Back Forty, coffee pot posts, Family

Sunday morning coffee pot post and Back Forty update

I enjoyed my gardening yesterday and this morning in the Back Forty and the front shade garden, after being on an emotional roller coaster ride earlier in the week (see below the photos if interested).

Bees are busy on the blueberry bush.

After weeding out the violets and digging up the dead rosemary bush I found what I think might be a blackberry volunteer.

I know that I won’t be able to achieve cleaning up the entire yard this year so I have changed my goal to concentrating on this part of the yard and the front yard. I’m going to put pine needles around the fig tree and the swing. Growing in this area now: alpine strawberries, borage, parsley, bronze fennel, red violetto artichoke, French sorrel, red sorrel, blueberries, garlic from last year. I still have some weeding to do. I think that I will plant some green beans or shell beans here, and field peas. I bought chicken wire to protect them from rabbits this year.

Along the fence I planted three colors of butterbeans (lima beans), turnip greens for Lucy, Bull’s blood beets, and a few purple bush snap beans.

The big surprise this week was the morel mushrooms I found growing next to the house. There are now three of them.

Front shade garden: the fern that I thought was dead came back and had a baby. The edge gets more sun so I planted dill and parsley to join the sage and thyme. The rosemary sprig I rooted here last year is actually alive. I moved more foxgloves and bloodroot and hostas to the front. If you are curious how bloodroot got its name, see the last photo.

In other news:

Life has been a wild ride the last few days. A couple of days seemed like a week. Mama got very sick last Saturday night with what we thought was a stomach virus. Lisa went back to her house on Sunday and by Tuesday decided to take her to her family practice doctor in Dillon, SC because of her pain around her kidney. He did a CT scan and before the test results were even in told Lisa that he was sure it was cancer. It wasn’t. He wanted to admit her to the hospital in Dillon, but we decided that the hospital in Lumberton (not far away) would be better since her upcoming procedure was scheduled there with a GI surgeon.

That turned into a nightmare because they had no rooms and the ER had a seven hour wait, even though her doctor had called ahead and supposedly got her clearance to be admitted right away. After three hours we had told the nurses that if she wasn’t moved to a bed in 30 minutes that we were taking her home and finding another hospital in the morning. They finally put her in a bed in an exam room, where we stayed for the next 16 hours.

To shorten this story, we were told that she had a very rare kind of kidney infection with abcesses around her kidney, that her kidney was no good, that antibiotics would probably not work fast enough, and the other three choices we were given were invasive and most certainly would result in sepsis and she would be very sick in the hospital for weeks if she survived. He told her, “To be brutally honest, you may not ever leave the hospital.”

We had her transferred by ambulance to UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill which is an excellent teaching hospital near my sister’s house. She was put in a bed in the ER and the entire experience immediately turned more optimistic. The interns and doctors were puzzled at our general freak-out because they didn’t see it as a grave situation. She would have been put into ICU and then operated on that night if we had left her in Lumberton. At UNC, she was put into a room around midnight and they decided to continue her on antibiotics and fluids.

Lisa and Thad and I were able to go to bed around 1:30 that night. Lisa and I had been up for 41-42 hours straight and Thad was not in much better shape. It had taken us 29 hours and two hospitals to get her in a room.

Now the diagnosis is that she has a hematoma and it is blood surrounding her kidney. There is not an abcess to drain but she did have an infection and a couple of kidney stones. She is much better and began sitting up in a chair and physical therapy began yesterday. Once the blood is absorbed they will do another CT scan to try to determine the cause of the hematoma, so she is not out of the woods yet. However, the plan is to release her on Monday or Tuesday to a rehab facility for about a week, then she will probably stay with my sister for a little while, then go back home to live independently again.

Everyone has been impressed with her strength and appearance and general health at 90 years old. She is being flirted with by good looking male nurses. Things are much better than they were a few days ago. We are dismayed and angry at the doctors in Lumberton. She might be dead by now if we had stayed there.

So. Life goes on. We never know what may change from one minute to the next, so enjoy this minute, in this place, in your body, right now.

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