Friday, March 19, 2010

Hospitals, Hierachy, and Hell

My mom is in the hospital as many of you know. Things here are better at the moment but still strained. I am in Cleveland. Which I know some people would say is Hell, but I don't agree with them. The only way it currently feels like hell is the torture I feel not being able to be all things to all people. I also want transporter technology, NOW.(Chris,start working on that please) Another aspect of my Hell is watching those I love in difficulty. Thankfully my moms hell is better today. I hope it stays that way. I get to watch my concerned father and wish I could stay endlessly to take care of his needs which is also a small taste if hell.

I will say that this Hell, like anything else, is temporary. I have faith that through patience, love, and hard work my mother will get well. It will take longer than any of us like but that cannot be helped. She will remain in the hospital.

The hospital is a version of Hell for my mother. It is scary, lonely, boring, and painful. I want her out but know it takes time. We are in a marathon not a sprint at the moment. It is a weird marathon with hurdles like a sprint: overcoming pain/nausea, potential infection, figuring out insulin, healing wounds, and physical therapy. The Strommen family and my mom will leap over these hurdles one at a time and get the gold medal of recovery at the end. I am sure of that.

The Hospital is a strange place to me. There is a certain order and power distribution. I never knew I would get benefit from watching Greys Anatomy but it helps a little. All I knew about a "Whipple" procedure started from Greys. This is the procedure my mom had done, and redone a second time with the extra "benefit" of pancreas removal. All I initially knew was that it was tricky and the cool interns wanted in on it. I now have seen with my own eyes the levels of doctors in training come around and talk to us. I saw one ICU doc get so dressed down by the attending doc that I am pretty sure the guy had polka dot underwear on. Thankfully everyone on all levels so far has been able to answer questions and help out. (fully clothed or not figuratively speaking)

It was also like a scene from Greys when while standing on an overlook (after calling a family member) the surgeons "team" descended upon me happy to answer my questions. They swooped in and I wanted to start calling them McDreamy, Grey, and George. I did not have my questions yet but looked at the attending, resident and intern, and said I would get them the questions is writing tomorrow. Of course I have my questions now and they are not around. No fear though. I will get them answered.

I have found that having an attorney for a sister can really come in handy in situations. Having a doctor for a sister in law can also REALLY help. Her knowledge and input on not only procedures for my mother but also on how a hospital works is invaluable in getting good care for mom. My sense from most people is that hospitals are not to be trusted but I choose to allow some trust, get lots of information, and get mom the HELL out as soon as she as able.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Stretch Ziegler,
    You will bend back into shape. You are strong, you ARE being all things to all people even if it feels like you can't do enough. You have prepared your children well for this -- they are strong and resilient and they are doing just fine. Jack is also strong and this time when you must be apart is limited. You can handle just about anything for a limited period of time. Then all of this will be behind you. Hang in there, my friend. I think there's good reason that in times like these, people often say they are putting it "in God's hands." You do everything you can, (which is just what you are doing) and beyond that it comes down to trusting and having faith that it will get better. I don't think you can ask any more of yourself than that! Hugs to you, and to your Mom & Dad too. Ang