Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time for an Update?

Here we are, and it's a few days since I've updated you. Last you heard, mom had been transferred from the hospital over to the extended care facility. Well, that didn't last long. There was some sort of problem with some anti-anxiety drugs that they gave her, and so she was having trouble breathing, and they sent her to the emergency room early on Saturday morning. These things frustrate me, because of course I'm so out of the loop, I don't know what's going on. And the nurse in the ICU scared the hell out of me, telling me that mom's lungs and heart are in terrible shape, and making it sound like she might never be well enough to leave. WTF? That scared me, and some other things scared me, and it sounded like gosh, she might die anytime now, and maybe she had given up, deciding that her quality of life wasn't going to be what she wanted, so she was done. So I cried, and I called my grandma and made her cry, too. Grandma has already buried two of her four children, and would not like to outlive any more. So we got the whole family all worked up, and had a fairly surreal Saturday. Sunday, I called to see when they thought she might be taken off of the ventilator and be allowed to wake up, and instead of talking to the nurse in the ICU, I was able to speak to my mom, who was feeling MUCH better, was awake and alert and more chatty than she's been in over a week. I spoke to her doctor, who didn't mirror any of the concerns that the nurse the day before had shared with me. I'm still hoping to talk to another doctor about a more long term prognosis, and this is part of what is hard about being so far away...sometimes they don't want to give out information over the phone, and when they do, sometimes I don't think to ask a pertinent question until much later, and I don't know what the hell is going on.

I just called and spoke to my mom a few minutes ago, and she sounds great. She is more lucid and coherent than I've heard her in awhile. I believe this is because they have her off of the Paxil. She's asking for lemon drops, because her throat is so dry. I have a cousin in Anchorage, so I'm going to ask if he can bring her some. But more importantly, she is coherent enough to realize that although she has very little control over her life and its schedules right now, she would like to know what is going to happen, so she can give it some predictability at the very least. And she is planning to discuss this with her physical therapist and doctor, which is a huge improvement over her wanting me to call her nurse and ask her to go in and help her change her tv channel, which was how she was under the Paxil.

So that's the update, where we are now. Mom is doing well. Not as well as if her lungs were healthier, I suspect. But well. I'm not sure how long it will be before she is moved back to the extended care facility, and not sure how long between that move and her coming to California. But at least things are looking up.

And I thought of updating you on Saturday, telling you of all of my fears and how she might die at any time, but just talking to family about it was making me cry, and I hadn't told all of her friends and family yet, and didn't want folks to learn about it via the blog. I wish none of you would find out bad news, should it come, via the blog. But for today at least, the news is good, and mom's in fighting shape, looking forward to moving to CA and being closer to more family, though of course she will miss Richard and Kathy, and her beloved Hooligans, and her many, many dear friends in Juneau.

15 comments:

Ginnie said...

I'm so sorry that the family has been on this up and down frantic ride...but glad that she is coming along. Please let her know that her blogger family misses her.
All the best to you, Ginnie

Linda Atkins said...

Oh, J., I am so sorry--what a super-lousy weekend you had. I would be beside myself if my mother was ill and far away! I'm glad that things are not as bad as stated by a certain person at a certain time. It does sound like things are looking up. I hope they keep getting better and better, and that MG can go back to the extended care facility soon, and after that to CA.

Kelli said...

Keeping you all in my thoughts. Those psychoactive drugs can definitely do a number on you if they're not the right ones (I guess that's no different than any other drugs, though). I've taken a huge number of them at one time or another in the past 10 years, so I speak from experience, and I was much younger and not going through bypass surgery and all the mess your mom's been through...

Anyway, sending you all whatever good vibes I can muster. I miss reading your mom's posts, and can only imagine what this is like for those who know her best.

Dea said...

(((((((J)))))))
(((((((MG)))))))

What challenging times. I'm so glad to hear that your mom's doing a little better.

As always, thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

Oh Julie what a horrible weekend you must have had.

I hope that things keep getting better

mary in scotland

shortwoman said...

Yeah, those drugs are funny: if they are the Right Thing they are miraculous; if they are the Wrong Thing they are disastrous.

Can she still receive email?

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

shortwoman, yes, she can still receive emails. At this point, select Providence Medical Center, room 273.

GirlGriot said...

Wow, what a rough roller coaster ride you're on! I'm so glad things turned out to be not as bad as they seemed, so glad you were able to talk to your mom and that she was feeling a bit better. Thanks, again for keeping us up-to-date.

kenju said...

I can understand your frustration and feeling frantic over not being at her side. The weekend must have been horrible for you, and I am veyr glad to know that she is feeling better and being coherent once again. Tell her we miss her, and hope she recovers soon.

lilalia said...

Glad to hear that your mom managed to overcome the crisis. Do you know whether she received emails sent over that email site you linked to? I hope she continues to recover and her lungs start functioning well again.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Lilalia,

I'm not sure what emails she has received at this point. The link is the same for both places, but you choose either the hospital or the extended care from the drop down. Right now, you would choose hospital.

Uncivil said...

It's a shame when you get a nurse with a (not so spiffy) personality.
I'm hoping the nurse led you astray and things are better than they they seem.

I'm sure she will start recovering better soon.
Hang in there!

Tabor said...

Julie, you are such a brave and sweet daughter. I hope that you get lots of hugs at the end of the day. This is a very difficult time and there is no way you could prepare for the roller coaster you are on. I have been through this with a parent and an in-law and a sister. It is a really crappy part of life. Just tell Maya's Granny that we are all sending our strength and love.

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh how I can relate to the roller coaster ride that comes along with the territory Julie. This is one of the most difficult times you will ever have to go through. I'm so relieved that the outcome was much better than first thought. Hang in there sweetie...much love to your wonderful mom....and to you.

Mary Lou said...

It is bad enough to have a parent in the hospital in the same AREA you are in much less have her half way around the world.(sorta) I am glad to hear that she is doing much better. At least for now.