Haven't had time to post much of late, what with the advent of Christmas and the like, but as I've moved to the not so frozen wastes (unlike Seattle and the rest of the Pacific Northwest back home) of Northeast England, I also lost access to the internet. Until I borrowed my brother's mobile broadband card. Well, it's really more "slightly wider than narrowband" really. Better than dial-up - just.
No, but that's not the news. When I picked up my rental car on Friday I called my parents to let them know I was on my way, only to find that my mother was in pretty bad shape for unknown reasons, except that she had had the flu for two weeks, an ear infection, and now had excruciating pain in her left arm and couldn't move it. For a woman who has been through rheumatoid arthritis, hundreds of injections and all kinds of other things (including raising four boys), it was quite something for her to feel pain that was so off the charts she couldn't even sit up in bed.
When I got up here she was still waiting for an open hospital bed and an ambulance. It was pretty distressing to see her so helpless. She really didn't look like herself at all. My brothers and I quickly decided to expedite matters and had her off to hospital within another hour. We ended up at the A&E (Accident & Emergency) ward at the local hospital where we waited another three hours for her to get enough morphine to mercifully knock her out. Knowing she was at least in good hands, we retired for the evening. She proved to be a moving target for most of Saturday, going from A&E to Short Stay to surgery to Critical Care level 2 (one level below Intensive Care) by the evening. The problem appeared to be an infection that had built up in her shoulder, although she was also carrying the ear infection and a chest infection. They drained fluid from the shoulder and washed it out in surgery, but the general anaesthetic is hard on older people, so she had minor complications from that that resulted in her being in elevated care. My dad and I saw here briefly Saturday night just after she arrived at Critical Care, but she was still pretty groggy.
This morning we got to see her again and she was starting to look more like herself again. She had eaten some breakfast - her first food for over 48 hours. Even with her left arm in a sling and connected to all kinds of drips and feeds and monitoring equipment, she half-joked that she had enough time on her hands to wrap the Christmas presents she hadn't got around to yet. I did tell her that I think people will forgive her just this once if they don't get wrapped presents. One of my friends from Seattle told me via email that the weather has been so severe there he doesn't have presents to wrap yet.
So it's been a rough couple of days, but things seem to be working out, and my mother is definitely getting much better treatment than she would have had it not got so severe. Hopefully, she will be home for Christmas, but if I were a betting man (and I'm not) I wouldn't put money on it.
Your prayers for continued progress would be most welcome.