Grandma, Hospital

This comes to me through my mom, which is coming through my aunt, from voice mails and short phone conversations which means whatever I am about to relate there is a 100% chance that I’ll have to correct all of everything I am about to put down.

A few months ago my grandma started complaining that she was having extreme hip pain. It happened to be the same hip that she has had two hip replacements done. That’s right, TWO. She had the first one done years ago and it wore out. When she had it done umpteen years ago people didn’t live that long, a 20 year fake hip would typically out last most people. Not Grandma she out lived a 20 year and a 10 year hip replacement. When she had the second hip replacement on the same hip they told her that at best it would only last about 10 years, well the 10 years is up.

Now, like I said my grandma has a flare for the dramatic so most everyone was chalking up her pain partial to it going bad and partial to her dramatic side. She did once go in for surgery, I don’t even remember what. They asked her if she had any pain, to which she responded no, then they asked her to rate her pain on a 1-10 scale – like they do in hospitals even if you say you have no pain – she told them her pain was at eleven. Yes, eleven.

“Are you feeling any pain?”

“No.”

“On a scale of 1 – 10 what is your pain?”

“Eleven.”

Uh. What?

When I heard this story I just started laughing because the only thing I could think of when hearing this story was the bit in This is Spinal Tap, where they are talking about their amps going up to eleven.

A flare for the dramatic, or she just likes the really good pain drugs you get in the hospital.

Wooohoo, morphine?

Yesterday, Grams calls my mom to tell her that she can’t handle the pain and she is going to the hospital. I find this out when we go over to have dinner with my mom, which she informs me by saying “Grandma is going to Hospital in the North.”

Okay… the I get the basic run down that her neighbor was taking her to the hospital. That was the what I heard until today at about 5 pm when I decided to check my phone that was sitting on the charger all day.

My phone had about five text messages from my mom and a voice mail from my Aunt.

The voice mail from my aunt is my aunt trying to get a hold of my mom, in the voice mail my aunt tells me that she left several messages for my mom and even tried her at home. My grandma’s doctor is also trying to get a hold of my mom.

It’s Monday. My mom is at work. She also happens to be a surgery nurse. As I’m listing to this message I say to Husband. “I bet anything all these messages were on her cell phone.”

They were. I called my mom she said when she got out of work she had five messages on her cell phone and two more on her home phone. As a random aside I have always found this particularly perplexing as to why people call my mom and leave messages on her cell phone or home phone when they know she’s at work and know her career. It’s not exactly a career where she can just drop everything to check her phone or even take calls at work. There have been more times than I can count that something similar has happened, one of the most ridiculous times was when my brothers school was trying to get a hold of her and instead got me (at the house) acting all frantic that they couldn’t get a hold of her.

The X-rays from the Hospital in the North were sent to G-ma’s doctor. Doctor reviewed as per requested by Aunt, but G-ma didn’t sign a release for Aunt (yay HIPPA), and that’s why the doctor office had to get a hold of my mom. Eventually doctor office talked to my Aunt and got things rolling. Doctor said that her pain is not caused from the hip replacement and everything looked normal. They also said that since Grams was on her way to the ER that they would send over the information to let them know it wasn’t a fake hip issue and to schedule up some tests.

Aunt was with my Grandma. According to my mom as my Aunt with with Grandma, Grandma was saying that she was in excruciating pain, then her leg was numb, then it was at eleven pain, and back and forth, until my aunt made grandma decide if her leg was in pain or having no feeling.

Eventually Grandma was admitted to the hospital for the night, where they will most likely call in a bunch of tests to see what is causing the problem. Aunt thinks its an infection as she told my mom that her knee – a knee she once had a horrible infection in – is looking a bit red and is hot, or it could be sciatic nerve pain, or it could be both.

My bets are going to be on sciatic nerve pain because I have/had that. It was awful during the last pregnancy and I really did alternate between my leg going numb and collapsing out from under me randomly to awful pain that went down my entire leg.

But like I said at the beginning of this post I am sure that sometime in the next few days I’m going to get an update and everything I just wrote will be wrong.

The pancakes could be the death of you

ImageIt’s a big fat sausage! A jalapeño cheddar brat from Dublin Jerky (a local meat shop). Where I also picked up some NY Strip at cost…you know what cost is…4.39 lb. The Husband was a bit shocked when I bought the whole slab he thought we were getting a “few” steaks. Love me some discount meats. 

Last week was the 4th of July holiday, meaning a visit to the Grandma’s house for fireworks, fires, overly tired screaming children and spoiled food.

This holiday was no disappointment in any of those categories.

We went visiting a the week before the holiday. My grandma asked me to pull some random food item out of her mini-freezer. Some form of pre-cooked meat product that she decided we needed to eat, that was more than likely questionable before it was cooked, then sat around at least a week in the refrigerator before it even made it into the freezer. Upon opening the freezer it was discovered that the freezer broke down and everything was thawed.

EVERYTHING.

This thing had been off for at least four days, if not an entire week. The melted water in the bottom of the freezer was lukewarm. It was the same temperature of a glass of water that sat out for four hours.

I inform my grandma of this catastrophe, she begins to lament about the broken freezer my saying “HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!” Well…It’s a freezer from Montgomery Ward. They went out of business in the late 1990’s, in the odd chance it was bought around the time they went out of business the freezer would have been 16 years old. A pretty good run for any small appliance, however this tiny freezer was no ordinary freezer. Oh no. This thing was a trooper. As I learned that this freezer was purchased using my dad’s employee discount when he worked in the appliance sales department of the local Montgomery Ward department store. My dad had moved on to the small electronics business working for Shock Electronics about two years before I was born…I’m going to be 32 this summer.

It broke because it’s a 34 year old mini freezer, that’s how that happened.

I start pulling out soggy, spoiled, thawed food. On a good note it was not so thawed that it smell like rotted food yet, just a faint odor. I pulled out something indistinguishable my grandma yells “Quick! Get that in the freezer!”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO it’s spoiled!

She then told me that “it’s all still good” and it will “refreeze just fine.”

Nope.

No, once something is that thawed and sat in 80 degree weather for a few days, it’s done. You just sigh about the food going in to the garbage and you toss it.

Instead my grandma argued with me over every item I pulled out. One of the more amusing items (that I conceded in letting her keep) was a box of ice cream sandwich bars. The box was soggy and falling apart, the cardboard box was staring to desinigrate from sitting in a puddle of melted freezer juices. The internal individually packed ice cream sandwiches were melty puddles in bags. My grandma ranted about how they would re-freeze just fine. I grabbed the falling apart cardboard box brought it to her, opened it and poked at one of the ice cream sandwich wrappers where the internals sloshed around like a belly after drinking a 64 oz Slurppee. I said “It’s gone, there’s nothing left to save,” poking the bag of melted mush each time to accentuate my statement.

Eventually I gave in and tossed them in the working freezer, figuring that if anyone came across them thinking they were going to get a tasty frozen treat would know by how the “ice cream sandwich bars” were more of a frozen slop pile would know something had happened to them and would be eating them at their own risk.

I then grabbed a package of hamburger. It had already turned that weird brown color and started to omit a foul oder. I walked over to the garbage. Grandma knew what I was doing, she started to protest buy before she could say anything I tossed it in the trash. I heard her say “All that good food….gone….”

The problem with that thought it that it’s no long good food.

Grandma then decided to try and stop my food purge and made her way to her freezer in an an attempt to stop me from throwing everything out. There was a brief battle of wills, which I won, only for the simple fact that I am more mobil and can walk to the garbage can quicker. I conceded on a few items, even if I still felt they were beyond saving just to make sure the things that might kill a person ended up the garbage can.

I then warned everyone staying in the house what items those were. One of those items was a brand new box of Schwan’s frozen pancakes.

When we were up for the 4th of July holiday, Grandma saw me whipping up some pancakes.  When she saw me she started in about how she had some pancakes already made up in the freezer and I shouldn’t do all that work of fixing breakfast.

Then I cut open the bag of mix and dumped it in the bowl saying “oh, look, I already opened the bag, now I have to make the pancakes.”

I’m not getting suckered into those thawed and re-frozen pancakes, who knows what surprises they made hold.