Colorado Journal 3/7-3/9

Saturday March 7
4:19 pm

I’m at O’Brian’s Pub at PITT, having bummed a ride from my cousins (whom I appreciate immensely!) My bags were checked at curbside and, per norm out here, I sailed through security.

The pub is my tradition. I enjoy the food and wait staff and I always manage to find myself tucked in the corner at my “regular” table. Today was a busy day for them but my waiter was prompt and took care of every need.

I feel apprehension, although none of it has to do with the flight. I’m worried about Monday and Tuesday, my mother’s health being the unknown factor. My muscles are tense and I’m nauseated (and have been so for several days.) I pent up lactic acid will eventually release, a giant purging on my system’s part, and I’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Sunday March 8
My plane arrived on time yesterday. It was very small; not only did we have to fight over an armrest, but we fought over oxygen molecules as well.

I slept fine and woke up to one of Dad’s good breakfasts: eggs, bacon and toast (half the portions, thank you.) We ran to the Commissary to pick up food for the week.

Peterson AFB reorganized itself into a confusing Mecca. NORAD is now spread between Cheyenne Mountain and a large facility building that is clearly visible from the Space Village Road (a public road just shy of the base which, God forbid, would play perfect host for a well-aimed rocket attack. Foolish on their part but money in the contractors’ pockets.) I did not have an opportunity to visit the flight line; Better Half will need to wait for his airplane pictures.

We had a lovely dinner. Dad and I prepared everything while Mum napped. We whipped up t-bone steaks, sweet potatoes and a salad. I watched “The Ant Bully” on the DVD/monitor in the office. My father has a grouping a toys, old and new, replete with a Betamax. I hope my pictures upload from his computer.

Monday March 9
St. Francis Hospital
I should leave this entry with only that: St. Francis Hospital. The beautiful new exterior and polished new interiors belie the chaotic hell that awaits the patient. The elevator opened its maul and digested us. We emerged into the belly of the beast and were led to room 920 like lambs awaiting the slaughter.

Come on, Autrice. It can’t be that bad.

Oh it is.

We (Mum, her friend and I) arrived and they promptly told us that Mum wasn’t on their schedule. They told us that Dr. Fischer would need to fax the work order (and that his office wasn’t open until 9 AM, which is incorrect.) Mum called Dr. Fischer’s office (at the wee hours of 8 AM) and they faxed the order, the hospital located a bed (not a private room, and the roommate has infected wounds and a nasty cough, as well as ten family members who all were speaking Spanish at the top of their lungs.)

We did a rosary. It was all that I could think of doing. I thought perhaps the family, being Hispanic, would respect the melodious timbre of a lithely recited Hail Mary. I opted to recite it stridently; years of theatrical training have taught me the meaning of “project”. Much to my pleasure, the roommate’s visitors slowly trickled out, leaving us in relative peace.

Mum’s nurses, Sue and Michelle, are wonderful and intelligent. Her CNA, Sarah, is also a peach. They settled her in, had an IV started, brought her laxative on board, and sent plenty of clear liquids to her.

I’m still a bit peeved at the head nurse on this floor. I have explained several times (and Mum’s doctor originally requested) that Mum should have either a private room or a room with a roommate that does not have an infection. I am absolutely worried that any post operative palliative treatments might not be as effective due to possible contamination from her roommate’s wounds.

The wound care (and colostomy) nurse came in and in record time Mum was in a panic. “Colostomy? Me? I can’t do this!” She did not realize what this procedure would entail. She thought that it would be simple. I am bitter because I was not here to question her surgeon and I had presumed that he explained everything fully. This is no slight on him. Mum and her friend did not know the correct questions to ask.

I can’t seem to get her to grasp the necessity of this surgery. Her doctor indicated that she has a small fistula in the vaginal wall which permits fecal matter to cross over. This would indicate that she also has a small fistula in the colon or intestine (which surely must have been leaking into the body cavity? No indication of peritonitis.)

It frustrates me. I have been at this hospital since the early morning and we still do not have any indication that the initial diagnosis is confirmed. That is to say that, sans a colonoscopy, we do not any certainty that there is a fistula in the colon or bowels.

Mum poked her nose in my direction and said, “What are you doing?”


“Not about me.”


“No, I don’t want evil eye.”

“Who reads my blog that would give you evil eye?”

Seriously, who would give her the evil eye? Not Roadchick, Annie or Ox.

Speaking of Ox – where in the hell is he? I have a suspicion that his cryptic “I’m getting things around here fixed” really translates into “I’m having surgery to fix something.” The asshole could have at least told me. I might call his wife to see if things are alright. I have tried to call Michael but my cell phone is giving me an “error message -5” for Canada. I had the same message for Colorado Springs (which is somewhere in Canada according to my cell provider.)

Dad’s on his way and I begged him to bring me food. Food is good. Food keeps Autrice functioning. I did have fish things (breaded, rather good, with horseradish) for lunch. I was impressed. The $9.00 price tag was steep (they piled on onion rings) and all the breading will probably keep my system flushed tonight.

Maybe Dad will bring tacos. I enjoy those.

Dr. Fischer arrived shortly after that last bit of food musing. He did explain that a colostomy bag would remain in place for a minimum of six weeks (with a maximum of four to six months.) Mum was beside herself. He said that there was a slight possibility that she would not need a colostomy. Her tissues would need to look healthy and the fistula would certainly need to be miniscule. We will wait and see. We will pray.

March 9

Dad brought subs. They were delicious. I had meant to type that earlier but I’m only now catching up with things. I’m wearing thin at the corners. It’s close to 11:30 here (making it 1:30 AM for my internal clock.) I can always tell when my mind is leaving the building – I will eventually break down into monosyllabic grunts.

Dad and I read today’s scripture study, Psalm 51. It’s part of his and Mum’s nightly routine. We also recited the Novena prayer to Our Lady of Good Remedy, per Mum’s request.

It’s bedtime for Autrice. I’m very worried about tomorrow (and ask that my Readers offer up a few positive prayers) and I miss my Better Half.
Awwww It's Better Half and Truffle.
Him loves his Pomeranian.

2 responded with...:

Roadchick said...

I'm not much on giving the evil eye to mamas who are in the hospital. However, if necessary, I can give the evil eye to anyone who needs it because they're not taking good care of your mama while she is in the hospital. Just tell her to let me know. I've got her back.

which surely must have been leaking into the body cavity? No indication of peritonitis No, not necessarily. Hopefully it starts vaginally, ends intestinally, and does not drain elsewhere. (She would've known by now. Trust me.)

Keep us updated - you & your family are in my prayers.

Annie Jeffries said...

Still reading, love, and prayers are in the wind. Every thought is a prayer. I'm offering today's Mass for your mom's intention.