Swimming in Coffee

Well last week was kind of stressful for the Wilcoxon household. My mom had to go through a few medical tests and then have her gall bladder surgery. The medical tests went well and the surgery went super fast and successful! My mom has joined the many who have said “buh bye” to their gall bladders.

She had her surgery last Thursday on the Ides of March. At first she was scheduled for 12:30pm, then they moved it further into the afternoon due to an emergency her surgeon had to take care of first, and then at 1:30 they called her and said that he’s ready for her to come in.

As much as I dislike having to go to any hospital, the one we have nearby is very nice. They fixed up the Surgery Pavilion on the second floor so that now there’s a free coffee station with all the fixins and free coffee, and there are now consultation rooms so that the surgeons can update family members in private. They also have a few patient tracking screens in the waiting area, so that family members can see when the patient is in pre-op, in surgery or in the recovery area. Then the family members can be paged because now we get one of those square thingies that beeps and lights up like they give you at TGI Fridays or Red Lobster (at least I think they still do it that way).

Anyway, I was paged and informed that my mom was getting prepped for surgery, so I was able to go see her for a bit. The main thing that made both of us nervous was when the anesthesiologist made his entrance and asked the nurse why my mom had chicken broth that morning. The nurse told him that her time kept getting pushed back. Then he turned to my mom and asked her the same thing. All we thought was, “Please don’t postpone the surgery for another day. PLEASE!” Well he didn’t. They gave my mom some kind of liquid to drink to resolve the situation.

Then the same anesthesiologist teased my mom about the day she was first sent to the E.R. because she thought she had food poisoning. He noticed that she had eaten White Castle cheeseburgers from the store and said that red wine is much healthier. Actually, my mom is taking meds for her heart issues, so I’m guessing that the wine and the pills will clash. I know he was just trying to lighten the mood, and he kind of succeeded. Anyone who can exasperate my mom like her kids can is not totally bad.

During her surgery, I read some interesting articles in magazines and took advantage of the free coffee. I drank more than usual, but it was very good coffee. While reading the articles, mostly in Oprah Magazine, I was able to jot down some books I’d like to order, and also learned this from the article called “4 Small Changes From Oprah That Can Make You Healthier” :

1.) Brush Your Teeth With Your Other Hand. If you use your non-dominant hand, it stimulates the production of a protein called BDNF that can improve your long-term memory, and even put you in a better mood.

According to Professor Moses Chao from the New York University School of Medicine, quote, “When you’re depressed or under stress, your brain’s production of BDNF plummets.”

One of the things antidepressants do is raise your BDNF level. Obviously, using your opposite hand to brush your teeth won’t raise it that much, but it can help. 

Anyway, about an hour and a half later, I was told that my mom’s surgery was over and that the surgeon would speak with me in the consultation room. At first I thought something was wrong, because this was the first time I was called into a room to discuss my mom. But no, the surgeon came in with a huge smile on his face and said that the surgery went well and that he didn’t find any problems. He wanted to keep her overnight but said that I could pick her up in the morning if everything went well!

Sure enough, I was able to pick her up the next day. Since she bought that guest bed a few weeks ago, I was able to sleep in her guest room. The bed was so comfy. We ate some food and watched movies I brought over. Then I was able to go home on Saturday night.


7 thoughts on “Swimming in Coffee

  1. Thank you for the update, Tara. I’m so glad to hear that your mom’s surgery went so smoothly and that she is recovering well! Let’s have some coffee to celebrate :)

  2. I’m glad to here your Mom’s surgery went well. Both my parents had theirs out…my Dad ended up staying in the hospital for a week though because of cardiac issues.

  3. Laura: Haha…Nooooo…no more coffee! Actually, I regained my taste for it the very next day. :)

    Silver: I was afraid my mom would have to stay there longer. When she was in the hospital for the original pancreatitis, the nurses and doctor argued over when my mom could leave. That was weird.

  4. That is great news! I’m glad it all went well. Hospitals have changed so much over the years. I think its wonderful how they think about the family these days and do all they can to include them and keep them comfortable. I bet your mom feels so much better!

  5. Silly Rabbit: She is definitely improving! She felt so good the other day that she climbed up on a little ladder to take some shelves down. Then it all caught up to her and she was sore the next day. She knows now that she has to pace herself and do small things for awhile instead of get carried away.

  6. MHW: Thank you! Yeah, that one in particular is conveniently close to us, too. That’s always a blessing. The only annoyance is that the parking is extremely limited by the middle of the day.

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