What happened is that part of her small intestine got twisted and blocked. They got her to the hospital in time and she's got a drain-thing in her, ummm, draining. She's also on pain meds. It's possible that draining the stuff from the blockage will let it untwist by itself, which would be good. If not, then she'll need surgery. It is surgery, but it's not a huge deal and unless something goes completely south she should recover just fine either way; she'll just take a few more days to get home from the hospital if she does need the surgery.
My brother's very upset, of course, and has been going back and forth to work (he manages the produce department at the local WalMart) but his managers have been good about letting him do the stuff that he absolutely has to do and then getting back to the hospital. And my mom's friend Ann has been driving him back and forth -- she also took them to the ER in the first place earlier today, since Mom was in no shape to drive and Sean (like me) doesn't.
I'm hoping that the security flap will have died down at least somewhat by the time Mom gets home, so I can go stay with her if she needs me. As it is, buying a plane ticket at the last minute is one of the "TERRORIST!!1!!!11!!!eleventy!!" flags and if I'd shown up at LAX this evening during an orange alert with a ticket purchased two hours previously I'd probably still be in one of those little side rooms being grilled. [eyeroll]
Sometimes the universe just sucks, you know?
Thanks again to everyone who commented with good wishes. I appreciate your kind thoughts very much. [hugs everyone again]