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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jane Levie Update: Hospitalized

I am behind on the blog because of life.  Life has gotten a tad crazier recently (at least in my noggin).  Along with all the regular stuff (Eddie, data, house duties), I've also been confronted with my mom being sick again.  This time, super sick.  She's been coughing, having trouble breathing, and having weird fevers and heart rhythms since before Easter.  Trips to the doctor and the hospital never seemed to completely clear things up.  Last week it got pretty bad, though, and she ended up in the hospital again.  

Unlike other times when her health declined rapidly, I was kept in the loop before she was hospitalized.  Thanks to my daddy for letting me know what was going on before I started getting frantic phone calls/emails/Facebook messages from my mom's concerned friends.  (Which, by the way, I totally appreciate, especially since my mom's MO is to keep things like this from her kids, lest she "worry" us.  Knowing ahead of time is so, so much less worrisome than learning about it after the fact.  Just so we're all clear.  Thanks, Daddy!)

Remember how I loaned our car out last week?  Yeah, strike three for most-inconvenient-week-to-loan-car-out  situation EVER.  First, 104 degree weather, then a possible broken arm, and finally my mom being ill in another county.  But the fellow to whom we loaned the car was able to bring it back to me (full of fuel and washed!) on Friday afternoon so I could depart for Livermore.  Of course, first I had to arrange for a baby sitter, then file paperwork at Cassie's so that she would allow a stranger to pick up Eddie, THEN get a hold of Dave while he was out logging to tell him I wouldn't be there when he got home that night at 11pm.  

Anyway, I went to Livermore Friday evening and planned to return on Saturday evening.  But, as these things go, I ended up staying through Sunday midday.  We were advised against visiting my mom that evening (she was asleep anyway) so us Levies+Jennifer went to Hanabishi and then us kids went to see Ted.  (Wowza, going to a spontaneous movie at night feels amazing!)  

On Saturday morning, Edward, Jennifer, my dad, and I had a late breakfast.  My mom was scheduled for surgery that afternoon so we didn't get to visit her.  The day was spent at the house doing laundry (E+J), cleaning a little, processing some preliminary data to send to my professor, checking out my dad's amazing garden, and cooking/eating.  
My dad in "Jennifer's" garden.  He planted it specifically because she wanted to have one. 
No matter that he himself as wanted a proper garden at that house for the last 15 years.
It provides fresh produce for him, my mom, Edward and Jennifer to eat.
Jennifer has learned to frame her photos!
Donovan was at his sister's apartment for the weekend, baby sitting, and asked if we wanted to come over for dinner that night.  He just so happened to have made a couple of gluten free quiches so it was Jennifer friendly.  Of course we said yes.   Edward was nice and let his big sister drive his Miata while he drove the minivan.  Woooooo!  He also stopped by our ex-youth pastor to pick up three huge sacks of hand-me-down clothes and toys for Eddie.  
Who's that sucker in the minivan behind me?
Blind spots, what?
We headed over there, just in time to see Dyani arrive after work.  Brice was working at the hospital so we didn't get to see him, sad.  

While we were there, my dad phoned to say that my mom was out of surgery and that she was stable.  We made a plan to visit her the following morning.   The surgery was to remove fluid from an abscess in her right lung where it was discovered that she had "significant" pneumonia.  To aid in her recovery, she was put into what amounted to a medically induced coma and was on a ventilator for a couple of days.  So she had to be in the critical care unit and was limited to two visitors at a time.
Dinner by Donovan.  C'était magnifique!
Dinner with the Joneses was fantastic and the company was even better.  We all bolted out the door just in time to get a cone at Rick's ice cream, during which Batiste slept soundly in Eddie's car seat so us adults could chitchat unencumbered  (and we didn't have to share our treats--I had coffee molasses crunch and ube).  Another hour back at Dyani's and we were tired so we headed to E+J's apartment for the night.  

Dyani, Jennifer, and Batiste.


Sweet, sweet Batiste.  He hates his own car seat but seems to love this one of Eddie's!
Sunday morning Jennifer, Edward, and I drove BACK to Livermore so we could finally visit my mom.  

My dad and I went in to her room together and spent some time looking at all the monitors while a nurse finished moving an IV line to her other hand.  My mom was pretty much out, but was slightly responsive.  All I could think to do what rub her arm so she'd know I was there and then ask her if she wanted us to leave.  She sorta nodded "yes" and I told her that we'd have Edward and Jennifer visit very quickly and then she could get back to sleep.  Since she had the ventilator tube in her chest she couldn't speak, but I could see her tongue try to talk.  It wasn't as hard to see her in this condition compared to 4 years ago when she was completely lucid and only had a chest drain installed.  I think I've forced myself to be more academic rather than emotional about the whole situation, as a way of coping (and to preserve my emotions for a situation when I really need them).  But the image of her in that bed, hooked up to so many things and unable to communicate or move will never leave me.  *shudder*

We went to eat at a place called Red Tractor Cafe in the Hacienda shopping center.  My dad was, as usual, skeptical of any place other than Emil Villa's, but we were all happy with the meal.  I went back to the house with my dad so I could get a few things (like a jar of 15 year old compost of his that I'd like to run on my instrument and some onions from his garden).  I departed for Davis after gassing up and buying myself a Starbucks treat for the drive.  

My mom's friends have slowly been finding out about her hospitalization (with all the above detail) only by accidentally getting my dad on the phone when they happen to call the house or her cell.  So to be fair to everyone and avoid any confusion/concern, I sent out a mass email to the folks on my "Updates on Mommy" email list that I put together back in 2008.  Here it is in case you're not on that list.  If you'd like to be on that list, please just leave me a comment and I'll add you.

Hello everyone,

I thought I'd send out a quick update on my mom since some folks have heard and others have not.  For the last week, she's been back in the hospital recovering from pneumonia.  She seems to have been struggling with it since before Easter and hopefully it will be fully resolved this time.  Last week she had a procedure done to drain fluid in her chest which went well and she's being weaned off the oxygen now that she can breath on her own.   

She's not in a position to have visitors right now and has requested that any correspondence be sent to the house instead of to the hospital.  My dad visits her twice daily and is happy to bring cards and notes in for her to read.  

As always, prayers and wishes for full recovery are appreciated by everyone in our family.

And what did Eddie and Dave do while I was away?  According to all the pictures and texts I got from Dave that weekend, they had a great time playing at the park, eating lots of watermelon, and swimming at our friends' daughter's second birthday party.  Happy birthday, sweet Morgan!  


John and Jessica said...

Oh no Julie. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm glad to hear she agreed to surgery and I hope she gets stronger by the minute. Please place me on the list so I can get the emails. She's in my prayers.

Kaitlin said...

Your mom continues to be in our thoughts and prayers. At the very least I'm glad you had a little get-away- that always seems to help with emotions and stress.

pat avilla said...

I will be thinking of your mom and family, Julie! I pray that this surgery helps bring her health back to steady. I'm sending a blog hug to you, sister. Glad you were able to be there last weekend.

steph.kelley said...

Warmest hugs and wishes to you and your family. What a busy and draining few weeks (months? years?) you've had. All love -- xoxoxoxo

Updates on Allison said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she has a speedy recovery and will be up and at 'em again soon like her old feisty self.