Two Days Later

My mom had a prescheduled minor surgery set for 6/11, 2 days after my grand opening.

It was already very stressful knowing this as my mom’s health is not very good due to 17 years of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and she is on a ton of medicine. I was worried since we first found out she needed this surgery months before.

I wanted it no where no the opening for obvious reasons, but my opening was pushed out longer than I thought it would and the two collided.

My mom’s surgery was to remove a kidney stone. It was supposed to be an outpatient procedure, with her home that day.

I met up with my dad, her caregiver and case manager at the hospital in the waiting room while my mom was in surgery. The doctor had apparently already come out and said surgery went well as I got a text saying that. Some relief.

Then we were told we could go see her in recovery.

That is when everything turned and it was one of the most traumatic moments I have experienced.

I will spare all of the details because my family reads my blog, but from the moment we saw my mom, things weren’t right. Her whole body was shaking and everyone (nurses, case manager, me) were trying to give her the PD meds hoping that would help, but she couldn’t swallow. The fear on her face this whole time was intense. She was still groggy from the anesthesia too. Then she had a temperature. Then apparently someone yelled Sepsis (i didn’t hear but my dad did), and a team of nurses rushed to her.

All of this happened within like 30 minutes. Since we were in recovery, I was trying to comfort her, make sure nurses were helping, trying to figure out what was happening, and running in and out of the room to catch my breathe. I couldn’t watch. She was struggling and I felt helpless. My dad was doing the same. We didn’t know what was happening.

We kept saying she needs her Parkinson’s meds, and now they were telling us that’s the least of their concerns. Holy f*ck! What does that mean???

I stepped out of the recovery room when the team of nurses/doctors rushed to her. I could barely breathe. I was freaking out. I called my sister to tell her and she thought everything was fine because of the text we got just an hour before saying the surgery went fine.

I told her it changed. Things went bad in recovery.

I honestly didn’t know what sepsis was or how serious it can be or I probably would’ve completely lost it.

The doctor that performed the surgery came down and said she will likely be ok. Surgery still went well but this is just a rare thing that can sometimes happen. Somewhat comforting but not really.

We were told they were moving her to ICU. So we all went to ICU.

Sepsis is a full body infection that kills many people as organs shut down, but they caught it so early in her case, that they were able to give her strong antibiotics right away which is probably what saved her – the speed of the diagnosis and response.

She was in ICU for 3 days and completely out of it for most of that time. Doctors said that is normal with this infection and would likely go away once the antibiotics kicked in, in 48 hours. It was so scary to see.

And there are so many layers to this. No one in ICU knew my mom or her medicine routine for PD and more. They change 12 hours. But they learned as best they could.

The next big issue became her blood pressure as it was very low, almost dangerously low. On the 2nd day, they had to insert a line in her neck to give the medicine, but it worked.

The saving grace is my Aunt Sue was actually just a few hours away and she came and stayed for 4 days as we figured this out, which helped give my dad breaks from the hospital.

My mom was in ICU for 3 days and the hospital for 10 nights total. This was supposed to be an outpatient surgery. Craziness.

Remember, Yoga-urt opened 3 days before this happened and I was so exhausted from the opening push. Echo Park needed so much attention from me, but my mom needed it more. I drove an hour to see my mom almost every other day while she was in the hospital. I felt pulled in both directions.

Echo Park was understaffed from the beginning because 2 people quit – 1 found another job before we opened and the other found it too hard with her other job. Plus people were calling in sick a lot. And i didn’t have time to interview with all the running around.

It was a very difficult and emotional few weeks. I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the opening weeks because I almost lost my mom.

The good news is my mom has regained most of her strength back, but she wasn’t in great shape to start with due to 17 years PD and horrible and frequent off-times.

But she made it through this ordeal and we are figuring it out as we go.

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