Super holiday trauma

I haven’t said anything about my winter holiday, because it involves a lot of gross stuff that didn’t happen to me. I guess because it was such a big deal I’d better talk about it, though, leaving out some of the more embarrassing personal details.

So, I left Ohio early early because my dad wanted me to speak at the meeting of this club he’s involved with. I did, and everything went fine. Then later we came home and my mom really irritably complained that she was hungry so it was about time we have dinner (which I guess my dad was supposed to make). We were about to eat, when all of a sudden she said she didn’t feel well and went to the bathroom. She was in there for a long time with her typical stomach problems. The second time my dad came back from looking in on her he said she was vomiting blood.

I went in, saw that it was a lot, and said we’d better call 911. My mom didn’t want to go, and for the next ten minutes or so, she and my dad went back and forth about it. It was a lot (three and a half to four cups, I think), so I thought they should go as soon as possible. My dad didn’t want to make her mad, so I said I’d call and he could blame me for it. Eventually I did call, and an ambulance came and took her to the emergency room. While she was there they diagnosed her with a bleeding ulcer and gave her two units of blood. From there she was transferred into the ICU.

There was a lot of talk about why that happened for the next several days. Apparently it is because my mom was taking a lot of prescription NSAID painkillers, which can damage the stomach. My dad thought my mom was taking excessive amounts of them. I talked to the neighbors, who very nicely invited us over for dinner on Christmas Eve, and the neighbor said she had also thought my mom was taking too many painkillers, and that her doctor wasn’t doing a good job. The neighbor also said she had tried to motivate my mom to get into physical therapy, which she actually is supposed to have been doing for several years now, although she has not.

Going back to add information, like five years ago my mom had a knee replacement (which was why she missed my MA graduation) and never did the physical therapy she was supposed to do afterward. As a consequence, she is still using a walker five years later. She also does have a lot of problems with arthritis, but also won’t do anything for that except take painkillers. My tried to get her to try this therapy cream that she uses and I tried to get her to try acupuncture, but she wouldn’t do it.

So, my mom stayed in the hospital until the 29th and then came home. That afternoon I went out with my little brother and came back when my parents were having dinner. My dad and mom were fighting about how my mom would not each enough, wouldn’t eat vegetables, etc. Then my mom felt sick again and went to the bathroom. She stayed in there for a long time and then went to the bathroom in her room. She was in and out for several hours, and eventually my dad went to bed at like nine. Because my mom snores and says it hurts her whenever he moves in the bed, my dad typically sleeps upstairs in my old room but moved to the basement while I was there. So, anyway, I was the only one on the ground floor with her after that.

She was all sick, complaining of feeling hot and dizzy; I was wondering what I would do, and how I would deal with the rest of the night. I thought I couldn’t go to bed because maybe she’d fall or something during the night. I was thinking maybe I’d sleep on the floor, or on the edge of her bed or something.

All of a sudden she started vomiting blood again. Again, it was a lot. I think eventually it came to more than four cups. As soon as it started I went to get my dad. My mom didn’t want to go to the hospital again, but I called 911. While we were waiting for the ambulance to come, my mom wanted me to wipe her butt (which sucked), and she wanted me to go put socks on her. I got these warm ones with treads on the bottom, but she said she didn’t want those, so I had to go get other ones and put them on her. While I was doing that, she was holding this bucket of blood on her lap, not to securely. While I was putting the socks on, I kept saying, “Hold on to the bucket! Don’t let it fall on my head!”

Eventually the ambulance came and she was taken to the hospital again. My dad and I finally got home from the emergency room at almost 2:00 a.m. I couldn’t sleep well, and I was still so tired on Dec. 31st that I went to bed at like 10:30. So that was my New Year’s Eve — my mom was in the hospital, my dad went to bed at nine p.m., my little brother was out with friends (he did not ask me to go along) and my older brother was working, I guess.

Oh yeah, one creepy thing was that from the time until my mom got home almost until she got sick again, she kept wearing the green “do not resuscitate” bracelet they put on her at the hospital. All it said was “DNR” and I wondered if she knew what it meant.

She was still in the hospital when I came back to Ohio. She had a few different procedures to fix the ulcer and one operation which I think was supposed to remove the ulcerated part of the stomach. They didn’t work, so she was transferred to another hospital, where she went through a few more procedures.

My dad and I talked about what should happen, and I said I thought she should go into some sort of rehabilitation place rather than home, where someone could be watching her all the time, they could make her do physical therapy, and make sure she was not taking too many painkillers. I thought having her at home was pretty dangerous, both for her and my dad. Something could happen to her while my dad went up to go to sleep. Or, my dad could start sleeping on the couch downstairs near her bedroom, which would be uncomfortable and stressful for him. The only workable option would be for my dad and brothers to rotate staying up all night and watching her, which would be really difficult for them, and also would not deal with the physical therapy and painkiller problems.

So now she is in a nursing home, and she will probably be there for another three weeks at least. I’m not really sure what is going on, but it is a stressful situation for everyone involved, with my dad and my little brother going to see her every day. I don’t know how well she’ll be at the end or how she will be able to function at home.

That’s a pretty full account of what happened during my time at my parents’. I did go to Duff’s for the first time with a friend from high school, but didn’t get to see anyone else because of the flu and the novovirus a lot of people had.

Then I came home and got the flu! So that was my vacation!

Edit: Oh yeah! I actually forgot a few things! While I was at home my parents both criticized my weight several times. Between the time my mom came home from the hospital and she went back she told me I am “looking chunky,” and my dad commented several times, saying things like he thought I would balloon up like my aunt, who to my knowledge was never overweight except for the period in which she had cancer and was taking a lot of medications for it that caused weight gain.

My older brother kept talking about how he hated his new employers, and snooping around in his old room upstairs I found a gun. It freaked me out and I told my dad about it. He said, “I know. I put it there. I use it to shoot geese out of the bedroom window.”

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