Friday, May 14, 2010

Visit from Wonderful Mother-in-law

So, WonderfulHubby went back to work, and his mom came to stay. I had one day in between when I had the kids to myself. But the older kids had short day at school that day, so I wasn't left to wrestle the younglings all by myself.
So WonderfulMIL arrived Saturday afternoon. She and I stayed home from church on Sunday (and watched Twilight, hehehehehe). Monday and Tuesday, after the big kids went to school and we started to go through what she had brought to watch, read and crochet, I was starting to feel a little guilty about having her miss work to just come play with me. I mean, don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed having her visit, and all the brother-in-laws and their families coming by to say hello, too. But I didn't feel like I really needed her there and was "waisting" her vacation time. Then Tuesday night I woke up sick. Like hours sitting on the toilet waiting for the flood to end so I can go back to bed and get some sleep. And not just diarrhea, but nausea too. For me, it's usually just diarrhea, and I can eat whatever, so that was different (not that I usually get up in the middle of the night to eat, but actually wanting to drink some water would have been nice). Then the throwing up started. This crap was more intensive than most of my chemo-related sickness! WonderfulMIL got the older kids off to school and WonderfulHubby got himself off to work. At that point I was just trying to crawl back into bed so I could sleep it off. When it became obvious that wasn't going to happen, I called my family practice doctor and left a message to see what I should do. I waited a bit longer, then called the main clinic line and made an appointment with whoever in the clinic had an opening, which was luckily not too far off. WonderfulMIL loaded the little kids in the van, and we took them to our neighbor. Then she drove me to the hospital (the clinic is in the basement). There wasn't any close parking, so she dropped me off at a door, parked, and then came and met up with me. Luckily there was a bench there I could sit on. I had my bucket with me, just in case. We walked together as far as the next main entrance, where we stopped so I could get a wheelchair. I would have not made it without it, believe you me!
When we got to the clinic and were checking in, my doctor's nurse saw me and said she had just tried to call my house, and that my regular doctor, Dr. Gochnour, would squeeze me into his schedule if I just wanted to wait about 15 minutes longer than what my appointment was for the other doctor. I happily took that suggestion, and sat in a room with WonderfulMIL with the lights dimmed, occasionally dry heaving, and crying (I cry when I am tired).
side note: Now, I don't know if I have before sung the praises of this clinic. We started going there from a recommendation from a friend before I got pregnant with Oldest Boy. We have seen nurses come and go, and staff change duties, and the location change. I have never been to a place where I felt better taken care of. Dr. Gochnour has delivered all of my babies. If I had ever REALLY needed to get a hold of him, I knew which office worker I could call who would place me on hold for 10 minutes until he walked by so she could snag him to answer my concern (and in my defense I only did this 3 times in the last 10 years). They all quickly heard I had cancer after I kinda announced it when I went in to get the flu shot in the fall (I was asking whether that made me considered to have a compromised immune system, even though I hadn't started chemo yet). So whenever I came in, whether for me or the kids, they all asked how I was doing, and just made me feel, well, looked after. So if anyone in the Ogden area is looking for a doctors office, drop me a line, and I will give you their number. Now, not to say they are perfect, there are still times we have to wait, and Dr. Gochnour is usually booked out a couple of weeks, but really that's to be expected, and it's not anything worth complaining about.
end side note
One of the nurses, upon hearing me dry heave, came in and offered to get me a drink of water so at least I would have something to throw up. She brought it to me, and I don't think I threw up after that, and it was nice to have something to sip (see! nice people!). Dr. Gochnour came in, and we talked about what was going on, and he said he recommended me getting admitted to stay overnight in the hospital. It was that, or just go get a transfusion of IV fluids. So I got wheeled upstairs and admitted. We called WonderfulHubby to let him know what was going on, and he left work early. We called my mom, and she came and got the kids from the neighbor to spend the night at her house, stopping at my house to pack them overnight clothes and wait for the big kids to get home from school.
In my room, they came to draw blood to run tests on. The intern that was on call for my clinic had left instructions to do blood draws and start and IV through my veins, and not my porta-cath. He was concerned especially about doing the blood draws through it, not wanting to break it. After having the lymph nodes removed in my left arm, they can no longer do any poking or pricking on that side, so my right arm was the lucky pincushion. I was dehydrated, and they got a couple of good starts, to get the blood they needed for the tests, but then the vein would collapse when they tried to get the IV started. So I asked the nurses to ask the intern (resident?, I forget what they call them, he's almost a doctor), if we could do the IV through the porta-cath. He agreed, and gave them orders (because it has to be official, not because he was being bossy) to do it that way. I got some anti-nausea meds, and a shot in my tummy to keep my blood from clotting. (Apparently I got to skip that shot when I was in for my mastectomy because my blood was still thin from chemo.) I don't think I threw up anymore after that, though I did still have diarrhea for a couple of days. To illustrate how dehydrated I had become so quickly, they emptied a whole bag of IV fluids into me before I had to pee again. Very dehydrated.
Well, that is pretty much the whole story. WonderfulHubby brought lunch for him and his mom, which they kindly ate in the hallway because it smelled so horrible to me at that point. They went home late that night, I slept very little that night because I just knew as soon as I fell asleep the nurse or CNA would be in to check something and wake me up. I was feeling pretty much better by the next morning, and got released a bit before noon. My sweet mom kept the kids overnight the next night too. And maybe the next one too, I forget. Anyways, I got better, and had a lot of help, and was very thankful my WonderfulMIL was there that week.


  1. Glad to hear you made it through this okay. Isn't it such a relief to have some support from? Moms and Mother-in-Laws are so wonderful!

  2. Trooper. Not that I have much place to talk here, but I hate being the patient. Yuck!

  3. @ Martha - Yes!
    @ Misty - Ditto. :)