OHIP subsidies to help cover the cost of her care while in a nursing home.   But for now she is still in hospital which at this time is the best place for her to be.

In the midst of this roller coaster ride I have made time for creativity.   And with Sale-A-Bration on I had to play with some more of my FREE products.   This card I copied directly from the Sale-A-Bration catalogue. I am loving the FREE product this year.  

Thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogging world.  Take care.

1 comment:

Jayne said...

Here's to a quieter, less eventful kinda year! Cute card btw.