As you know, I did not publish several days this week of blog entries as I intended. I had a family health emergency that needed my attention. Things are back to normal so I am able to take a breath and write again. But this almost-whole-week's experience definitely left an impression on me.
It started on Monday afternoon when I got a call from a family member saying she was at the ER and asked if I would meet her there. It was for a possible heart attack and so I took off, trying to contact other family members at the same time to let them know what was going on. When I got there it was around 3:15ish. The ER was busy and several other people sitting in the ER were hooked up to IVs. When I reached my family member, she was sitting in a lounge chair with an IV in, but no fluids connected to it. We sat in this little curtained off area in a hallway for 5 hours before being taken back to the actual ER space. My family member had tests run such as blood taken, EKG and those came back normal. So we thought the seriousness of the situation has subsided even though we still had not seen an ER doctor. But they kept us. They did a chest xray which came back normal, as well. My relative thought it was just indigestion for sure because the pain had mostly gone away. She was treated with a GI cocktail which was to calm any indigestion and it did help.
So when we were taken back to the actual ER part of the hospital I would go out to the nurses's station after an hour or so asking when my family member would be seen--she still had not seen the ER doctor. I was told she was up next. An hour later I went out again and asked the same question and said why if everything has come back normal can my relative not be discharged. I was told she can't leave until the ER doctor has seen her--and she was still up next in line.
Finally, a Physician's Assistant (PA) came in to see my relative, basically to talk about what brought her into the ER. The PA said she wanted to get another round of blood taken since enough time had gone by since my family member had come to the ER. So another sample of blood was taken and another xray. The PA came back in and said that everything looked normal, but the pancreas levels are highly elevated and that my relative would be taken up to ICU for a couple of days. My family member looked and me and I at her and I mouthed the word, 'Wow'. That was a shock and my relative was scared in an instant. Her whole face became flush. She was thinking it was pancreatic cancer--a death sentence in her mind.
It was amazing to me how in one moment when we were getting ready to pack up and leave and then she was told something totally unexpected and that she was going to the ICU for a couple of days. We were both shocked. Something like that or worse can change your life. It reminds me of my dad 9 years ago in that same ER. We had finally gotten him to go to the ER because he was going back and forth between constipation and diarrhea and we knew something was wrong. The ER doctor he had came in and told us he either had leukemia or some kind of cancer. Well, either way it was cancer and we were in shock and the room got quiet.
I was concerned about my relative and what she had just heard. She was clearly upset. And I then knew I had to spread the news that plans had changed. That was hard too because some of the people I going to have to tell knew what an elevated pancreas could mean and others would probably freak out cause they didn't understand--was that bad or really really bad?
Plans changed. Then my sister and I started on a schedule of sitting with our family member or taking turns, being there with her. We went through what seemed like a lot of unknowns. Whatever it was kinda took care of itself through an endoscopy, elevated liver enzymes and then everything--all enzymes going down. No one could definitively tell us this or that happened by the time we left. My relative is doing much better and is back at home. She is a little tired and not able to do too much, but she is feeling a lot better.
I thank God that my mother is alive and well and still with us. I praise Him for taking care of whatever was wrong within her body. I thank God for Jesus and his resurrection that we get to remember tomorrow--the sacrifice given for all of us to have the shackles of chains fall off for those who know Him and to look forward to the day when we will see Him face to face. What a beautiful face to see, to look upon. Happy Easter!