Sunday, April 19, 2009


1. Mom is positive for MRSA, but currently, she's only been colonized, not infected. She probably got the bacterium while in the ICU. We had to spend our day wearing disposable gowns and gloves. The ritual for putting these on and taking them off was rather annoying.

2. One of the docs told us a bit about Mom's tumor, the exact nature of which remains unknown. It was described as "aggressive," but one strange result of this is that the tumor's center is necrotic: the tumor's tissue has built up thickly and quickly enough to block blood flow to its interior. I asked whether there were any ramifications in terms of sepsis, and was told no: to the contrary, this means that the center of the tumor will be very easy to remove.

3. Despite the MRSA, which the docs don't see as a huge problem for the moment, Mom's surgery is still scheduled for Tuesday. I asked why Monday wouldn't do and was told that the neurosurgical team is all booked up Monday. Perhaps because Mom has been classified as not in need of intensive care, the doctors feel it is enough to use steroids to reduce the swelling of the edema to keep Mom stable.

4. Surgery to remove the tumor is being considered "the beginning" of Mom's treatment. Much depends on the nature of the tumor itself.

5. On Friday night, some genius almost double-dosed Mom on blood pressure meds. Luckily, my brother Sean was there to catch the second nurse to come in and try to feed Mom the same meds she'd received ten minutes earlier. I'm normally the type to salute health care professionals, but I have to admit I've seen incompetence on a few occasions, often caused by a simple failure to read the damn charts. In 1997, when Dad was in the hospital after his minivan was hit nearly head-on by a drunk driver, a hospital staffer tried to take Dad's blood pressure... apparently unaware that he had placed the pressure cuff over a massive hematoma on Dad's bicep. That time, I was there to catch the mistake before it happened. Strangely, Dad himself said nothing as the cuff was being fitted over his arm.

6. Visiting hours in the new ward are restricted; we can stay from 10AM to 8PM, which means Mom has 14 hours a day with no visitors. I don't like this arrangement, especially after the blood pressure meds incident. Dad and Sean are now taking notes of everything that happens, procedurally, to Mom.

Many thanks to the people who continue to write in and voice their concern and support.


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