I’m back, guys!
So in this week’s blog post I’m going to cover what has been going on these past couple of weeks, which has sadly affected my attendance on Facebook as well as anywhere else, including right here (as I am sure you could tell when reading last week’s post… talk about yikes).
Let me lay it out for you as simply as I can. (Warning: long post ahead! Also, I did indeed receive permission to tell this story from the person it involves.)
On this extremely eventful–and not to mention stressful–day, Beloved (which is what I am from now on going to refer to my boyfriend as) began his first day of orientation at 8:00 AM sharp at a local hospital he was hired at. How exciting, right?! (And for those who don’t know, Beloved and I met in nursing school; we are both nurses).
Around 8:40/9:00-ish, I was barely dragging my lazy bum out of bed when I heard my 13-year-old brother (who is homeschooled, so don’t ask why he wasn’t in school) yelled for my mom. At least I thought he was yelling for her. (He tends to yell instead of getting up to find the person; it can be vexing for me sometimes). Then, not 20 seconds later, I heard him running to my door. He yelled, “Kaitlyn! I need your help! Come quick!” Then he ran off.
**Before I continue, I need to make one thing clear about my brother. He tends to be slightly dramatic. If water boils over onto the stove, I would expect (and have received) the same reaction. So, I just yelled back as he ran off, “I’m coming,” not too concerned about it being a pressing matter.**
So, I walk out of my room and follow his voice into our dinning room… where I find him squatted down next to my mom, who was face down flat on the floor.
Now, I’m a nurse, like mentioned earlier. And, in the past I’ve handled worse situations with ease and calm. I’ve seen full codes, intubations, cardiac arrests, even death. But there’s something about seeing your own mom unconscious on the tile floor that jumbles your thinking and scatters your thoughts everywhere else in your brain other than the nursing side.
But I still acted calmly, which surprised me later once I had the opportunity to think back on how I handled it. My brain wasn’t thinking of what to assess for, but I calmly knelt down next to her and was able to wake her up in a calm manner. In the meantime, I attempted to calm my panicking brother by telling him to breathe and sit down, then giving him the task of calling my dad.
I didn’t think that through, though, of course. Because him saying out loud what he witnessed happen (and he did witness her pass out and fall) made him panic a little more. So, I told him to give me to phone. I spoke with my dad, who was suddenly calm after hearing how calm I was. I told him she needed to go to the hospital immediately, and he asked if I could get her in the car or if an ambulance needed to be called.
I knew I could get her to the car, and I knew, too, that an ambulance would take far too long to get to our house (which is a good 15 minute drive FOR AN AMBULANCE) and make it to the hospital. I knew I could get her there in the same amount of time as well as keeping us busy by feeling like we were taking care of her. I knew sitting at home, twiddling our thumbs, feeling useless, would make it worse. For her, too, not just us. I also knew since she was regaining consciousness, that it was simply a syncope episode–nothing worse and nothing too hard to come back from after some simple treatment. What I worried more about was the for-sure concussion she had. There was no blood or anything like that. But she fell out of a chair onto the tile floor–face first. I knew she had to have a concussion.
My brother finally went and got my sister (who I didn’t realize was home, and thank God she was; I needed her help calming my brother and keep Mom awake as I drove us). The three of us after a few minutes of slowly getting my mom to sit up, then eventually help us stand her up, took her out to the car and drove her to the emergency room.
In the car, (I have to share this because I think it’s funny still, though be warned now that there are spoilers of the last episode of THE WALKING DEAD… If you do not wish to be spoiled, please proceed to the dotted line) my sister was trying to keep her awake by getting her to answer questions with short answers (short answers because after a syncope episode, patients are generally extremely weak, so it takes a lot of energy to say anything). Here’s the dialogue between them:
Sister: “What show did we watch last night?”
Mom: *Stares blankly at her for several seconds, obviously processing the question* “The… Walking… Dead…” she whispers slowly.
Sister: “That’s right. What happened in the episode?” (She had told her previously to give one word answers if she couldn’t give more).
Sister: “Yes, they found Hilltop. Anything else?”
Sister: *amused* “Yes, Jesus was there.”
Mom: “So funny.”
Then everyone is confused. My sister asks, “What’s funny? Jesus?”
I’m thinking, Uh… Okay? My sister probes, “What about Rick, Mom? What made him funny?”
Mom: “Fight scene.”
Sister: “Okay, but what’s funny about the fight scene?”
Sister: *Repeats question*
Mom: “No…” Then she attempts to emphasize the word, “What?”
Everyone gets what she means then and laughs a little. My sister: “Yeah, that was funny.”
Anyway, she was starting to regain more and more consciousness as we spoke to her. Of course, she’ll be weak for a long while, but at least she can crack somewhat of a joke.
Long story short, we get her to the ER where my dad was waiting and they wheel her to the back immediately. Tests are run and an infection is found. She’s pumped full of sodium chloride (normal saline) and then given IV antibiotics. She’s then discharged after several hours with a prescription for pill-form antibiotics.
For the curious ones out there, she passed out because severe infections (as well as dehydration) can cause hypotension (low blood pressure). Her blood pressure dropped and then she did… right onto the floor. Of course, this is just the best observation that can be made. If she passes out again, we’ll be taking her back to the ER for more tests just in case syncope isn’t a symptom of the infection. But so far, that’s what it looks like.
She’s doing well now. Weak and tired, which is expected, but still doing well.
That evening, I received a call from the same hospital that Beloved is now working at and was informed that I had a job offering by–get this–the same manager as Beloved for the same position (nights: 7 pm – 7 am).
So, yes, we will be working in the same unit, but calm down; I promise you that the nursing life is nothing like what you see on TV. We barely have time to drink any water or pee. What makes you think we have time to make out in a closet? Besides, we have more dignity than that.
Amy, the recruiter that called me, said she would call me the next day with more information.
Amy called me! I officially accepted the offer and she gave me the run down of what would happen, what my starting rate would be, and the day I start! (I start on March 14th, by the way.)
March 2 – 4
Now I’m just waiting on some things to fall through and straighten everything out.
On the note of writing The Warlock’s Awakening, I haven’t done much these last couple of weeks due to applying to job openings and interviews and mom getting sick and having to help my brother with school as she recovers. Are there times I could have worked on it and just didn’t? Yes. Lots. The thing is, I have run dry on inspiration… and I’m just so exhausted right now. For the moment (and JUST for the moment) it is a back-burner project.
If you guys could please keep my mom in your prayers, that would really be appreciated.
Until next time,