Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Catching Up and Catching my Breath

It's been an interesting month to say the least. It's been a month where I have just be trying to keep it all together and have had some snags along the way. April and May are my busiest months with work, so any curve ball that is thrown my way can really make me stress out.

My mom lives in Wisconsin and was visiting a friend in Chicago at the end of April.  She was driving and wasn't seeing things correctly, so she pulled over to let her friend drive.  They decided to head to the eye doctor near by and when they arrived, my mom couldn't balance and walk. Her friend took her to the ER where she was on "stroke watch", but she had none of the symptoms/check marks for a stroke, so they were going to keep her over night for observation.  Shortly after that, she started slurring her words and they assumed it was stroke and quickly administered TPA to break up the clot.  Upon further diagnostics, it was determined that she had a stroke of the nerve. After being in the hospital for a little more than a week, she was taken to a rehabilitation center when deemed stable, so they could to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

It's hard to be five hours away from her during my busy work season with a kid, but I knew that she was in great hands, and there was nothing I could do.  Plus, my mom is like me.  We like to be left alone when we don't feel well.  Sidekick and I FaceTimed with her every night, and I usually talk to her during the day. She was happy in the rehab center, and she was joking that she was on vacation where they cook and clean for her.  Haha!

We were planning on surprising her for Mother's Day at the rehab facility, and the day before we were supposed to leave, Dog all of a sudden couldn't walk in the morning.  It seemed like she had a stroke, which is really kind of funny after what my mom had gone through.  I joked with my mom that her grand dog was following in her footsteps. 

I took Dog to the vet later that night fully preparing Sidekick for the possibility that we might have to put her to sleep.  He decorated the back of the car with a balloon, her bones, a couple of toys, and an electric candle.  It was so sweet.  The technicians put her on a gurney and wheeled her in a room.  She was diagnosed with Vestibular Disease (vertigo).  She was on three different meds we were hopeful that she would get better within 72 hours. I knew I couldn't leave her because no kennel would take her so we could visit my mom, so our plans were off.  After almost 48 hours, there was no improvement. 

On the Saturday morning of Mother's Day weekend, Sidekick and I were playing outside and I carried Dog (who is a golden retriever, not a small dog) outside to lay in the front yard.  About 30 minutes later she stood up and started walking.  She wasn't that steady, but she was walking!  I quickly called the kennel, jumped in the shower, got us packed, and headed to the kennel.  Within an hour, we were on our way to surprise my mom!  During the drive, she called to ask how Dog was doing, and I said she was doing better and that the doctor who called said it could take two weeks to get better. All the while, she had no idea we were heading up there.

We got up there at about 6:00 and she was so surprised to see us, especially after knowing how poorly Dog was doing.  We hung out there a couple of hours and then headed to my friends' an hour away to stay the night.  Late Sunday morning, we headed back to my mom's, were able to pick take her out of rehab, and went to brunch and the park.  At about 2:30, we hopped in the car for another five hours and headed back home.  Sidekick was such a great traveling companion!  He's such a go-with-the-flow kind of kid, and I am so grateful. 

Here we are a few weeks later, and while I thought we were for sure going to put Dog to sleep a couple of times, she rallied and is doing well! She seems weaker, but she's eating and able to take short walks (which seem to take forever!).  Nonetheless, I followed my gut and wasn't totally prepared to put her to sleep just yet without giving her enough time to see if she could somehow recover, and she did.

Dog, Sidekick, and I are headed to Atlanta to visit my sister and her family.  It's roughly a ten hour drive, and my limit is about six hours.  We are driving straight through because it doesn't make sense to drive it over two days.  I am slammed with work this week, so I'm still not able to wrap my head around this whole thing and getting packed, organized, etc.  Originally my mom was going to drive with us, but she's not up for travelling yet.  (She was released from rehab last Friday.)  So, we are off to an adventure!  It ought to be interesting. 


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