My mother had been in the hospital since March 31st, I had just learned of it last week. Apparently she lied to the nurses and social workers, and said she was unable to reach me. They in turn called eventually, and explained that she was a patient much to my surprise. They called last Thursday, and predicted that should would released for outpatient care to change her IV antibiotics, and asked me if she could stay with us, and if I could provide a ride. I explained our situation and told them I could not, although I would have loved to, it just wasn't possible for us. They also explained that she had been admitted for a wound on her leg that wouldn't heal, which is common for people that are diabetic. She told me last week that she got it from a shopping basket that she was carrying and couldn't feel it hitting her leg, or didn't realize it was that bad, and it just never healed. They explained that her water and electric and rent were all behind/cut off, so she would not be allowed to leave without a suitable place to be. I explained that my husband was having brain surgery, and that was not a decision I could make immediately.
Then Monday, someone called around 11 pm to notify us that she had been moved, and was now receiving oxygen, that she had some trouble breathing, but they couldn't see an immediate reason for it or any diagnosis. They gave her an oxygen mask, and allowed me to speak to her when I returned the call, although she was unable to speak back she heard me and knew that I loved her and I wished her well, and hoped she would get better soon. At that time they said her condition was ok, but they were a bit concerned.
Tuesday, the doctor himself called, and said that she had a staff infection in her blood, which apparently gave her sepsis, meaning she had blood poisoning. Her kidneys were also barely working, and she was retaining 95% of the fluids that she was intaking. Her liver was almost completely non-functional, and her electrolytes and potassium were imbalanced, so they began to worry about her heart.
Wednesday morning, the doctor called again, and explained she was much much worse, and asked if I could visit, I explained that John was actually in surgery as we were speaking, and that I had no car, and a baby, and was about 45 minutes away. He understood, and still stated she could possibly hang on for quite some time. But was in really really bad shape. I then tried to sleep for an hour or two, and then woke up to go visit John coming out of surgery.
John's surgery went well, it began around 8:30 am, and he was out by about 12:30 pm, they believe they've removed all of the tumor, although there's a slight chance it will grow back.They noticed some swelling in the brain, and his incisions are still bleeding and oozing somewhat from the pressure, but they've given some medicine of some kind to reduce the swelling, and he'll be out of ICU this afternoon. He was unable to see, or stand the sight of any lights, or hear any sounds, we had to be very quiet. He is complaining of terrible pain in his head and jaw, and is unable to move greatly due to the pain involved with straining. He has to stay in a dark room with a cold cloth over his eyes.He's also throwing up and dry heaving from a combination of the anethesia and the medications he's getting, and is barely able to keep ice down. Although we tried to talk to him, he was sort of touch and go, he wasn't awake for more than a few minutes at a time and seemed to ask the same questions over and over again, despite being aware of where he was, the date, his name and so on. I checked again this morning around 6:30 am and he was up and talking to the nurses, and was feeling better.
While I was visiting John in the hospital, an hour away in another hospital my mother had apparently ripped off her oxygen mask, possibly by reflex they don't really know. And it just so happened the her blood pressure was randomly checked at that exact moment and they were able to catch it within the same minute it happened, and rushed in to find her slumped over holding the oxygen mask instead of wearing it. They were able to resuscitate her and then were forced tie her to the bed so she would refrain from ripping at the cords. I left the hospital John was at because visiting hours ended around 7 and got home around 8 pm, and sat down long enough to feed and change the baby.
Around 9 pm my mothers doctor called again, and stated that she apparently had very little pulse, it went from being erratic and high, to very very low, so low in fact that it didn't even register. I asked him what that meant, and did he mean she wasn't going to make it, or if we were talking about hours, or days or weeks or months. He responded with "It's not a matter of weeks or months now, or even days. We're talking minutes and hours here. She's that bad" So I made arrangements to leave again, and got the baby out of bed (again) and bundled him up and stuffed him in the car as fast as we could basically. We got lost along the way, since it was our first time there, and we didn't arrive until about 10:30, it's about a 35-45 minute drive from my home, and about an hour and 20 minutes from where John is. When I arrived she was moving, but completely unresponsive. She didn't appear to hear me, although I kept talking to her anyways. I tried to hold her hand, but she didn't seem to notice or respond. She had a breathing tube inserted, and a fair amount of blood around her mouth. Her eyes were extremely swollen and "bug eyed" although she didn't open them it was quite obvious. She was extremely bloated and greyish, a shell of the woman I remembered as a child. They asked about a living will and insurance and her last wishes, none of which I really knew. I left a short time later after bawling like a baby and apologizing to someone who can't hear me anyways. It was like watching an animal.... she just wasn't even there anymore. I didn't even recognize her, she was snarling involuntarily in her face, and twitching sort of out of reflex.I went home after a bit because I just couldn't take it, and arrived home around 12:45, and passed out from exhaustion.
They baby then woke me up, and 4 minutes later the phone rang. I picked it up on the first ring and the nice nurse explained that although they were still currently working on her, her pulse had stopped and they were unable to get it back. She suggested I contact family and friends, unfortunately there is no one to call. It's me and me alone... there is no one else.She asked if I knew where I wanted her body sent, and quite frankly that's the most unpleasant thought I've ever had at 3 am... and I wouldn't wish it on a single soul. I then wept like a baby, and tried to look up funeral homes online but was unable to hold it together long enough to see and read, and gave up quickly. My best friend also called 3 minutes after I got off the phone with nurse, what are the odds... and told me she would be over shortly with chocolate chip pancakes from IHOP.... the first thing I'd eaten really in more than a day. She helped me call and notify her job etc. And kept me company for an hour or so. I then notified my father (her ex-husband) and my husband, who was finally able to speak and was alert. He then informed his parents, and his sister, who are now actively trying to help me in any way they can.
Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, although she will more than likely be cremated when the medical examiner is through. I plan to scatter her ashes somewhere beautiful, although I haven't decided where yet. Maybe I'll keep them for a while .... I can't seem to part with her. She's gone and I know that, but somehow I can't wrap my mind around the fact that she was talking to me and telling me she loved me just last week. I just don't understand how something like this comes about so suddenly. She was going to be released last Friday and now she's dead 6 days later. And there's no one but me who cares, how pathetic is that?I have no idea how we're going to afford this. I'm overwhelmed and exhausted, and the day is just beginning. It's only 11 am.
Please pray for our family. We could use it right about now. And if you read this far, thank you. It helps to tell someone, I have no one right now, and my heart absolutely aches.. like no other ache imaginable.