Thursday, October 23, 2014

she was just fine a week ago...

The last time I visited my mom, she was fine.  Her kind of fine, which includes shortness of breath, bent over...basically a little curmudgeon.

I couldn't see her on Monday because there were a bunch of things on my schedule,...she knew that and didn't call me to let me know that she had blood in her stool.  She didn't call me on Tuesday either...she wanted to see if she could take care of it herself by eating things such as bananas.  She waited until Wednesday morning (10/15) to call me at work to tell me what was going on with her.

Just my luck, we drove in to work with our new German student, Tilo...so now it was a little tricky since I didn't have a car, but I was able to leave work early and get her to her doctor.  Of course we knew that he would make her go to the hospital.  And he did.  He did a rectal exam on her and determined it was higher up.

Took her to the hospital where they had a room for her in observation.  She was not allowed to have food; only clear liquids.  She had been hungry when we arrived.

They made her do the prep work that night and the next day she had a colonoscopy.  After her colonoscopy, we found out that she had a polyp that had aggravated, large (size of a golf ball) and actively bleeding.  This needed to be removed.  Mom has COPD and is weak and frail and doesn't like the idea of old people being cut into because they have a tendency to get infections.

Took a couple of days before we were all convinced by the doctors that this is something that she SHOULD have done.  If she waits, she'll have all the risks she faces now, plus a bunch more because it would then become an emergency.

My oldest sister arrived on Saturday afternoon and is still here ~ spending all day at the hospital with my mom.  Here is her blog post from yesterday.

Sunday morning mom had the surgery.  She did very well and didn't need a ventilator after the procedure.  But, she is in a LOT of pain.  So, they give her plenty of pain meds such as codine and morphine...which were making her completely loopy.  She was counting ceiling tiles and telling us that she was up there cleaning them.  She did not believe that she had had the surgery and was still anxious about having it done.

Tuesday afternoon, I brought my sister with me to look at after care facilities.  We looked at three and two looked very nice,...and one looked sort of horrible.  Reminded me of everything you don't want your parents to live in.  However, on-line reviews of these places and from what I hear from our Sister-in-law who works at the hospital, the one that looks bad is one of the better ones.  Decisions...

Yesterday (Wednesday ~ a week after arriving), she was having trouble breathing, not getting enough air, they think she has a UTI and is becoming septic.  They moved her into ICU.  They put a huge, high-powered oxygen mask on her to force air into her lungs; kind of a less invasive ventilator.  Now, no food whatsoever and no IV.  She hasn't eaten real food since last Wednesday.

When you visit her, she wants to talk but you can't hear her because of this mask...it's very frustrating.  We downloaded an app that she could use to write out what she wanted...she only did it once, and what was the thing she wanted to tell us?  "Get me a cookie" !!! Glad she has a craving for "real" food!

We asked the nurse if we could bring her dog in.  She told us that they only allow that if the dog is a worker dog or if the patient is in hospice....and your mom is no where near that!  Very glad to hear that!

Today looks a little better.  She is off the high-powered oxygen mask and can have some semi-solid foods such as applesauce and cream of wheat.  Her vitals are pretty good, the blood ox is good and the respiratory are good...her heart rate is a little high.

My other sister will arrive on Saturday, along with her son Nick.  That will free up my other sister to finally go back home and get some rest.

Once she's all better, I'm going to get her the best tasting chocolate chip cookie I can find!

2 comments:

Charisa said...

So sorry to hear this! My thoughts are with you and am hoping for a speedy recovery and many cookies!

Deni said...

Yvonne, thank you for writing this. It is a hard thing to go through that is for sure. You are a good daughter and a much loved sister. Hang in there; I will hope and pray it becomes easier for you rather than harder. I hope she gets into that skilled nursing facility while Terry is here with you.