Saturday, June 1, 2013
Report from Pillville: the angioplasty, the pain meds, the attitude, and the sounds that prevent silence
My mom had her second California angioplasty on Thursday. I have no idea how many stents she brought with her from Maryland and how much arterial plaque she left there, but since her arrival here in California she has added to both. Bad circulation seems to run in my mother's family, but with all of the smoking and the breathing of second-hand smoke, it's hard to say what is truely genetic and what is tobacco-related. Still, when you have two siblings who've suffered amputations, it's time to sit up and pay attention.
My mother's right foot began waking her up several times a night a couple of weeks ago, so we moved her regular appointment with the vascular surgeon up three weeks. She's less sore after this angioplasty than the last one, but despite the fact that the doctor reported that her circulation was much improved, the foot is still bothering her. Two new types of pain meds have been added, so maybe the nerve endings will stop harassing her brain soon. My next suggestion will be an anti-depressant--but I'm not sure if it should be for me or her. I'm joking. Mostly. The anti-depressant I was on after my marriage fell apart is now marketed as relieving physical pain. You've probably seen the TV commercial with that poor woman struggling to get up off the couch while the voiceover says something like "When you're depressed, everything hurts." That was certainly true for me, and I found my daily pill more effective for the physical than the emotional pain.
One thing I've observed is that since the angioplasty and the new meds, the noises my mom makes have increased ten-fold. There are never more than a few seconds of silence here in Margaritaville now. She talks to herself, swears, moans, groans, growls, grunts, squeaks, and outright yells. Yet, though somewhat forgetful, she is entirely able to converse--which is the only time she's not making noise. What I enjoy most at this point is either talking to her or vacuuming. I have never been more grateful for my ability to sleep soundly.
So what this state of affairs is likely to yield, as I engage my mom in more conversation, is more stories. Stay tuned. I'm looking forward to it.