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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crisis Update

Today was a tough day.

This is the end of the sidewalk leading up the hill to the hospital. The road below leads into the main part of the downtown core.  Today as I walked to town, there were several emergency vehicles just a few blocks from where this photo was taken. A young man had been run down as he was jay walking. I pray he is all right.
I wasn't planning on going in to the hospital to see mom as I am packing at her home.  Although I have made a lot of progress in sorting and packing, I still have quite a lot to do before I leave town for my own home and attend to personal business there. When I left the hospital last night mom was doing well.  But when I called the hospital this morning to say "hello",  a nun who was visiting mom answered the phone and said I must get to hospital immediately as mom really needed me. I guess she was having a nose bleed.

I didn't think too much of this since I thought the nun could help mom while she was there. I protested that I had a cold coming on.  If mom contracted a cold due to my presence she could possibly be in more danger from lung problems than from a nose bleed.  The nun insisted I get there quickly. That got me moving as fast as I could.

By the time I arrived at the hospital mom's nose bleed had stopped but as it had been going on for 2 hours she looked like she had been in a terrible fight. Her clothing and her bedding were full of blood and no one had tried to wash the blood from her face. I set to work to start cleaning her at which point the male nurse said he could do it. I declined as I didn't want mom waiting any longer to be changed.

It is Fall now in Canada. These are the colours of most deciduous trees, although we also have some deeper red colours on maple trees.  The most glorious Fall colours are found in eastern Canada.  This view is from the top of the hill just before get to the original hospital entrance.

After spending several hours at the hospital, I also got a chance to meet the attending doctor.  He was only attending to mom today.  Her family physician called him in especially to address the issue of the nose bleeds which have been happening daily for the past several days.  I don't know how to spell the doctor's name but he was such a godsend and such a delightful man. So kind and gentle and very clear in his presentation of mom's condition.  He readily informed me when I asked him for an update on several issues of concern.  Then he turned around and proceeded to repeat everything to mom.

The doctors in Emergency were concerned that she might get a blood clot in the leg that is infected with cellulitis so they have been administering a blood thinner medication daily.  It also seems that  a possible blood clot in the lungs were found in the  x-rays taken yesterday (Sunday).  When I visited mom Sunday evening she did complain of sore back and asked me to rub it as she felt something there that was bothering her. Now I don't know in retrospect if my rubbing the back was a good thing but mom seems to think I saved her life by doing this.

Today she was spitting out a lot of blood clots during her nose bleed. From what she says about the ordeal,  it is the worst nose bleed of her life even though she has had some doozies in her lifetime.  The specialist ordered blood work which was done at noon and by 2 p.m. he prescribed another IV medication to neutralize the blood thinner. He says they will have to monitor her carefully and that hers was a complicated case since they do need to continue to give her blood thinners.

I left the hospital at 3 p.m. and apparently before the doctor left, he told mom he would not likely be back to see her but that the nursing staff would call him if need be. At 9 p.m., mom called very briefly to let me know the nose bleeding had started again and that the doctor, who was then in the Emergency Room was expected to pop around and see her again.  I didn't get any call from the hospital so am trusting everything will be all right and will call the hospital first thing Tuesday.  More things happened today that made it a very tough day but I thank God I survived the day relatively intact and feeling less tired and sore than yesterday.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7
For my readers in Africa, I just want to say how impressed I am with the attending doctor today and with the attending doctor in emergency on Wednesday evening. Both of these good and knowledgeable doctors are from South Africa and we are so blessed to have them here where there is a shortage of good doctors in the country.

When I left the hospital a shift change of nurses had just taken place.  Here a nurse hurries home.

Blue Monday, September 27, 2010

Click on each photo to enlarge.




For more Blue Monday scenes click here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Crisis of the Week

Dear friends and fellow bloggers,

Some of you will remember that I am here in the City of Kamloops. I was to be here for approximately one month to look after my  mom who came out of hospital two days after I arrived. I had been looking after her and nursing her for a few weeks when she took a sudden turn for the worse.

On Wednesday (just passed) as I went to town to pick up some fish for my visiting niece, mom called me and asked me to rush home. When I arrived her lips were turning blue and she was shivering a great deal. She could not get warm. I had to turn on the space heater, get her warm drinks and cover her as best I could.  All the while I kept insisting I should call the ambulance. She said an emphatic "no". We have been through these shivering episodes before and so I took a chance that she would warm up and return to normal.  Previously these episodes have indicated a bladder infection left untreated.  In mom's case she suspected a bladder infection but it didn't seem that advanced.

After a stressful hour or so, mom's lips returned to their natural colour and she stopped shivering but she seemed a bit confused and not able to form a lot of her thoughts into sentences. She was exhausted so I let her rest.

In the morning, after her bath, we went to the hospital ER room where we waited for 5.5 hours before seeing the doctor. Mom seemed ok and looked much better than the previous night but after blood testing and a host of other tests, the doctor said mom's white blood cell count was 3x times the norm and he suggested she stay at least overnight perhaps a few nights in the hospital. Mom said she wanted oral antibiotics to go home and recover. The doctor simply said, "if you go home now, you will die at home."  Apparently she has sepsis, or whole body inflammation.

That settled things. Mom remained in ER and was moved that night at 9:30 p.m. to the ward. I had left the previous hour so she put up a protest about where they were moving her and into what bed given her previous bad experiences in August at the same hospital. Fortunately they did listen to her. She is on the same hospital floor as she was last month but she is in a different ward and they have different nursing teams. From what I can see in my several visits, they are treating her better and she is in good spirits.

I am now sorting and packing everything at mom's apartment as best I can while at the same time trying to attending to her needs at the hospital.  Originally the idea was that I would sort and pack on this trip as it appears to be ever more evident that mom needs to go into a nursing home despite her lack of enthusiasm for it. At this point, I am very ready for her to go into a facility where she can be monitored and cared for should anything go wrong. It is a hard decision but one that has taken years to get to. Now having read about sepsis and mortality rates after one has had sepsis, I fear the time could be short though I pray not.  In the meantime, I want her to have a comfortable and worry free existence.

Here is the hospital where she is staying.



Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7 

As I write this post I am very aware of so many who are dealing with the health needs of their elderly parents. Just yesterday afternoon a blogging friend wrote me to say her father had passed. Also, yesterday morning I had a call from a cousin whose father is in a nursing home and her mother is in a senior's residence with advancing dementia, cared for by the ailing second husband who has had several heart attacks which have left him weakened.
Lord I pray for these dear ones described above and for all those reading this post who have loved ones who are sick. Touch them and keep them and give grace and strength to those who care for them.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sky Over Three Days, Sky Watch Friday, September 25, 2010

These photos are taken of the sky above the house across the street. I discovered I had several photos of the same general place which were taken on three different days recently. I thought it was interesting to compare them all. Enjoy!

Such a pretty blue sky and a beautiful day.
A crisp Fall air can be felt today. I love the shadows cast by a Fall sun. Officially the end of summer was still a few days away.
I love the colours in the sky.

Join others from around the world for more Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hi friends,

I thought you might be interested in seeing two very short videos about the water drilled in Marigat, Kenya and the people who will receive the gift of water. For more information about this project see Jonah's blog here.





Meet others here for more Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Downtown Kamloops: Scenic Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thank you to my newest follower, Kiprotich from Kenya.

This is a continuation of a series of photos I've been taking of the City of Kamloops while I am here on a month long stay. I snapped all of these on September 6, 2010 when I first arrived. It was very quiet downtown as it is an annual statutory holiday and very little is open downtown. You can see more photos of this city if you click here, here and here.

View towards the north wherein lies the city and beyond that, the rivers and mountains.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Such a pretty little brick building.

I love the balustrade.

Canadian and Provincial flags flying on hospital grounds.

A view of the city from the 6th floor.


Main street of the downtown core.

Lamp posts and fare meters for parking.
Another view of the main street.

Yet another view of the main street. Though virtually everything was closed there were actually quite a few walking downtown. Mostly young people. My guess is they were college students as the library is close by.

The Plaza Hotel  is in the background with the green roof top. This is an historic hotel and it is furnished in Victorian style.


Some lovely planters line the streets.  You can see it was rather windy.


I love the vibrant red of these petunias.
Thanks for stopping by!  You can look for more Scenic Sunday blogs here.

Scenic Sunday

Friday, September 17, 2010

Views of Kamloops

A week ago Monday, I was visiting my mom at the local hospital. If you'd like to, you can read about it here.  I had to walk up this hill to get to the hospital. I thought you might like to see some views along the way. It was a statutory holiday here in my province that day so the streets were rather quiet.

The big  building in the middle at the end of the street is the hospital. On the right is the red brick Catholic Church.

In the distance you can see an old brick school on the left side just beyond the parking lot. In the distance you can see the mountains. The city of Kamloops is located in a narrow valley and has been built up around the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers.

A quiet street  facing the front of the old brick school house in the previous photo. In the Summer, this street is the location of a farmer's market where you can purchase wonderful produce and baked goods. On market days this street is lively, colourful and lots of fun.
A building housing many of the city's doctors and a pharmacy.  See the reflections in the glass!

A long shot of the same building.

A view of a long standing hotel chain in the city. In the background the "mountains".

Here is a close up of the school which I reference in the photo near the top of this post.

A view back toward the city as I continue up the hill.


I do hope you've enjoyed the photos. More photos of this walk (to hospital and town) will be posted later.

African Music & Happenings