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Mom's Condition Update



This is getting to be a roller coaster ride.... (*sigh*).


Mom is now out of CCU (Cardiac Care Unit-like ICU but for heart patients) as of yesterday morning. I've been spending the night and I think I've had about 8 hours total of sleep in the past 4 days. She's having some anxiety about staying there alone in the hospital. So I've been staying, not in the room with her, but in the waiting room. Those couches and the floor are NOT comfortable, in addition I need a CPAP to be able to sleep. The CPAP is for my sleep apnea. Basically, I quit breathing while asleep and my oxygen levels fall to the low- to mid-sixty percent range. The CPAP provides a pressurized flow of air to keep my trachea from collapsing and lungs inflated during sleep. It's not a big piece of equipment, but it's a pain to lug around.


Anyway, Sunday Morning, Dad & Mom met with the on-call doctor AFTER I left for the morning. Unknown to me, until about 11:00AM, the doctor told Dad and Mom that, "There was nothing else they could do". Keep in mind Mom's in CCU at this point. Mom AND Dad thought that he was saying that she was going to die, and SOON. Dad called me at about 11 an absolute wreck. I got my butt up, showered, and to the hospital. I had fnally fallen asleep around 10 that morning, so I'm operating on about an hour of sleep, so I was grumpy anyway. I didn't even call from the waiting room. I marched myself back to CCU and started questioning the nurse as to what was going on. I was quiet. I promise. I didn't want to disturb the other patients or families. The nurse checked the chart, there was a recommendation of a Hospice consult, but they weren't doing any of the normal "Patient is going to die" preps as I call them. She was still hooked up to her IV's, was about to get lunch, still had her chest tube, and was about to get her Noon meds. Hmmmm.... I decided to observer and wait.


I stuck around, visited, and sent Dad home finally after mom had 10 visitors and they had all left. Spoke to the evening nurse, the night nurse, and then the oncoming morning nurse. Nobody had instructions to prep her for moving her home or to a private room. I sat up all night, waiting for her "regular" doctor to come in. When he came in, he checked her out, was satisified with what was going on, and was getting ready to leave. I pulled him aside and told him that what I saw him & the nurses to, the care she was still receiving, and what Dad said the on call doc said were contradictory. He asked what I was talking about. I explained what was said and what had happened. He wasn't a happy camper to say the least. He apologized and told me that what was actually meant was that they had isolated the specific bug that was causing her blood infection and the specific strain of pneumonia, and they were medicating her specifically for that. They weren't administering the meds via IV either, but by mouth. Things were not as grave as they were portrayed. He told me that they were going to treat her for her acute illnesses (blood infection, pneumonia) and then send her to skilled nursing for some rehab, and then home. That was his goal anyway. Yes, she still has, and will eventually die, either from complications from, or due to pulmonary fibrosis. But that they hadn't seen any worsening of the symptoms of the PF in her tests or x-rays. Hmmmmm.....


Well, after the doc left, I decided that I had had it. I pulled Dad outside to the CCU waiting room. I asked him to tell me specifically what the on-call told him yesterday, but he said he couldn't remember exactly. I told him to summarize it for me. He told me that the doctor told him that they had done all they could and that was that. Well, I saw red. Dad has not been sleeping well at all (neither have I but I'm a hell of a lot younger) and has been suffering from some pretty severe depression. I looked at Dad and asked him if he wanted Mom to die? He got a shocked look on his face! "What!?!?!" I said, "Well, Dad, that's what you're doing, putting Mom in her grave before she's even dead. Your attitude sucks! The doctor did NOT say that she was going to die soon, just that the meds needed 7-10 days to work on the blood infection and pneumonia and that then she would move to skilled nursing and then go home! HOME!!!" He looked down at his feet and couldn't respond. "Dad, if you don't turn your attitude around, Mom is going to do exactly what your thinking, she's going to die. The doctor told me that she still has a few good years left, but you're grieving her to her grave before she's even dead. If your attitude doesn't change, you'll get your wish! You're exhausted, you're depressed, you need your rest more than I do. If you can't go back in there and be positive and support her to get over the pneumonia and blood infection, go home. I'll take over. She eats when I'm here, when you're here with me, she fights me. Where you're here alone, she doesn't eat at all. Why is that Dad? You let her get away with it. You fall into her 'Pity poor me' and let her do what she wants. She doesn't have any fight left and we have to fight for her. You aren't helping like this, you're hurting, not only yourself, but her as well." It went on like this for a few more minutes. Dad finally relented. Said he would try to change his attitude and would help me and Mom anyway he could. I told him that I knew it was hard, but we had to be strong for her right now, help the nurses help mom and help mom help herself. I gave him a hug and a kiss after he said I should go home and rest. I headed home and then called the nurse on duty. She asked me what I told my Dad. I asked her why? She said my Dad's attitude had changed and that he was being more positive and upbeat, helping even, instead of moping in a corner. I thanked her for the information and then called Dad's doctor. Told his nurse about the anxienty Dad was feeling, the sleeplessness, and the depression. He was immediately prescribed meds to help combat this. The office manager even brought the meds to dad's home last nite. Now I just have to make sure he takes them! :2thumbs:


Well, they moved Mom out of CCU shortly after my tirarde and I checked in with them. Her attitude changed with Dad's. She's fighting more now than when she was. I pulled Dad aside this morning and told him to watch and notice how Mom's attitude reflected his own. He was surprised! He saw that she was fighting, saying that she wanted to get better and go home. We still have some rough patches coming I'm sure. But I think we'll eventually make it. I'm off for a nap. I have to be back at the hopital in a few hours.


Till next time!


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I'm glad for you! Your mom and dad are fighters, she will pull through okay. You need to keep your spirits high, you chin up, and hope for the best. That, and be the best damn son any mom has ever had. But from your additude, I can tel you will be strong for her, and keep fidhing no matter what. Keep pulling, we all are. :hug:




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Good for you, Jim. :2thumbs: I'm glad your Dad is getting some help, too. Going through something like this is very challenging anyway (when someone is in intensive care, you're in crisis mode all of the time), and depression makes it that much more difficult to get through.


The medical community can do a lot to help when we're injured or ill, but they're not gods, they don't know everything ... the human body and spirit can do wonderous things about healing themselves. Glad to hear your Mom is not giving up.


Here's more :hug: .


Kitty :)

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Hey Jim,


I'm glad you had that talk with your dad, it sounds like it really helped. I think some of the fault must lie with the doctors too, they should realize how their words can be taken, and take extra care to choose them carefully.


Anyway I hope she's able to come home too, take care and keep your spirits up!



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