Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just a paralegal

Ugh...I really don't know where to begin. Yesterday I went over to check on mom over my lunch break like I typically do. She's been having some breathing issues for the past couple days and I was working hard at getting her hemoglobin back up from last week (8.4).  I got over there and her breathing did not sound right at all. She was gasping for air even at rest and wheezing. She also told me that she was urinating pink. This set off a red alert and I immediately called the oncology clinic. They advised me to rush mom to the ER right away. They said they'd call over there and let them know we're coming. Our drive to the ER was a scary one. It felt like I was extremely close to losing her and she'd take her last breathe right in front of me. It wasn't suppose to be like this.

We arrived at the ER and a slew of medical staff began working on her. It was like an episode out of ER. They doctor on call and nurse kept asking questions and I was able to fill them in thoroughly on background, symptoms, blood counts, chemo and medications.  I told the nurse all about mom's prognosis and how I have been combating things. She asked if I was a professional personal care assistant. I was kind of in a daze and I uttered, "No, I'm just a paralegal".

While in the ER, they ran a slew of tests (chest xray, EKG, bloodwork, cat scan and urinalysis). The attending physician said that preliminary tests showed that she had a few infections (urinary, bladder and respiratory). But all of which were going to be treated with intensive antibiotics. They also said that she could have pneumonia since there was more fluid in her lungs. She had to be hooked up to an oxygen tank cause she couldn't breathe on her own at all.  Even while on the tank, there were still moments she was struggling for air. It was very scary.

The nurse said we'd be spending the night there cause more tests were going to be run the following day.  They were going to be monitoring her condition throughout the night. Also,  since mom had her thoracentesis on Friday, it didn't make sense that the fluid would be back so quickly.

As she filled us in on what'll happen next, she said to me, "Honey, you're more than just a paralegal". Her words stuck with me.


  1. this post brought tears to my eyes. even though i dont know you and you're not my caretaker, i want to say thank you. you're more than just a paralegal. (and i'm an attorney if that counts for anything.) you're so brave and inspirational. su-jin