We all piled into the van and pulled away as we watched Paul and Grace and that beautiful little baby left there, on the porch... It was a painful sight. We drove away with tears running down our faces and talking about what a wonder miracle had been added to our family. I think Papa Colin took it the hardest... Zoe has her Papa wrapped around her little finger already... He's such a softy.
We stopped for the night, in Idaho Falls, ID. We were debating whether or not to stop, or go on to Pocatello but while driving we saw a billboard for a motel just ahead that we thought was too good to pass up. We stopped and checked in and took grandma to get a bite to eat and the kids checked out some of the motel. Later we ordered pizza for them.
Some time in the night, Grandma had a real bad pain in her back. Sara was quite concerned but Grandma said she was fine. The next morning she was in terrible pain up into her chest. Grandma doesn't usually complain about pain, so when she was searching for pain medication I became a little concerned. Colin and the kids got the van packed while Grandma rested. Finally we were on our way. 30 minutes down the road I turned to look at Grandma, to ask how she was doing... I didn't have to ask... She looked awful, her face was pale and her eyes were red. Colin and I decided to find the nearest Hospital. 50 miles south of Idaho Falls is Pocatello, mine and Sara's birth place. We looked for the hospital signs and ended up at the Portneuf Medical Center. When we got there, Grandma was in so much pain she couldn't move. There was an emt walking through the parking lot and I ran and grabbed her and told her the situation... She ran in and got a wheelchair and Colin picked up Grandma, out of the van, and put her in the chair and they wheeled her straight into the ER. After some time in the ER, the doctor showed Colin and I her x rays... He was concerned about her back--that one of her discs was degenerated and might be pinching nerves. That was the last we heard of that, because after they transferred her to another floor all the doctors up there wanted to do was look for heart problems. They admitted her, and Colin, the kids and I got a room at the Holiday Inn Express... CJ gave us a fantastic deal after he heard our story... We were tired and I was a little emotional and just needed some rest... He didn't even charge us a pet fee for Duke... What a guy! Thanks CJ.
The next morning Grandma decided she did not want to stay in that hospital another day... She wanted to get home to her own doctors and her own hospital... Portneuf wouldn't even serve her coffee for breakfast! It was up to Colin and I to get her out of there and get her home. The staff talked to us and tried to make us stay (That's their job)... One nurse even gave Grandma the 3rd degree, when we were not around, telling her what an awful choice she was making, leaving, against doctor's orders. She had her mind made up though and that was that! They had her sign all the papers, to release her against medical advice, but they insisted she be on oxygen. They dragged their feet all day "trying" to arrange for oxygen (maybe hoping we would change our mind). Grandma was very impatient and wanting to leave... Finally around 4:30pm I talked to the case worker that was trying to arrange for the portable oxygen. I asked him, "What time does your oxygen supplier's store close?" He said, "5:00pm". I said, "I'm telling you, right now... This woman is leaving this hospital at 5:00pm with or without oxygen!" What do you know? The oxygen man met us in the hospital parking lot and we were on our way... Yes, we were on our way, but without any pain meds for the trip. They refused to give us anything but two Tylenol, because we left against their orders. I felt awful for her... We sent out messages to friends and family to please pray... God really helped Grandma the next two days. It was a miracle. She was uncomfortable but she was not in the excruciating pain she had been in.
We stayed in Lehi, Utah Monday night (Aug. 9). The next morning Grandma couldn't get out of bed. Sara called me and I went right across the hall to their room and lifted her out of bed... We all got dressed and packed up and loaded into the van for the rest of the trip home. After getting up and around Grandma was doing ok... God was helping again... Later on, when we stopped to eat lunch, at Wendy's, we had a discussion... It was a little heated :-) Grandma insisted that she wanted to go home. She did not want to go to the hospital. She wanted her own house and her own bed. Being just as stubborn as she is, I insisted that she go to the hospital as soon as we got home... We argued, while the rest of the family stared in silence. Grandma then informed me that while she was in her right mind, she could make her own decisions... She was right, and there was no more to be said.
We stopped in Flagstaff around 5:00pm to have supper, at the Sizzler, then on to home. We arrived at Grandma's at 8:45 pm Tuesday (Aug. 10). We were unloading her stuff and getting her settled in when she started to sit down on her bed and she cried out in pain and said maybe she should go to the hospital. Colin took the kids on home and had them unpack the van. I stayed with Grandma, to help her get her stuff together that she wanted to take with her. While we were doing this, the oddest thing happened... Her Lifeline beeped and said it was time to check in, it told us to push the button, so we did... The operator asked if we had an emergency and I said, "As a matter of fact, we do"... I told her what was going on and they sent an ambulance right away. I locked up the house and drove her van to the hospital, where Colin met up with us.
They did all of their own tests and x rays and found a compression fracture in her back... They admitted her and began the process of getting it operated on. Who knows how long it would have been in the other hospital for them to give up on the heart issue and deal with the REAL problem. The operation was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 13. The day of the operation she had an allergic reaction to something and her tongue swelled up and the swelling started down her throat... The operation was postponed to get the swelling under control. By Saturday she was doing better after being on the allergy meds that made her a little loopy... We (Colin, his folks and I) had some laughs, at her expense, and we shared them with her when she was back to normal. She went through surgery on Saturday afternoon and it was a success. Sunday morning she had another reaction and her face swelled up this time... Again it was all taken care of with the same allergy meds...
Tuesday (Aug. 17) we finally brought her to her home. She was very glad to sleep in her own bed. The girls and I stayed with her the first two nights and the boys came and stayed during the day. As of right now, she is getting stronger everyday with the help of the kids taking care of her. I have made the statement, "I have the best kids on the planet"... I mean it with all of my heart. I know that parents should always feel that way about their kids, BUT I really do! How many teenagers would voluntarily give up teenage lives to become a caregiver for their great grandma and not complain, but love the chance to be with her??? I am truly grateful for the wonderful kids God has placed in our lives. And appreciate the ministry they are fulfilling at this very moment... God is preparing them for His work that they will embark on very soon.
The kids continue to take shifts at Grandma's house... The girls and sometimes Tommy, stay at night and get up and make sure she gets her breakfast and does her exercises and then the boys stay the day with her and fix her lunch and take care of whatever else she may need during the day. I go over in the evenings and take her some dinner and drop off the girls.
So, here we are... Up to date. What a summer it has been. We have many memories of the summer of 2010. God is good to us. We are so thankful for the time we have had to spend with family and friends... Now we are back home, trying to get back into the swing of things... It's just a different swing now...