Sister saw the doctor yesterday about Ma's blood tests, all of which are normal.
He is baffled by this and by the fact that she hasn't lost any weight although we know she's lost body mass. The tests weren't looking for cancer markers, just blood salts, thyroid function, diabetes. Heart is fine, blood pressure is fine, she's just parked her brain somewhere and can't find the way back.
One sister came to see her on Sunday and thought she looked wonderful. Now we're either doing a better job than we thought or stupid beetch didn't have her glasses on. So in one week the old girl had, a doctor's visit, pathology visit, podiatrist and sister. Confusion complete and it will be another week before she's back on planet earth.
The woman has kicked Death in the balls four times now so perhaps he's given it up as a bad job.
She had a pelvic abcess in 1988. Only two out of the last 10 patients at the hospital survived this and none were as bad as she was. Because she was opened up from hip to hip and packed with sterile dressings, they decided to send her home to try to keep any golden staph infection from invading. District nurses came in every day to do the dressings but they only came in once and she had to wait, with muck pouring out, for the next dressing. The finish for me was having one nurse come in, not wash her hands on arriving, dress what was supposed to be sterile, then leave without washing her hands.
Sis and I talked it over and for the next 8 months, until that open gut closed, we did it all. We didn't care that the one nurse who came to supervise me for the first time, said we didn't have to sterilize everything, including the cottonwool, we did. I wore a simple apron, washed my hands, washed Mum's bedding and clothing in bleach and never had a single infection nor did my mother. Sis would do the early morning before her shift at the hospital, I'd do the two during the day and she'd do the last one at night. She still gets the shudders about the early Sunday morning one considering the monumental hangover she always had after Saturday night.
Halfway through, the specialist discovered the abcess kept returning, thank you shithead for not listening to the non-medical person who had her head in an open stomach and knew something was wrong. She had a colostomy which proved to be the way to full recovery. That was fun. It meant doing a sterile dressing on one half and a non-sterile wash down on the other. We stuck with the routine of washing hands and clothes, no infection. The day that hole finally closed was a celebration, subdued while we waited to see if it opened again but it stayed. Another visit from a nurse who specialized in colostomies to check up. She roared at me for mollycoddling my mother and demanded to know why she wasn't up and caring for herself. My mother burst into tears and I told her to read her notes and look for herself. The look at that just healed hip to hip hole made her our very best friend.
In 2003, she had Pneumonia and Pancreatitis at the same time. The doctors told us to go home but it was 'How soon can you get back?'. She wasn't expected to last the night but she walked out of there 10 days later. So I don't know why we are surprised that breast cancer hasn't made off with her yet. I've left out the heart attack, the broken leg and the emergency appendectomy. There was also the septic hysterectomy in her early thirties, the tennis ball sized lump out of the right breast which was benign and the consequent breast reduction.
If I could bottle the will power that woman has, I could make millions. She won't give up. As Sis said to the doc yesterday, the woman is not leaving the house except in a box which is okay with us but does she have to give us so much grief before she goes.