for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

She's back on the island

In a stunning event that's shocked even her most hard-core fans, Mom got a last-minute call-back from "Survivor - John Muir."

OK, it wasn't that funny, but I'm trying. Mom got readmitted to John Muir hospital late this afternoon for a stay of indeterminate length. She sometimes feels pretty good, but other times she's gassed out just walking from the bathroom back to her chair. The doctor's are hoping that the time in the hospital will allow them to get more tests done quickly and try to figure out what's going on. As the oncologist said today as he puzzled through Mom's medical charts, "I feel like I'm missing something."

Just a few hours after my last posting on Saturday night, Mom got up at 2 a.m. and talked like she was totally fine. She said she wanted a banana, so we walked into the kitchen. She picked up a paring knife and a wide butter knife, and tried to cut the butter knife in two with the paring knife! She thought it WAS a banana, and when I said, "Mom - look at what you're doing!" it didn't register at all. Basically she was out of her head, but speaking clearly and acting otherwise like she was fine. I used the technique that the ambulance drivers used before and asked what year it is. She looked like she thought that was a ridiculous question, and answered confidently, "1980." (Later she said "Four thousand something...") I was pretty freaked out, so I had the oncologist paged, and he suggested that the combination of exhaustion and the strong pain meds could bring that on. He suggested watching her for a couple of hours, and if she didn't get better, take her to the hospital. Well, she did get better, for which I am still grateful. She got really tired of me asking what year it is for the next few hours.

Sunday night was uneventful but exhausting, since she gets up once an hour. We're both the walking wounded. If I'm tired, I can't imagine how Mom must be doing.

So the puzzle continues. The doctor doesn't think the current situation is primarily driven by the cancer, since it showed such improvement in the last tests. He said there are many intersecting conditions that could account for it, but he doesn't know yet what it is. That's the purpose of this hospital stay. Congestive heart failure or a sudden reemergence of the cancer were both mentioned as possibilities.

As we checked in to her room tonight, we saw that a young tattoo-covered guy is in the room on one side, and his speech is so slurred that I can't imagine what his condition is. On the other side is an old guy who is totally out of his head, yelling for help when he doesn't appear to need it, but clearly in great emotional distress. Then I look at Mom, with a fatal cancer, but eating a good meal and enjoying herself as she watches "Dancing With the Stars." There are people here who might look at her relative health enviously. Wow. Enjoy what you've got (even when it's tempting to concentrate on what you don't have.)

Much love,


At April 14, 2008 9:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there, guys, and when you don't know what to do next, hang in there some more! Love Kim

At April 15, 2008 2:30 AM , Blogger Suzanne said...

Phew! Yay! Thank goodness things are a bit better. Patio's a survivor and so are you! Stay hopeful ... and rested!

At April 15, 2008 6:28 PM , Anonymous Brookie said...

I love you Grandma and I'm visiting soon whether you like it or not, we'll eat some more cake!


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