Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mom to be admitted overnight

[NB: This post has been updated. Scroll to its end.]

Mom's going to be admitted overnight to Fairfax Hospital. She is apparently one of a small set of people who become more susceptible to infection while taking Decadron, a steroid to reduce swelling. Mom's been on a step-down regimen of Decadron since her April 21 surgery. She was, in fact, supposed to be off the drug completely within a day or so.

Dad will be staying overnight at the hospital. I'll probably be returning home, but will stay at least until we know what room Mom will be placed in.

The docs plan on doing a thorough scouring (debriding, i.e., the removal of dead and foreign matter from a wound) of Mom's scalp. Dad is also looking to get a more thorough set of instructions regarding Mom's incision care.

Dad tells us that Mom is currently sleeping. She probably needs the rest, given the discomfort she's in.

UPDATE: Mom has been moved back to where she was barely a month ago: the Neuroscience wing. She's not in the ICU, but will probably be moved there after surgery tomorrow. In other words, tonight won't be her only night back at the hospital.

The type of surgery Mom gets will depend on what the docs determine about the extent of her infection. If the infection is found to have gone as deep as the bone, it's possible that the strip of skull under Mom's surgical scar will have to be removed and replaced with artificial bone. At this point, we really don't know.

Mom's incision will undergo thorough debriding and drainage to get rid of the scabs and pus. This essentially puts Mom back at square one with regard to wound healing, and her chemo- and radiotherapy will have to be postponed. What all this means as far as the big picture is concerned, I don't know.

UPDATE 2: After Mom was moved from the ER to the Neuroscience wing, Sean came by, and we all spent time with Mom. Dad and I elected to go home for the evening after being at the hospital all day. Mom spent the day fading in and out of sleep, sometimes falling asleep in mid-sentence. We (Dad, Sean, and I) have to get up at 5AM and be at the hospital in time to intercept the surgeons who will be working on Mom.

UPDATE 3: Many thanks to Pastor Jeri for buying dinner for our family; feeding a bunch of large guys isn't cheap, nor is it cheap to drive around town when gas prices are on the rise. I do hope the good pastor didn't pay out of pocket for this. (Then again, I can imagine our church's Admin Council having a fit if the money for this meal were coming out of the church's budget!) We didn't have a chance to eat until Dad and I got home around 10PM (Sean left the hospital with us and drove to his home in DC), but the food was still fine.



woodarty said...

I was unable to keep up with your blog for awhile and caught up this weekend. I'm so sorry about your mom's setback and pray that she'll soon be able to proceed with further treatment.

I'll try to keep up and when it seems like a visit might be OK, I'll phone a couple of days ahead.

You've done a great job keeping us informed and letting us be a part of this while keeping us from being a problem. Keep your chin up, if you can! Love, Kay (Wood)

Kevin said...

Thanks so much.


Jelly said...

I'm thinking about your mom and hope all goes well. I'm sorry to hear she's back in the hospital. Take care of yourself, eh?

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I've also been very busy (re-editing my wife's Jang Jung-il translation), so I didn't keep up.

Like Kay, I'm very sorry to hear of your mother's setback, and I will keep you all in my thoughts.

Jeffery Hodges

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Hamilton said...

I wish your mother a speedy and successful recovery.

Kevin said...

Thank you all.