Tuesday, May 5, 2015
IWSG: Reflections On A to Z
My first A to Z Challenge was in 2011, shortly after I began blogging. I couldn't believe how friendly everyone was. Not only did they willingly read my stories, but non-family members actually began to follow me. I signed on again for the next two challenges, and decided to take a break in 2014, as we were leaving on vacation toward the end of April. During the first few weeks before we left, it felt strange not participating in the challenge. As difficult as the challenges had been in the past, I missed the camaraderie of moaning and groaning with all of my blogging friends.This year it had an opposite effect, as it proved to be therapeutic in an unexpected way.
During the last few months my mom has groan progressively weaker. Though she has been using a walker for years, her legs have become more wobbly, and she has been relying more and more on her wheelchair. I took her to the doctor in March who in turn, referred her to three other doctors: a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, and a hematologist. I told my mom she didn't need to waste time visiting all of these specialists, but she insisted on seeing them anyway.
In early April she was scheduled for a lying down stress test with her cardiologist. By this time, she was so weak, that it was very difficult for her caregiver and me to get her in and out of the car. After the results came back fine, I asked the cardiologist to test her legs for blood clots, check her for a urinary tract infection, and to also see if she was dehydrated. Though these are normally jobs for an internist, I thought he could send some orders down to the lab, since we were already at the hospital anyway. After he declined, we wheeled her over to her internist's office, but as my mom expected, it was her day off. After I dropped my mom off at home, I paged her doctor who made arrangements to have these tests taken by a visiting nurse the following day. For reasons unknown, all of the tests came back negative.
Over the next few weeks we went to the other doctors on her list. One of the offices was so filthy, that I refused to take my mom in. This building was so rundown that it only had a one person elevator that looked like it was on the verge of collapse. It was getting to the point where every time I saw my mom, I wanted to check her in to the hospital. My brother, and her friends in the retirement community were also quite concerned.
On April 17th, I picked my mom up to take her to the beauty shop. She had grown considerably weaker, and her doctor had ordered some follow up tests to be administered by her visiting nurse. During the ride home, I told her that this would be a great time to check herself in to the hospital. She refused again. I knew my brother would be visiting shortly, and mentioned that she would probably be going at some point that day. Several hours later, my brother phoned me at 9 PM, to tell me they were heading over to the ER.
My mom spent a few days in the hospital, before she was sent to a nursing home for rehab. It turns out that she was suffering from dehydration, a urinary tract infection, and blood clots in each of her legs. She still likes her doctor, and plans on continuing to use her. Fortunately, she hasn't lost her charm, and has deservedly so mouthed the words, "You are dumber than dirt," to both my brother and me while the nurses weren't looking.
Being called "dumber than dirt," has unleashed a whole bag of insecurities for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I can't tell you how helpful it was to read through the encouraging comments during A to Z. It really was such a welcome diversion. I'd like to blame these events on getting so far behind in following up on the comments, but truth be told I still would've fallen behind. In any event, I hope to get back to everyone this week. Not only did your comments cheer me up, but my mom got a kick out of reading them too.
Thanks to Arlee Bird for another successful A to Z Challenge. I'd also like to thank Alex, Rhonda, Hilary, Delores, Joanne, Robyn, Yvonne. Lee, Chrys, Cherdo, Dixie, Birgit, Sue, Jo, Julie, and Al for all of your support.
I'm also thankful for having this wonderful group cheering from the sidelines: Arleen, Stephen, Robin, Gorilla, Debra, and Shady. I also appreciate everyone else who took the time to pop in and say hello. I'm sorry if I left anyone out. Thanks for making my fourth A to Z truly memorable, and for keeping me sane in the process.