My mother is in the hospital.

Got a phone call from my Dad a little while ago. My mother is in an emergency room for possible problems with her gall bladder after a visit to her doctor earlier in the day because she hasn’t been feeling well recently. My sister and brother-in-law are with her as my Dad’s eyesight isn’t good enough at this point to be driving. Details are scarce at this point and Dad is sitting by the phone for more information as it comes in. For the moment I’m sitting by my own phone and waiting for word from Dad.

First thing I did is the same thing I always do when I hear about stuff like this and don’t know much about the potential problem, I hit WebMD and started looking up information on gall bladder problems. It’s one of those things you hear about with other people all the time, but don’t really know all that much about. Sounds like the major problem tends to be gallstones and that could mean surgery, but it sounds like they’ve managed to get the surgery down to as minimally invasive as they can. Of course it’s possible the problem could be something other than her gall bladder…

I hate situations like this because I always feel helpless. In an emergency, say someone falls off a ladder, I tend to be the sort who responds immediately. I don’t take time to be shocked that something bad happened, I just go straight to the dealing-with-it stage and do whatever I can to help out. In a situation like this, though, there’s nothing for me to do but to sit and wait as patiently as I can manage. It makes me feel helpless and useless and brings back long buried feelings from when my father passed away when I was five. Yes, the man I call “Dad” now is actually my step-father.

I don’t remember much about my father’s passing other than I knew he was sick and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it, including me. I would’ve given anything at the time to have the knowledge I needed to cure him and I didn’t understand at the time how it was possible there was nothing that could be done for him. I felt helpless and stupid and I think it was this experience that makes me so good at responding to emergencies these days. It also still haunts me when I find there is nothing I can do to help.

So I sit and wait for more news. I may end up taking tomorrow off of work to travel up to Otisville depending on what comes from all of this. I’m cautiously optimistic that this will turn out alright, but it’s never easy when a loved one is suddenly in the hospital.

6:24PM UPDATE: Just got off the phone with my sister. She and Mom have been sitting in the ER waiting room for some time now and my mother has just gone in to fill out the paperwork. Still hasn’t seen a doctor or had a diagnosis yet, but the fact that she’s doing the paperwork on her own is a good sign. On a scale of 1-10 Mom says the pain is about an 8. Mom’s a tough old broad (her words, not mine) and if she’s not flat on her back then I have good reason for optimism. Thanks to everyone who have already sent in well wishes. Always very much appreciated.

19 thoughts on “My mother is in the hospital.

  1. sorry to hear the bad news les kind reguards to your mother i hope she pulls though this one if she is any thing like my dad(my dad is a real fighter, dos’nt give up) the chances are high, but as i just said my dad has been in hospital before and i know what it is like les hope every thing turns out. sorry that this has happened to you and your family

    just be strong for your mother she’ll probly need it, all the best les

  2. Les, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. If it is of any consolation, my best friend (31 y/o female) was hospitalized with gall bladder problems not long ago.  The symptoms were very worrisome for her and her family, but after they diagnosed the problem, the treatment was no big deal. They removed the stones, then eventually removed her gallbladder altogether, both with minimum invasion…less than an appendectomy.

    She’s no longer suffering from gall bladder problems. Says her myriad of maladies relating to it all but evaporated. She’s pretty pleased about the whole thing.

  3. If it turns out to be her gall bladder that’s the problem, then I can personally attest that having one’s gall bladder removed is not a terrible ordeal. I had mine taken out over a year ago (after some extreme stomach pain revealed gallstones as big as marbles in there) and except for some discomfort that lasted a week or so post-surgery, it was a quick process, and I don’t miss it at all. smile The doctor told me that he’s performed thousands of these surgeries, and they’re more common than people believe.

    So hang in there, my friend, and best to your Mom.

  4. I had my gall bladder out last year, August 30. The pain leading up to it had me literally crawling on the emergency room floor.

    Once the surgery was over and I had healed I was one happy camper.

    Good luck to your mom…if she needs the GB removed she should have 4 tiny little scars to show for it.

  5. My own mother had her gall bladder out recently after living with gall stones for years.  The stones were the most painful but she was afraid of surgery so she put it off and put it off.  When that stupid gall bladder is out your mom will be back kicking ass in no time. 

    Still, it’s scary to have to sit by and not be able to do anything.  I feel for ya, man, I honestly do.

  6. Nothing to add, except best of luck to your mother, and perhaps (as a inter-post tie-in), if they remove her gall bladder, it could make a better Governor of California than Schwarzenegger.

  7. Best of luck to your mother Les, as useless as it may seem to you, I’ll pray for her.
    Les, you said when you were younger you would go to church and what not, so are your parents christians? just wondering.

  8. My mother is in the hospital, too, Les, and is having surgery in the morning (too long of a story to relate here), so I know some of what you are feeling.  My best to your Mom; she will be in my thoughts. smile

  9. I honestly wasn’t trying to be inappropriate, I was just asking, my wishes are only the best for her.

  10. I will be holding a good thought for your mom Les.
    Anyone with as much wit as she (I read her blog regularly) must indeed be “a tough old broad” and will kick this in the arse I am sure.

    And Leigh good luck to your mom too.

  11. Brandi, you can relax a little. I’m used to folks offering to pray for me and my Mom in situations like this and I take it in the good intentions it’s meant. I’m not offended by stuff like that as I realize they don’t really mean any harm. Thank you for stepping in, though. I appreciate you sticking up for me. grin

    DB, neither of my parents are what you would call “good” Christians in that I’ve never known either of them to attend church outside of going to funerals and weddings. My mother is probably closer to being a Deist. She believes in God and she believes things happen for a reason and that’s about the extent of her religion. She’s not fond of organized religion. My dad has never specifically said what his views are and the few discussions I’ve had with him about it gives me the impression he’s an agnostic who’s leaning more toward the idea that God exists.

    Neither parent was responsible for my becoming a Baptist. That was due to the neighborhood kids I grew up with. Some of them attended church and they got me into going and my mother thought a little religious background wouldn’t be a bad thing. There was a time when I was way more religious than my parents.

    And thanks for the good wishes, DB, they are appreciated.

  12. I’m double dipping for a moment:

    Leigh, sorry to hear you’re in similar straits. You know you have all my best hopes for a good outcome.

  13. Les, I hope she will be ok. These surgeries usually go off well without any glitches. She will be fine and in my thoughts today. Take care **hugs**

  14. Sorry, Les. I wasn’t trying to police your board. I never thought you needed anyone sticking up for you.

    For the record, I consider myself a Deist/Freethinker. Only because I’ve never found a better definition.

    Interesting on the neighborhood kids. I was dragged off a handful of times by neighborhood Baptist kids on their church “kidnapping” trips. Yes, they really called it kidnapping, it was supposed to be all in good fun. They’d scour the neighborhoods with their Mom driving the van, trying to collect their friends to come to “a thing at church tonight”. I got caught up in the apparent fun of it and went.

    It was a gigantic rally to “be saved”. Of course I was too young to know what was really going on until I was knee deep in it. Like most kids, I wanted to be with/like my friends.

    I didn’t realize when the preacher asked us newcomers afterward for our parent’s names and address, it was because he was going to come to the house in a few days, tell my parents what a “great time” I had at church, and they really ought to think about joining up, for “my” sake.

    I didn’t have a good time. I was caught up in peer pressure. And to this day, I still find that particular tactic manipulative and appalling. And so did my parents, and they told him so.

  15. Rachel-G, thank you very much.  You’re very thoughtful. smile

    Les, yes I know that, and I thank you for it.  Likewise, my friend.

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