Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I feel a little like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

I’M LATE! I’M LATE! FOR A VERY IMPORTANT DATE! 

Today is my regular blog day and yes, I’m late with my post. Sorry. Life has been a tad hectic of late. My mom had major surgery last Monday (she’s doing great!) and I had to fly to be with her. There are no trains in my tale today. Only planes and automobiles. 🙂  Oh, and a hospital sofa.

The day before Mom’s surgery, I flew back to be with her and Dad. The flight there was uneventful, which is the best description I can give flying today. Once upon a time, I loved to fly. Today, not so much. Small seats. Tight legroom. No food, unless you carry on.

Last Monday was a long day. I had to have Mother at her GYN Oncologist’s office (Dr. Rebecca Stone at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Campus) at 6:45 a.m. We arrived about 6:30. Dr. Stone took Mom away to Radiology for lymph node mapping before surgery. Dad and I headed to surgery waiting. My life long best friend, Carol, is Associate Vice Chancellor at UAMS. She met us in the surgery waiting area. She had arranged for a private family waiting room, which was wonderful. Big picture window. Comfortable seating. It was a good thing she did as we were in that room from 7 a.m. until almost 9 p.m.! Lots of coffee that day. The node mapping took all morning because the radiologist couldn’t find much to map (good news!) so he kept looking. Three different mapping sessions. She was there until noon. Mom didn’t go into surgery until about 2:00 p.m. and was there until about 7 p.m. Turns out she has a very rare cancer that is seen in only approximately 100 women per year in the U.S. AND the strange part is that Dr. Stone will have seen 8 cases in the 7 months she’s been at UAMS. Sounds like we got Mom into the hands of the right doctor, doesn’t it?

We stayed at UAMS until Friday. I slept on a sofa that extended into a twin bed. I’ve slept on worse beds but you wouldn’t want that to be your every day bed! She did great, not much pain, getting up and walking on Wednesday. But I have to tell you, it was like starring in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy! Rounds with wide-eyed med students pressed against the wall and residents giving reports to a steel-eyed attending physician. Totally hysterical! We had very few male students and mostly female students and residents. I’m sure they were being considerate of Mom’s age and the location of the surgery. I can’t brag on the hospital staff enough. The care was excellent. The facilities new and state-of-the-art. Staff (from cleaning staff to nursing staff to medical staff) was friendly and helpful. One day my sister and I were headed down the cafeteria and stopped to look at the new dental lab. A physician talking on his phone stopped to ask if we were lost and did we need help. Wild, huh? The whole place was like that…except for one nurse who didn’t take as good of care of mother as she should. I think we got her in trouble. The charge nurse came running to our room to apologize for our overnight nursing care. We never saw that nurse again.

We moved Mom home on Friday night, taking three abdominal drains and a urinary catheter with us! We had to care for these. Home health came on Saturday and Sunday and Monday. Mom heads to the doctor’s office today and I feel sure all these will come out.

I had to fly home on Monday. I wanted to stay and continue helping Dad care for mom (after all they are 81 and 82) but United Airlines wanted $401 to change my ticket to Tuesday! Bastards. Yes, there I said it. Bunch of greedy bastards.

My dear friend, Susie, got up at 4:45 a.m. and drove me 70 miles to catch my flight on Monday morning. Can’t ask for better friends, can you?

I got to my first seat and the woman sitting by the window was in the wrong row. She should have been up one row, but my seat mate told her to stay put and he took her seat. OMG! The perfume! Overwhelming! <PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT…Please release the spray on the perfume bottle or better yet, DON’T WEAR PERFUME when you fly!> Reminds me though…I went to get my hair cut on Saturday. Customer came in with so much perfume and the shop owner announced it was just too hot in there and propped open the door for some “cool” air…meaning fresh air. GAG.

I had a connecting flight in Houston. Of course it was in a different terminal. Pulling a carry-on, my computer and using my cane (right knee giving me fits), I hobbled thirty minutes to the next gate. If you are wondering my didn’t grab one of those cars for handicap, I had to go up and down so many levels, I’d have been on at least 4 different ones! So I walked. When I got to the loading gate, the woman taking tickets was wonderful. She moved my seat from the back of the plane to row 8 so I wouldn’t have to walk so far! Nice, huh?

This morning, hubby went fishing at 5 a.m. I didn’t open my eyes until 10.

So, that’s where I’ve been for the last couple of weeks. What’s new with you?