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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Please let her wake up!

http://www.Homesbythecase.blogspot.com For anyone "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story. For anyone who has been along for the whole wild ride - Thank you!
Please Let Her Wake Up!
We checked mom in for surgery at 5:00AM on February 21, 2013.  We all took turns rotating in and out of the pre-op area while they were preparing mom for surgery.  I had been concerned that not everyone would get a chance to see her before surgery.  Turned out there was plenty of time for all of us to spend a fair amount of time with her.

It took them a good deal of time just to get the IV started.  That was to be expected, moms veins were always difficult.  They rolled, they blew, and they just didn’t cooperate well.  Mom told them to “stick it fast and don’t let them see you coming”.  With the IV finally in place, we just had to wait for mom to finish her lidocaine sucker before they would take her to the operating room
The range of motion in mom’s neck is very poor.  She needed to be sitting up and awake for intubation.  This had been ignored years ago by a very arrogant surgeon, which resulted in her front teeth being broken.  I think that thought scared mom more than the surgery itself.  With moms throat finally numb enough for intubation, they wheeled her to the operating room.

With a promise from the nurse to keep us updated and a number of family members in the waiting room just in case, I went back to the hotel to try to sleep.  I remember thinking how nice it was to have mom in the care of quality healthcare providers, especially providers that were so compassionate.  They really did take a "team approach" and encouraged the family to be part of that team!

I guess I better not count my chickens before they're hatched, they've only said they would call with updates.  Mom's doctors at home had said they would do a lot of things, they hadn't.  My next thought was maddening.  If moms primary care doctor or her RA doctor at home had taken the same approach and had 1/10th of the compassion we saw here, we would likely NOT be here.

It was just over an hour when I got my first update.  They had been successful with the intubation and would begin surgery very shortly.  Briefly I considered just going to sleep.  Was it really necessary to pass that kind of update on to the rest of the family?

Of course, it was necessary.  I had tried to make sure, for nearly a year and a half, that everybody got the same information I did as soon as possible.  I knew they were just as concerned as I was and would likely be upset if I didn't pass on any information I had.

Since placing individual calls to each family member could take a long time, I decided early on that “group” messaging was the only way to keep everybody apprised of what was going on.  Sometimes it worked like a charm and sometimes it didn’t.  After sending the text, I again tried to sleep.

I think I may have finally dozed, but not for very long.  My mind was taking me places I definitely did NOT want to go.


What if mom didn’t make it through this?  What if she makes it through the surgery, but the pain is worse?  What if she makes it through the surgery, but is paralyzed?  What if she makes it through the surgery, but the pain is worse AND she ends up paralyzed?  If I didn’t shift my mind to something more pleasant I would never get to sleep.

I finally drifted off thinking of things that made my heart sing: my younger daughter was engaged to a wonderful man and would be a beautiful bride in less than 2 months; In just under four months my older daughter was due to deliver my first granddaughter; my grandson (whom I adore) would turn two on April 15th.  I truly did have a lot to be thankful for.
 
I woke with a start to the phone ringing with my next update about mom, five hours into what was to be an eight hour surgery and mom was “doing well”, however they had run in to some complications.  I forwarded the information via text to the family and tried to go back to sleep.

All at once, those same happy thoughts that had helped me relax enough to sleep made me very sad.

What if mom wasn’t around to celebrate those joyous occasions?

I couldn’t imagine my mother not filling the seat of “Grandmother of the Bride”.

I hated the thought that mom might never meet her next great-granddaughter.

OK, at least for now, thinking about my grandson’s birthday still made me smile……for a while.  The realization that I would likely NOT be able to be there for his birthday would sink in later.

I must have dozed off again.
This time the dreams were NOT pleasant.

How had our lives turned in to such a nightmare?

Will we ever wake up?

Will mom ever wake up?

Please let her wake up!

9 comments:

Morgan Eckstein said...

Scary story...it is never easy, is it?

Brenda said...

Group messaging was a smart idea. Sometimes I think it is easier to be the one everyone is worried about at the hospital than it is to be the one worrying and waiting. Discover for yourself that the world does NOT fall on your shoulders. You do NOT HAVE to be the one to inform everyone. You need to take care of you first, your own thoughts, and your own prayers. Peace to you and yours.

healthcare hostages said...

No, Morgan, it really isn't.

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you Brenda! Mostly I agree.....except there is always someone who doesn't get the message! Darn cell phones anyway!

Thank you for your kind words and thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Jacqui Malpass said...

My heart really goes out to you. We look after my husbands 92 year old mother, we are both in our early 50's and it was not what I was expecting for this time in my life. Despite the stress, we work as a team.

I like the idea of group messaging - very clever. I video'd her once - just before she really lost the ability to talk properly, for her grandkids. Video is a brilliant way to share what is going on and allows you to leave memories and stories.

Our health care system (UK) is excellent, but it is hard to help someone who wont help themselves. Your vein story reminded me that the nurses can't take bloods because she won't drink enough water...

The carers we get are great, however they do cock up some times.

You are doing a fabulous job. I look at my role and wonder what I contracted to do before I came to Earth (and laugh!). It helps me to think that we are spiritual beings in a human body and we came to experience this thing called life - in all of its forms.

I am always looking at what each aspect of my life is teaching me and what each person brings.

My writing and walking the dog gives me sanity or is that some sanity. Keep writing, you are an angel.

healthcare hostages said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara Boser said...

Keep positive thoughts and I'm sending loving energy your way!

healthcare hostages said...

Thank you Barbara, I appreciate your kinds words.

Have a Blessed day!

healthcare hostages said...

It definitely takes teamwork and a lot of patience to care for your parents. I also wasn't expecting to be in this role EVER. I had never given it a lot of thought; my mom was always on the go and then it hit!

Yes, the group messaging works pretty well, most of the time. There always seems to be somebody who doesn't get the message, but we do the best we can, right?

Our healthcare system is a mess; has been for years. Hopefully, the powers that be see fit to actually fix it!

We are all just passing through on our way to our final destination; fulfilling our purpose although we can't understand or comprehend it.

Every experience we have teaches us something and I believe that every person comes in to our lives to help with those lessons.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and for your kind words!

Have a blessed day :)