We’re lucky; here in Philly we managed to avoid the worst of the storm. We had a fair amount of wind and rain but the work we’d done in the basement and on the tree in front of the house held up and all we have to cope with is a kid with cabin fever (although she’s currently having a playdate and the two of them are arguing, so, you know, FUN).

I spent a few hours with my mom at the hospital and learned… nothing. They took more xrays. We waited. We heard nothing. Finally she was exhausted and I needed to be home so I left. Today, she’s much less clear than she was either Sunday or yesterday, but she’s also now running a fever and on pain meds so no one is alarmed (except me; I feel like a broken record trying to remind everyone that she is NOT A DODDERING OLD LADY, DAMN IT, FIND OUT WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG).

Finally, after 48 hours of not hearing from any doctors, I sat down with the attending physician today and we went over about a dozen things that we think she might be having issues with from medications to circulation issues to thyroid or other metabolic issues to B12 deficiencies to blood pressure to inner ear to…. ack. Basically, they’ve ruled out the horses, so now they are beginning to look at zebras. Still waiting on a consult from her neurologist (who is affiliated with this hospital), some other tests they are going to do tomorrow, including a rather big one; checking her resting cortisol to see if her adrenal glands were damaged from 20 months of steroids for the pneumonia.

Y’all, I’m tired.

Plus, lingering in the back of my heart and mind has been the knowledge that Saturday was the 8th anniversary of my son’s deaths, and how I’m simply unable right now to go there and feel the pain – particularly since I already touched on it, writing about the boys and abortion and the election several times recently. I feel like I cannot let myself go there again. Which is stupid, of course. But I’m trying to hold it together for my mom, help with the family’s storm related stress, and there’s just no time for me to fall apart right now.

But of course, your body and mind make time, and last night’s combined news about New York City – particularly the thought of the NICU babies at NYU’s hospital getting evacuated down nine flights of stairs because of power failure (and back up power failure) and then the rumor that Coney Island Hospital was on fire, completely, and no one could get to them to help (not true at all, apparently; a car burned in front of the hospital) threw me over the edge and I had a full panic attack.

I’ve had fewer than five panic attacks in my life and I don’t really know what to do with them when they happen other try to take deep breaths which felt impossible because my heart hurt. I tried distracting myself by discussing politics on twitter and everyone yelled at me for trying to score “points” during the emergency so then I felt shitty as well as panicky.

Good times.

In the midst of all of this I’m trying my best to work, which today is kind of laughable. My head is too muddled. I think I’m going to go nap and try again tonight.

So. There you have it, my “report.”

How are you doing? Were you in the storm’s path? Are you doing okay? Can I help? Let me know.

Comments Closed


  1. says

    Hey there – stay well during all the storms going around you please? I am on the other side of the earth to the storm, and my heart goes out to everyone affected (and those who will continue to be affected)

  2. Tine says

    Hugs. That is all. You’ve got a lot on your plate, lady.

    As for me…I’m exhausted. (My daughter was up at 3AM barfing.) BUT. I’m also in Minnesota, which is not currently underwater–or snow–or anything else. So…as we say here: “Can’t complain!”

  3. says

    Girl, you hang in there. I KNOW first hand how it is to have the battle with the Dr.’s for your Mom. Been there, done that. Don’t let anyone back you down or make you doubt yourself.

    Not in the path of the storm here in SE MO. but they say we’ll get some wind. Who knows?

    How about you let us know if YOU need anything?

  4. says

    I’m fortunate enough to live in one of the most elevated neighborhoods in Manhattan, so I made it through the hurricane unscathed. No loss of power. No loss of Internet. I just ended up having a great time inside with my boyfriend. No complaints here.

  5. says

    Up all night worrying in Northern VA, but never lost power and all is well. Your mother is lucky to have you as her advocate. No way you are backing down. And thank you for sharing you. That’s how you help.

    Be well.

  6. Kelli says

    You have got to be freakin’ kidding me? Get over yourself jerk! This woman is doing all she can for her mother. If all you can say is nasty crap then go the hell away. No one makes you read here. Seriously? Why do people like you even exist?

  7. Kelli says

    Sorry Cecily…I’m in a mood today and their comment peeved me. I’ve been reading you for years and never commented before. I just had to vent that out. AAARRGGG!!!

    You are doing amazing! Your mom is lucky to have you! Don’t listen to the assholes of the world!

  8. says

    I’m sending good thoughts your way. With everything you have going on right now, it’s not surprising that it all caught up with you and turned into a panic attack. Hopefully the next few days will bring you some answers about your mum and you’ll be able to find some time for yourself.

  9. says

    Here in Ft. Lauderdale with gorgeous weather and a huge case of survivor’s guilt. This stuff is supposed to happen to us, not you guys up there. We’re better equipped to handle it.

    I read something by a doctor once that said most medical tests are given simply to rule things out. Rule enough possibilities out and you find your answer. Sometimes it just takes a while. XO

  10. says

    Not in the path of the storm (we’re in CO; family in coastal North Carolina and Maine are fine) but amazed at what I’ve seen (and I’m an atmospheric scientist).

    I had total hip replacement surgery Oct 25th and have been recovering nicely. Can even put full weight on the operative leg (although the quadricep they manipulated — to put it nicely — during surgery is very angry). Husband has been home (unemployed since late August), helping me so I can work from home while I recover.

    The unverse, however, decided that we needed more challenge, so husband woke up in extreme abdominal pain yesterday (thought it was from the super-spicy chile he’d made and that he could tough it out with Tums), but after 5-6 hours he finally agreed to see the doctor. And when we couldn’t get in for 1.5 hours, agreed to go to the ER. Turned out to be a perforated ulcer and emergency surgery. Yeah, working from home is easier said than done while your caregiver is
    in surgery. But things are under control now and he should be OK.

    I’m sorry your mom’s situation is so complicated.

  11. chickenpig says

    I’m glad you made it through the storm ok. Has your mom been checked for a UTI? From what I understand they can cause dizziness and falling, and obviously a temp. Not all docs check for a UTI for dizziness, though, just in case they haven’t already.

    I am thinking of you and your boys as I do every year at this time. I just want you to know that you can add my thoughts and prayers to the list of all the kind people that are already thinking of you, your boys, Charlie, Tori, and your mom. :)

  12. blah says

    I understand you’re very worried about your mom, understandably so, but it kind of makes me cringe to see you publishing so much information about her medical condition this way. Based on what you’re saying she’s in no position to give informed consent for you to do this, and you’re telling everyone about things she may consider personal. Obviously you can do whatever feels right to you, but just wanted to suggest this as something to consider.

  13. hayesmary says

    Kelli, was your comment directed at blah? because blah’s comment was neither jerky nor nasty. It was, in fact, a respectful disagreement and a gentle suggestion that Cecily consider a different way of looking at things.

    Your comment, however . . .

    Cecily, I am so sorry for what you and your mother are going through right now. It must be so hard to wait for a proper diagnosis, and I hope the answers come soon.

  14. Jb says

    Maybe check in with doctor mama on your mom. I think it can be hard for docs not to see – doddering older woman – and have a hard time letting that go. The babies brought tears to my eyes – there was an unscheduled fire alarm when my son was in the transitional (not even nicu) nursery and it was scary – and no babies were carried down flights of stairs. Hang in there!!

  15. Amy says

    So sorry to hear of your mom’s situation, hoping you all get the answers and solution VERY soon.

    8 years…. Where the hell does time go? Know the years add up but the pain always there. What you went through with the boys was horrific and how I found you all those years ago. They will never be forgotten.

  16. says

    I am sending you love and strength and prayers.

    New Jersey is STILL an absolute mess. We have no power, no television, no radio, no internet, no landlines, no cell phone service, no texts, no emails, no form of communication whatsoever – nothing. And it could take up to a week to restore everything. Also, the roads are awful. Trees and power lines are down. Streets, and bridges, and tunnels, are closed. No traffic lights work. Ect. Oh, and you can forget about trying to get gas in your car.

    Luckily, I was able to escape the disaster area, with my son, and and we made it to Pennsylvania safely. We are staying at my brothers house where there is POWER and INTERNET and SHOWERS and FOOD and FAMILY and TELEVISION and LAUGHTER.

  17. says

    Murr. Life can be quite the shitshow sometimes. I wish you weren’t going through these things, and I hope your sky brightens a bit soon, along with everyone in NJ and NY. The cats and I huddled close in this DC apartment, and our experience was minimal compared to all of you who are up north.

  18. says

    In fairness to your mother’s doctors, it’s very common for older patients to become confused while in hospital, and so what seems to be lack of concern on their part may simply be them recognizing that your mom’s lack of clarity is a common and usually benign thing. (Or they may just be asses. Some doctors are.) With respect to her falls, often falls aren’t the result of a single identifiable thing going wrong, but rather are the result of multiple smaller things (medications, illness, fatigue, poor vision, poor balance, etc.) acting in concert. Does your mom have access to a geriatrician and/or a multidisciplinary team that may be able to work together to help prevent further falls?