It's after 1am. I have to work tomorrow. My Mamu's in the hospital.
Mamu means grandma in our family. There's only one. My Mamu. My brother started it. He didn't Know how to say the word for grandma in Armenian so he said Mamu and it stuck. That's all I've ever called her.
She's almost 85. Her true name is Amelia. Her friends call her Billy.
She's the strongest, most beautiful and nurturing woman I have ever known.
She was a welder during the war. The men were away so she took it on and she was one of the best. She even worked in Alameda where I lived years later. Her life is so interesting to me and I'm always learning more.
After that she married my grandfather. He was a plumber with a store in Costa Mesa.
She wanted to make her own money though so eventually, she took out a small loan and bought her first house. Fixed it up and sold it. She continued doing that so that she wouldn't have to depend on her husband for everything. She wanted to be self sufficient.
She never really made much extra money this way but she's managed to help people by doing this. Sure she get's screwed over a lot by those that are just looking for someone like her to take advantage of but her happiness comes from the successes of others and in being able to help them so I think the good always overshadows the bad for her.
She's my grandmother but she's also my mother figure. Without her I would never have learned what unconditional love was.
This morning I got a phone call.
My Mamu has had some stomach pains for a few days. Last night her husband awoke and reached over to touch her and she was cold. He thought she was dead. It terrified him. He tried to wake her up and she came around saying she felt ok but he insisted on calling an ambulance.
She said she was fine again, not wanting to complain. She's like that. She doesn't like to be a burden on anyone. It's so infuriating sometimes, especially this time. Right after she said she was ok she began vomiting.
She was rushed to the hospital at 3am and at that point I only know what was relayed to me by different family members that live near her and went to the hospital to be with her.
They took blood and urine tests, took a cat-scan gave her pain medicine and some antibiotics. They thought it was a kidney stone with a bladder infection and a few other issues that come with age and 5 hours later, then they sent her home with a bunch of prescriptions for pain, antibiotics, etc.
Then, about an hour after she got home, she got a phone call from the hospital. It seems they were mistaken and she might have an appendicitis.
She was rushed back to the hospital.
At this point I should add that this is a hospital in the desert. It's no UCSF. It's no Hoag. It's a desert hospital. Not the most attractive place for the best of the best to want to work.
She gets back to the hospital and they tell her that if it indeed is her appendix, they will cover the charge of the surgery. They're now trying to cover their ass for sending an 85 year old woman with a swollen appendix home with the wrong medication.
Something else I might add:
10% of all appendicitis is in the 60 years or older group. 90% are between the ages of 10 and 30. However, 50% of fatalities from appendicitis are in the 60 year and older group.
This scares me. I'm not sure how to take it.
Usually, with the elderly (and I hate to call her that because she's in better condition than my own real mother who's 60) they tend to not realize the pain they're experiencing is so bad that they should be hospitalized so they don't make it to the hospital in time.
So now they've moved her to another hospital. One with her real doctor and not just the ER doctor. They've done the tests again. Given 2 CAT scans and multiple blood tests. They say her appendix is inflamed but the doctor hasn't even seen her yet at the new hospital (this has been going on now for over 24 hours).
I'm freaked out. Worried sick. I don't know what to do and my mind is a blur. I'm angry at the hospital and frightened for my Mamu's life.
I want to fly down there and be with her. Flights from SF to Ontario are cheap now. But I have to wait til I get a phone call to see what the results are first. I feel like I'm going to be up all night but I don't know if I can do it. I'm so worried.
Should I fly down in the morning? Screw work? Just go?
there's so many more issues but i'm into my second glass of wine. Yeah, Ive been so stressed I haven't even been able to drink wine!.
My grandmother is an amazing woman. She's been through a lot and always has a smile and a joke at the end of it to lighten the mood even when it's her life on the line.
I love her. I don't want anything to happen to her. I need to spend more time with her before our time runs out and I'm scared.
If it's her time, I guess it's her time. I don't want her in pain. I just want to be able to spend a little more time with her. I haven't seen her since Christmas, two years ago. Before that it was even longer.
I don't get along with my own mother, Mamu's daughter. No one does. She has some issues that tend to push people away which keeps me away from the area in which they live. Unfortunately Mamu and her live near each other and my grandmother doesn't like to lie so it's very difficult to get alone time with her.
What can I say? I'm afraid. I don't want my grandmother to die because of a hospital error. I don't want her to die at all. If she has surgery there's a problem with her heart that makes the anesthesia difficult to come out of already. At 85 that's a scary thought. If her appendix bursts though...well...
I'm sorry. I just really needed to put this down in words and let it hit home a little harder. Sometimes it's easier to post it online because I'm forced to read it over and over again. I'm scared.