Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stepping Back For A Bit.

Things have been quiet from me here the past few days. Truth is, things are going to be quiet here for a few more days. A lot of stuff has been going on lately and after the events of yesterday, it feels inappropriate to try to be funny. Yesterday afternoon, Evie, Mrs. C's grandmother, passed away. And both I and her son, the Evangelist, were there to see it.

I'll start from the beginning.


Evie had been living with us for the past few years. We knew she had a bad heart when she came, but she managed it with medication. What we didn't know about was the kidney stone. We knew she tired easily and we thought the fact that she was in her 80's and had heart problems was the reason. None of her regular doctor visits ever turned up anything.

When we moved here two years back, her health took a turn for the worse. At first, I assumed the stress of moving took its toll on her. She improved after some time but it didn't last. Mrs. C and her uncle, the Evangelist - Evie's son - took her to the doctors to find the cause. Time and time again, they found nothing and her health continued on a slow decline. When things got bad enough to rush her to the emergency room, they finally found it. It had grown to approximately the size of an egg. Surgery was the hospital's recommendation. Evie was scared and chose not to have it. This left the only option being trying to reduce its size with medication.

That did not go well.

Months went by and Evie had more downs than ups. To make matters worse, one of the medications she was taking caused a third complication. Now, Evie had blood clots to add to the list. It was a rare side effect, but she was one of the unlucky few. It also appeared that surgery soon became no longer an option and the blood clot situation had to be brought under control before the stone could be dealt with.

Evie had her good days, but like I said, the bad days were more frequent. Those times I mentioned not getting enough sleep, was usually due to Evie keeping us up because she didn't want to be alone when the pain hit during the night. It didn't help that she was stubborn and often refused to take her medication and even eat.

This continued for the next few months...


If you've been following my Facebook and Twitter postings, you probably already know that Mrs. C is in the hospital. Remember when I posted here a few weeks ago about her being a big crybaby because she was sick? Well, that went away soon after and life went back to normal. Then, last weekend, she started to feel not-so-hot again and, by Tuesday, she had a terrible fever, aches and chills that kept her up shivering most of the night.

The day after that was a holiday here so she decided to visit the hospital to get herself checked out. Mostly because she Googled herself into believing she had malaria. We spent the entire day and she had a bunch of tests done, but they couldn't determine what was wrong with her, other than she showed some sign of bacterial infection. After about seven hours, all they ended up doing was prescribing some cold meds and antibiotics and sending us on our way.

During that hospital visit, her fever eased up and, while her skin was still warm, it was a marked improvement. The night chills, however, did not go away and she woke up feeling terrible. Still, she had Evie to take care of, so she willed herself out of bed and got to the business of preparing her breakfast and her medication.

I was with her in the kitchen, getting ready for work myself. We were talking, I was at the counter making breakfast while Mrs. C sat on a chair behind me, rocking back and forth trying to deal with her body aches. That's when I suddenly heard the crash. I turned around to see the chair falling forward. Mrs. C was already on the floor. The sound was her head hitting the lower part of our stove. I turned her over and saw her pupils were dilated and she wasn't responding when I called her. I carried her to Evie's room, which was the closest one to the kitchen and put her on the bed.

I called an ambulance.

While it's never really officially been diagnosed, Mrs. C has been told she has low blood pressure and, sometimes, when she's severely stressed, it drops low enough for her to get light-headed. She passed out once before, years ago, after her brother's death, but this was the first time I had seen it happen. There was no detachment here for me. I was scared.

She came to less than an hour later at the hospital. For some reason, they did not take her to the same hospital we went to just the day before, though. I didn't get a reason why. The doctors there said she was anemic and it was assumed her illness had caused the blackout. That was not the main concern. Also, there was no damage from her falling and hitting her head, thankfully. The cause of her fever, however, was still undetermined and they wanted to keep her for tests. It was already Thursday, so this meant she was going to be there for the weekend, at least.


While all this was going on. Evie still needed attending to. The plan was for one of Mrs. C's cousins to pitch in during the day while I was at work, while I took care of making sure she had her breakfast, dinner and medication. Evie was being more stubborn than usual during that time, but I was accustomed to her and I knew what I had to do.

On Saturday, I went to visit Mrs. C during afternoon visiting hours. The Evangelist visited too and gave me a lift back home after visiting hours ended. We got home to find Evie in the toilet. That was where she was when I left two hours before. We asked her if she was okay and she said she didn't have the strength to get up. I was on the phone with Mrs. C and we all thought she was being stubborn again and tried to get her to come out.

Her voice was weak.

The door wasn't locked so her son went in and tried to help her out. That's when she collapsed. I helped him lift her and carry her to the bed. She lay on the bed and gave us a blank stare. For the second time in three days, I was calling for an ambulance. The operator told me to check her breathing. That's when I realized she no longer was.

The operator told us to apply CPR, which we did, but we both knew she was gone. We continued the CPR for almost twenty minutes until the ambulance arrived and the EMTs took over and took her to the hospital. As far as we know, she never regained consciousness.

Ironically, they took her to the same hospital I just came from. Where her granddaughter was warded. Mrs. C took the news hard. I could hear her crying over the phone, but I knew they would not let me up to see my wife, especially at that time of night.

I've already gone on a lot longer than I should just to say that I'm taking a short break. I'm fine, strangely enough. Mrs. C discharged herself today and is dealing with it as best as she can. The doctors think they know the cause of her fever and they say it's nothing antibiotics can't fix. They just wanted to run one more test next week to be sure.

Meanwhile I don't think I can do witty, or snarky, of funny right now. I have to focus on my wife and helping her get through this. I'll be back when things settle.


  1. nothing snarky here either. I know what dealing with loss feels like. so sorry you and mrs. c need to deal with it. RIP evie.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about Mrs.C's Aunt Evie. poor Mrs. C to not be there with her must be devastating to her. I hope they are able to establish a final diagnosis soon to get her on the right meds to help her recover.
    Take your time coming back and stay focused on the healing of Mrs. C, from her illness to her pain and sorrow of losing her Aunt Evie.

  3. Oh Vinny,
    My heart goes out to you and your family. Your poor wife to have to receive news like that on the phone, and poor you to be unable to go to her and comfort her, when Evie was beyond comforting. Many hugs from our neck of the woods, and I hope the next few days bring peace, though I know they won't take away the grief.

  4. Oh my goodness. I've seen the updates but really appreciate you sharing the details of what you guys have been going through. When it rains, it pours, and in this case it's kind of a sh*t storm. I'm sorry for your loss and am sending positive thoughts to you and your family for both physical and emotional comfort.

  5. Oh my gosh, you've been through a lot. I am so sorry for the loss of Evie. She sounds like she was a spitfire. And I can't imagine how scary having to call for an ambulance twice in one week. Hopefully Mrs. C will heal quickly from whatever is wrong with her. Hugs to both of you.

  6. Sorry to hear about all of this Vinny. You take as long as you need and you take care too.

  7. This was...very hard to read. But also compelling. My heart goes out to you and yours. This is an unbelievably trying time and I'm sorry for your loss and the stress of not knowing what's exactly going on with Mrs. C. If there's a way to help, if you're falling behind with bills and what not, let us know.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for all the kind words. Mrs. C is home & doing as well as can be expected. Things are pretty okay, all things considered.

  9. Wow, what a crazy harrowing time. So sorry this all has happened. My condolences to Mrs. C and you. I hope things get a lot better quickly for both of you.

  10. So sorry for the hard times you and Mrs. C are going through. Hope things start turning around soon.

  11. Vinny I just read this and my heart aches for you and Mrs. C - Sending you hugs across the pond and lifting you all up in prayer. xox

  12. Thinking of you both. xoxo


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