Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can't keep MG from Blogging

Hi again, J here. My mom may be laid up in a hospital bed with no access to a computer, and she may be on pain meds, but she still thinks of her blog, and of the blog fodder to get out of this experience. ;) So, she hand-wrote this post, and I'm in the 'family area' of the hospital where I can use Richard's computer without fear of interfering with heart monitoring equipment, and I'll transcribe her story thus far.
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On Thursday, I was in a great deal of pain in my left arm, which has been happening a lot lately. But, as I'll explain as I go, as per usual I was mostly ignoring it. That's partly because I'm a colonial descendant and so my ethnic programming is to keep a stiff upper lip and not complain, and partly because I can be damned stupid at times.

My landlady was over, not fixing the sink (fixing things that should have worked but didn't), and could tell that I was really hurting. But I took a Percoset and 3 Ibuprofin and by bed time it was better. I was trying to figure out what could be causing soft muscle pain and decided to chart the various factors I knew, so I could find out. Barometric pressure - it had been up and down for the last three days, pretty much with my pain level. Whether I was using my heating pad. A number of other things, but these two seemed to trade(? mom's handwriting...). "Perhaps," I decided, "I had managed to keep a minor injury inflamed with too much heat.

Friday, I got up and the apartment was cold. It turned out that someone had turned the fuel off at the tank. I called my landlady and told her how cold I was, and that the pain was worse than the day before. She called at about 4:30 to tell me that she had discovered the problem and would be over (she lives two doors away) to turn on the pilot light by 5:30. She wasn't there, nor was she answering her phone, and I was in agony. I called Richard to come, but he was at work and couldn't get away, so he sent Kathy.

The pilot light wouldn't light and the pain got worse and I didn't dare use the heating pad for fear things would get even worse. When my landlady finally came over at 7:30, Kathy was still struggling to get the pilot lit, and I was in truly horrible pain. No explanation from the landlady. They never did get the downstairs pilot lit, but the landlady managed to get the upstairs one working, and off they went.

At 9pm, the pilot was still lit, but no heat. I called the landlady and asked if she could bring me the space heater she used when she was heating the pipes to keep them from freezing. She sent her son-in-law, who checked the heater and TURNED IT ON, and by 9:30 the upstairs was getting warm and my pain was dropping. But he still couldn't light the downstairs pilot light, so I stayed upstairs in the heat, even though all I'd had to eat that day was half of a peanut butter sandwich. So, Saturday I published my pre-written blog post, got dressed and fed the cats, and headed out to meet the Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. Though I felt nauseous, I figured the reason was hunger. When my friend Christine came to pick me up, the first thing she said was, "Shall I take you to Bartlett (the local hospital) or to breakfast?"

Which is how I arrived at the Sandpiper Cafe, and having forgotten to put in my partial plate (you know, the teeth at the top left of my face), and with a grocery list that said only, "cat food, garbage bags, sandwich bags". (J's note...mom does her shopping on Sat, and never without a full list, so this is unusual. She also doesn't usually leave the house without her teeth. ;) )

Christine and Harold tended me while I drank ginger tea and ate four spoons of oatmeal, and apparently while I was in the bathroom, decided that although Harold had to go home to care for his dad, Christine was not leaving me alone at the A&P. Somewhere between the table and Christine's car, I regained whatever semblance of sanity I had, and asked if I could go to Bartlett now. And that's how I ended up in Bartlett at 9:30a.m. with consumptive heart failure and being medivacted with Richard by my side to Anchorage. Turns out that pain in my left arm? Angina.

I'm not sure how long it's been going on, but it turns out that when you can't breathe well, you don't think well. I've been getting worse and worse and scolding myself for being lazy for quite awhile now.

Julie flew up immediately, so poor Richard didn't have to do this alone. We won't know what treatment I'm going to need until Wednesday, because I have to be able to lay flat on my back for over an hour for the test, and there is still liquid in my lungs preventing that. So, Richard and Julie are in Anchorage taking care of me, and Kathy is in Juneau, caring for the Hooligans and helping me out in many other ways.

By the way, I still don't have my front teeth in.

21 comments:

gawilli said...

Hang in there! Glad you got some help.

kelliamanda said...

Goodness! You remind me of my grandmother, you know, what with the stiff upper lip and all that. Glad you gave in and went to the hospital!!! Hugs to you.

Betty said...

OK, I'm going to quit whining about my case of the flu, now. Hope you're better soon. And, hope somebody brings you your teeth.

ML said...

You're in my thoughts, Maya's Granny. Keeping my fingers crossed that you get better quickly!

Always Question said...

Still keeping good thoughts for you, MG; and looking forward to your return in good health.

Deja Pseu said...

Please give your mom my love (again) and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Dea said...

Hope you're feeling better soon, Joycelyn! And thank you both for keeping us posted on your progress...what a relief to be able to hear how you're doing.

xo
Dea

Linda Atkins said...

Oh, dear! Thank you, Julie, for getting this online so we'd all know what was going on. Joycelyn, Dea put a link to this post on LOO, so we all know or will know what's going on and send our love and best wishes. I hope for the very best.

Autumn's Mom said...

Joycelyn,

I'm thinking of you! You truly amaze me writing this post. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Give my friend J a smooch for me. I miss her.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, Maya's Granny!!! I'm glad to hear you're in good hands in Anchorage and I know you will soon be back up and around and feeling like your old self again.

Just know that I'm rooting for your very quick recovery!

Judy (from the LOOs!)

Gina said...

We're thinking of you, MG, and wishing you the best!

m said...

Julie tell your mom its mary in scotland from the oo list.

I'm so sorry to hear that she's unwell and hope that they can fix the problem quickly and get her out of pain.

Lots and lots of healing vibes from Edinburgh

marianne said...

You tenacious, stubborn thang! I love you! You listen up and get better soon. I'm praying for you.xoxoxo Marianne

Rain said...

wow, that's scary and evidence that a person can be too tough for their own good. Thank goodness, you finally were able to think straight enough to get yourself in for help. Hope they find the right solutions and you are back home soon feeling better

Sue said...

I am sending you positive thoughts and good wishes for your speedy return home. I enjoy your writing so much.

lbeaver said...

Thank you Richard for accompanying your mom to Anchorage, and thank you Julie for arriving there so soon. Joycelyn, know I am with you in spirit, and am keeping you in my prayers. Wish I was at your side too! Know I love you, and know my son Dale will visit you for me and himself. He had just said last month when he visited here, and saw your photo on my stairway wall, that he would like to see you and visit with you, so he gets his wish, and I am sorry it is under the cloud of your ill health. All my love your big sister in Kotzebue

Ginnie said...

I'll bet you hate being a patient. I'm glad you finally got there, even though you put up a good fight against it. I guess there are times that we just have to give in and let the pros take over. I pray that things will go well and that you'll be home soon.

KathyMo said...

Joycelyn - get well soon! Kathy from yahoo OO

Kay Dennison said...

We do the damnedest things, don't we?

I am keeping good thoughts and prayers for you. Hope you're back with us soon.

And thanks Julie, for keeping us posted!

Chancy said...

I am so sorry I have not dropped in here since all this happened to you MG. I hope you get better soon.

Bob Brady said...

From a fellow stiff-upper-lipper, you're the best; better is already in the cards. Look forward to having you back here soon.