You’ve got what?

Well, Mom calls Dispatch and tells them that Nana is scheduled for surgery to drain the infection on Friday, Dispatch calls my supervisor, my supervisor — not knowing me just too well quite yet — solemnly and with great gravity takes me to a quiet place to give me the news that Nana was going into surgery.

Schmuck started out by telling me that the Department Chaplain was available if I felt the need — before telling me that Nana was simply heading for the OR. Scared the [deleted] out of me. I thought Nana had augered in on the table.

Anyhoo, Nana got down to the OR, the surgeon and his minion talked with her for a while, then everyone decided not to do surgery.


I hadn’t realized that it was an option.

They bunged Nana back upstairs, told the nurses that they changed their minds about surgery, and the nurses had a melt-down. Seems that Nana hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for the previous 12 hours, nor had she been given her meds.

The melt-down — in and of itself — was nothing but a testament to the dedication of the nursing staff.

How-some-ever, the nurse who called me to give me the news was still over-wrought from the melt-down, and simply left the following message on my voice-mail: “Your grandmother isn’t going to have surgery.”

Since the message was delivered in a voice still quivering from the melt-down, I immediately thought Nana was too far gone for surgery to help and I hauled butt for the hospital, mentally assembling A List Of Those Who Were Going To Be Very Sorry.

Imagine my state of mind when I button-hooked the door into her room and discovered an empty bed?

Promptly assuming the worst (what happens when we ASS-u-ME, students?), I trudged to the nurses station and shakily enquired as to the location of my grandmother.

Sayeth the nurse, “She isn’t in her room?”

I blink. Nurse trundles into Nana’s room, and yelps, “Oh, goddammit, Mildred’s gone again!”

Short search later, and Nana is discovered in the cafeteria — five floors down — noshing happily on roasted chicken with cajun rice and telling stories to a pack of enthralled cafeteria personnel.


The doctor says that Nana has two different bugs in the surgery site. However, he’s of the opinion that Nana is healthy enough to shake the infection with IV vancomycin, so that’s what we’re doing.

You know … sometimes I wonder what a normal life would be like.


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Aftermath comments

20 thoughts on “You’ve got what?”

  1. God bless her, LD! She’s quite the woman. I’ve got you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for letting us all get to know Nana little by little with your posts. She’s absolutely charming. 🙂

  2. Oh, and BTW, hope she beats the infection very soon. It appears she’s well on her way to doing just that though!

  3. God love her she is made of some stern stuff. I can only hope that I am half that tough as I close in on the century mark. Knowing me as well asd we both do though, i’m sure I’ll be screaming like a 12 yr old and begging for one last go at the morphine button.

    Will keep the positive vibes headed in your way.

  4. I would have been worried too. I’m Surprised she wasn’t doing a conga line down the cardiac ward.

  5. LD from the sound of it nanna may not need the antibiotics but it would sure make the nurses feel better. Thoughts and prayers to you and yours.


  6. If Nana is your payback for youthful behavior, you must have been a hellion! *grin*

  7. “You know … sometimes I wonder what a normal life would be like.”

    Not worth blogging about? 😉

  8. You would be bored with a normal life. You know that you would. If you had wanted a normal life, I don’t believe that you would have walked the path that you have chosen.

    May you have the same stamina, long life and tenacity of your Nana. She also is treading the path that she has chosen and is doing it in style.

  9. “You know … sometimes I wonder what a normal life would be like.”


    Good news is that Nana’s doing so well.

    Bad news is all the miscommunication.

    Have a nice cup of earl grey with tsp. cinnamon & cloves. Good for the digestion. Good for the blood pressure.

    Nana’s one tough old bird! Except for the language barrier, she’d have gotten along great with my Great Uncle Octavio who was 90 & still living alone in the rain forest, chopping his own wood & not taking any lip from anyone.

    “Shure don’t make ’em like that anymore.”

    Give her a hug for me, Lawdog.

  10. Vanc is yummy stuff. I got a few days’ worth a year and a half ago after clindamycin and gentamycin didn’t clear up my infected, ruptured olecranon bursa (don’t ask). Got better very shortly thereafter, sort of.

    I think she’ll do fine and be chasing you with a switch in no time at all.


  11. LD, I have the feeling that your Nana is planning on outliving you…….

    And that she is quite the character…. I love the fact that the nurse exclaimed that she wasn’t in her room *AGAIN*……..

  12. Diamonds, carbide, and tungsten have nothing on your Nana when it comes to hardness. I hope I’m so spunky when I’m gettin’ up there.

  13. Go Granny, Go

    prayers to you and your family,



    “she’s gone?, Again?”

  14. Yer might be a pommie bastard, but yer sure can write….and give good advice. Good on yer, mate!

  15. My boyfriend directed me to this post because he thought I’d find it familiar. A few years ago one of my fathers (stepfather sounds too distant) died from brain cancer. Vietnam finally caught up to him.

    While he was in the VA, he often disappeared, and the nurses would find him outside, having a smoke and talking to me on his cel phone.

    They never figured out that though he was in rough shape, he was still a soldier, and would belly crawl past the nurses station.

    Semper Fi, Gunny.

    And thanks for the smile LD. As much as your gram’s little escapes may be giving you heart-attacks now, they’ll make for great stories and memories.

  16. Go Nana!

    Seriously, though. I inadvertenly just about did the same (chaplain induced heart attack) to the Marine!Goth when his grandma went into the hospital last October. I couldn’t get ahold of him (due to him not letting me know he was going to be in the field – normally a non-issue).

    We weren’t sure if Mom was going to make it – she’s younger than Nana, but it was a stroke and there’s some family history there. So I did a Red Cross notification when JC hadn’t called me back after two days and about 10 messages on his cell.

    The Sgt pulled him out of formation with a “report to the padre’. You’ve had a Red Cross call.” JC said his heart about stopped.

    Luckily, my mom’s about as tough as Nana – and almost as stubborn, too!

    Best of luck and prayers continue for you and yours.

  17. *chuckles* All I have to say is this…Payback can really be a pain in the patootie can’t it? Think of all those years that Nana worried about you or yours…and exhale, shake your head, look up to the heavens and realize God is laughing AT you not WITH you on this one but, at least you get to laugh WITH Him.

    Will be sure to toss up a little message to Him for Nana too and ask that, while hearing about this brightens my day (because I realize I aint alone in similar things), I do hope she recovers quickly and find even MORE…interesting things…to pay you back with…like..maybe a new sportscar! *snicker*

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