Monday, December 26, 2016

The Christmas Eve that Wasn't

Sheats Christmas is always a bit of a scheduling miracle. Seven households, work schedules, nurse work schedules--we pick our day months in advance and pretty much nothing changes it. Christmas Eve was our day this year.

Gifts, food, napping sleeping bag for Isaiah, change of clothes and who knows what else was loaded in the car. The kids were excited. I was happy to be heading "home" for Christmas. We walked in the door to a chorus of "Merry Christmas" and then the next sentence as I'm putting down a pile of things--"Mom is sick." My heart drops. Tears come to the surface.

(When Mom is sick, it's not a viral thing. It happens sometimes that she gets really bad sinus headaches. It seems like it happens more recently and at more inopportune times. She is seeking treatment but the right combination hasn't been found yet.)

Janell and I go through the motions of getting our ham dinner on the table. It's just not right, though, to have Christmas and open gifts from your Mom and Dad when Mom is sick in bed. Everyone was at the table eating and I look up at Janell and say, "Hey, is immediate care open? I bet we could get Mom in there, get some pain medicine and she could at least sit up and watch us open gifts." Janell checked the hours on her phone. We had 1.5 hours until it closed. Dad was all for it and wished us good luck in convincing Mom to go.

Mom is a leave-me-alone-and-don't-touch-or-talk-to-me sick person. So Janell and I entered her room with a bit of trepidation. I said, "Mom, we are taking you to Doc's In." Janell added the part about we want you to get some pain medication and feel better. Mom opened one eye, looked at us, and said, "I guess this is non-negotiable." Yup. Pretty much.

Doc's In is 5 minutes from their house. We drove up and groaned. There was an ambulance in front of the door, the parking lot was full and the door was locked an hour before they were closing. I called ahead to the next closest immediate care 20 minutes north. They had only 1 person in the waiting room.

When we got there the waiting room was empty. Janell and I walk up to register. We proudly hand them the insurance card and they ask for photo ID. We picked up Mom's purse thinking it had everything we needed,]; however, Mom keeps her driver's license in her nursing bag when she works and she had worked the day before. We did not have photo ID. Janell asked them if we could please have someone text us a picture of her ID. No, they had to be able to scan it. Well, could they please start treatment while I went to get the ID? No. So Janell stayed with Mom and filled out the paperwork. I drove south while Dad drove north with the ID and we met in the middle. By the time I had the ID in my hand they were tired of someone so miserable sitting in their waiting room that Janell called me for a picture and they took Mom back. When I arrived the doctor was already in the room. They gave her a shot of the strongest pain/nausea stuff they had and Janell and I vultures...waiting to see if it was going to work. It didn't and our plan crumbled. Doc strongly recommended that we go on to ER to get help. I guess at that point Mom just wanted to feel better and Janell and I just wanted her to feel better, but honestly I'm not sure what possessed us to continue on our journey. We went to ER.

We were finished with ER triage at 3:00. I'll sum up the next 2.5 hours for you quickly...we sat in the waiting area. Mom rated her pain as 10 and sat doubled over and cold that whole time. It was a terrible feeling. Mom in pain and horribly miserable her don't-talk-to-me-don't-touch-me policy didn't change. Janell and I getting sadder by the minute as we watched our Sheats Christmas slip away. I was the crier. Janell was tough.

Finally, Mom got a bed and warm blankets. It took another good long while before the Doctor came in. By then the rest of the family had headed home and Dad came up to be with Mom so that Janell and I could go home.

Janell took me home. Janell and I sort of laughed at ourselves and our great plan to save our Mom--and Christmas. Yup, we are a great team. I come up with a plan and Janell promptly helps me execute it. The team is now called Team Vulture!

I was just about sobbing when I walked in house and I promptly had two girls join me. Josiah was a close third. The ones waiting at the house didn't have any less disappointment to deal with. Those that were going away for the weekend gave gifts. So it worked out that Josiah and Aliza opened a gift, but Anna didn't. Aliza was crying because she didn't want to open a gift without me and Grandma and Anna was crying because she didn't get to open a gift. Jeremy was not in a good mood. It was horrible to come home to. Then I found it to be necessary to call all of my sisters and Gramma to check on them and make sure that there weren't any hard feelings about the afternoon. (There weren't. Everyone was very happy for Mom to get help.) It took hours to get the children and myself settled down. I found out pretty quickly that Mom was improving and that helped.

About 9:30 Mom was on her way home very tired, but pain free.

My immediate challenge was to put this day behind me to pull off a fabulous Christmas morning for my family. Stay tuned....that post will have pictures!

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