When it comes to health issues, my mother has never taken the simple route. When Rush Medical Center in downtown Chicago called my sister and I to inform us that my mother was ready to check out, we were a little confused. Her condition was stable, but we concurred that she needed a few more days to convalesce and be observed. It was a Saturday afternoon, so traffic from the west suburbs wasn't horrible; my mother was relatively quiet for most of the ride. When we came home, however she immediately complained of abdominal pain and dizziness. When Carafate and a glass of 2% milk didn't do the trick, my sister called 911. She was rushed to the local hospital, and within hours landed right back in the Rush ICU.
As I write this my mother has been in the hospital for 22 days, including her 2 1/2 "layover" at home. She ended up having another heart surgery two days after she was readmitted, and a minor procedure to adjust the brain stent two days after that. After that last procedure, she made it adamantly clear that she wanted no more surgery, even though she wasn't out of the woods just yet. Her doctors believe that one of her aorta stents is leaking and needs an adjustment, and everyone (including myself) believes one more procedure would be necessary. My mother, stubborn to a fault, is reluctant to weigh the option.
So what happens now? On Saturday morning, my sister and I will meet with my mother's team to discuss how to move forward. If my mother continues to refuse, she has about a year to reconsider; otherwise, the aorta leak could potentially kill her. Please stay tuned, and keep my family in your thoughts.