Friday, October 28, 2011

Our last go round

I took Mom to breakfast at the International House of Pancakes this morning before her appointment with the doctor. I wanted her to have a good breakfast before we went to her appointment because I had a feeling we were going to be there awhile. When we were sitting in the Doctor's office Mom looked and me and said 'This will be our last go round". I looked at her and said "Well, then, let's make it a doozy!"

The Doctor at the clinic was great with Mom...a woman who understood Mother's and was both clinically good and emotionally present. Mom had been concerned about a lump in her left breast. That was just one of the concerns...her breathing is labored, her blood sugar was really high, and the edema in her legs worse by the day.

The doctor sent us off to get blood tests done and an EKG. Once that was all done we went back to the Doctor's office and were told to go to another clinic to get a mammogram. Once we arrived at the second clinic, there was the usual flurry of papers to read and sign. We were then told that Mom would be having a mammogram and an ultrasound. Once those were completed, the Doctor called the first Doctor and they agreed that a biopsy would be done immediately.

By this time is was 1:30pm and we had been at this since 10am. Mom didn't complain, even though she had to keep taking off her shirt,sweater and coat repeatedly. Once the biopsy was done, we went back to the first clinic and were directed across the hall to get an X-Ray of Mom's chest. When that was done we went back and talked to the Doctor. She prescribed Lasix to deal with the edema and Metformin to deal with the high blood sugar.

She told me that Mom's blood work looked pretty good, as did her EKG. She is really more concerned about the labored breathing and the wheezing. I won't know until next week, but I think the concern is that the cancerous lump may have metastasized to her chest. The Doctor agreed that she had the classic symptoms of congestive heart failure. Next Friday we go back for an echo cardiogram so the Doctor can see what is going on inside Mom's heart.

We left the clinic around 3:00pm only to get into a rainstorm and a huge backup on the freeway. I took Mom home, helped her undress and made her some dinner. I went to the grocery store to do her shopping and to the drugstore to get her medications. I took everything up to her apartment, unpacked and put the groceries away, and made notes for Mom to remind her to take her medication.

I helped her into bed. She wondered aloud what she would have done without me today. True, it was a long day for us both, but she was easy to handle all day. In a strange way, it was a good day to be with her. It did remind me of the rounds of tests I took Dad to at the same clinic. I wonder if Mom will die quickly just like Dad did....just slip away and be gone.