Sunday, January 19, 2014
The Fourth Time She Almost Died
We The phone rings and of course I answer. It is the hospital, worse it is Mom's doctor. This can't be good and my hunch is correct. Earlier that morning her breathing got worse, bad enought that he thought it might have been a stroke. As they worked to find out what was happening her breathing got worse. She wasn't exchanging oxygen well. The obstruction in her trachea that was just an annoyance had become a life and death problem.
He had to put me on hold but couldn't figure out how to do that so he apologized for having to hang up on me then promised to call back. That was of course after he said that Mom might not live through this. He stopped short of saying get to the hospital now. Of course I didn't need to be told to do that.
Dad got ready and the kids also got ready to go. They wouldn't be allowed in the ICU so I had to call my ex to take them. Luckily he didn't argue and met us at the hospital. My son shoveled the ramp and brushed off the cars windows. I was so proud of him. They were being brave because of course they heard me loudly (he has trouble hearing) tell Grandpa that we had to get to the hospital because Mom was being prepped for surgery that she might not survive.
She has been through so much. This would be the fourth time she almost died in just under two months. I was worried that she would give up. I was worried about putting her on a vent. Something she doesn't want permanatly. I am her health care proxy and I had to make this decision if it looked like she would never be able to get off the vent could I say no?
We got to the hospital so fast that the doctor called me back as we were pulling into the parking lot. My son answered the phone and clearly told the doctor that we were almost there and again I was proud of him for the second time that morning (maybe afternoon I really was unsure of the time).
Dad was so upset he was upset when the kids were just talking in the backseat. Of course when he tried to get out of the car once I pulled up to the main entrance he didn't hear me yelling at him to stay I. The car so I could get him a wheel chair. Luckily my brother was there to help. I think Dad was going to try to walk on his own. Just what I needed another medical emergency when he fell, luckily that didn't happen.
So I managed to get a close spot, an advantage of having to take care of handicapped parents. I rushed in and we all went to see Mom. I talked to the doctor and recognized him from her original ICU admittance from her head injury. That was when she was intubated, where the obstruction came from. Her body was overhealing an abrasion from the intubation. He said it was something that occasionally occurs from an intubation.
They came to get Mom and we moved to the surgical waiting room. I managed to get Dad to eat something, not much but he loved the orange that I brought him. It must have been amusing to see me walk back from the cafeteria carrying a tray loaded with multiple bowls of soup, bags of chips, pop, milk and some hummus for good measure. It was a long slow walk back from the elevator, which was right next to the surgical wing.
After we ate and talked the surgeon, who were were told was THE BEST ENT SURGEON came in. As soon as I saw him I knew she was okay. He talked to us, not at us. Always a good quality in a doctor. He even thinks that he will be able to start removing the obstruction on Wednesday like he originally planned. Although he did warn us that it could take several visits separated by 4-6 weeks to completely remove it.
The day ended with me making Dad his favorite dinner, lasagna. I used a small bread sized pan because I knew we wouldn't be able to finish a big one. Plus I have one in reserve for a quick dinner later this week. My ex brought the kids back, grumbling this time because I didn't pick them up.
I was lucky that I made it home with Dad. We are so emotionally drained. Still he waited until 8 pm to go to bed. I really wanted to sleep too. But I knew and was right. He had him midnight potty break and couldn't find a way out of his room. Luckily, like a mom can pick her baby's cry out of a crowd, I am tuned into his cries for late night help.
Now we wait until Wednesday when mom is moved to the county hospital and then hopefully back to rehab to build her strength again. This all started on a Wednesday, maybe it can end on a Wednesday too.