Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heavy Heart

My heart is so heavy right now, I feel like I am living in fear.  I fear the phone ringing, especially at odd times of the day, such as this morning at 7 am.  No one ever calls my house that early, unless something is wrong.  My stepdad was calling to tell me my moms heart rate and blood pressure has rocketed back up again.  When I left on Sun it was down to normal and she seemed to be doing better.  However this morning her heart rate was double and blood pressure back up and she is in pain. 

For those who aren't facebook friends or real life friends, short version of what's going on.  My mom had a major stroke on March 29, her left side is paralyzed and it pretty much killed off her entire right side of the brain. She was still alert though that Tues and Wed and we thought OK that's a good sign.  Little did we know that would be the (currently) last time we would see her that alert.  Thurs she started going downhill, and by Friday afternoon she was non responsive and what we know now, basically in a coma.  She stayed that way through the following Tues, which the doctors finally did another CT Scan.  Come to find out she had another stroke over the weekend, this time on the left side of her brain.  Thankfully  it wasn't major.  When you have a stroke, the brain swells, and pushes against the good part of the brain, thus causing it to lose function as well.  She had major swelling on the right side, and slight swelling on the left side.  Tuesday the doctors told  us that she'd most likely only live a few more days.  She was deteriorating rapidly and nothing seemed to be getting better. She spent that entire weekend in AFIB and that is what caused the two strokes.

Wednesday morning it was like someone flipped a switch. She became responsive, opened her eyes, could move her right arm and leg again, she nodded her head she could hear us talking to her etc.  It seemed like a miracle was happening right there in front of us.  Then that Thurs it was like someone flipped the switch again, and she was back to non responsiveness.  Then Fri she came back a little more, and it went on like this for a couple days.  Since she was improving, I decided I would go ahead and leave on Sunday and try to get the kids settled back down at home, hubby had already missed 2 weeks of work, so I felt like it was best. It was so hard to leave the hospital though, knowing it could be the last time I could see her "alive", but I am praying it's not. 

Fast forward to this morning, the phone call. I was scared to answer it, for fear he was going to tell me my mom had died.  Thankfully that isn't what he said, but I am worried today as her heart rate and blood pressure are up.  He said she was in AFIB again.  I thought the drs had found something that was going to control it, but I guess it's not working so well.  The AFIB scares me because that is what caused the strokes, but if her heart doesn't slow down, it keeps going up, it could herniate and ultimately kill her.

I feel like my spirit is broke.  I sit and think...I wonder what the last thing my mom ate was. I hope it was something good.  I stayed at her house, once hubby and the kids arrived.  I thought I would be OK, but I was wrong.  Being in it, was fine...but seeing her coffee cup, bowl of sugar and spoon on the counter, set me off. She always sets it out the night before by the stove and her kettle.  She had made a grocery list, it was sitting on the counter, waiting.  I think I am still in denial that she'll never do these things again....

We are still waiting to see what the next week will bring.  If she continues to improve and can sit up etc they will send her to rehab, where they will work with her on relearning things she can't do right now due to the stroke.  After 1 week in rehab, they will reevaluate and decide if she can continue.  If neither of those things go right, she'll be put into a long term care facility (why they don't say nursing home is beyond me).  It kills me though, she did NOT want to be in a home.  A 24 hour nurse at home is out of the question, per the doctors. She will require to much care they say... It breaks my heart, she's got no choice, we've tried to honor her wishes, she did now want any surgery (which could have prevent the loss of some of the functions) and if she goes into cardiac arrest, she is DNR/DNI.  That part is hard for me to swallow...but we've done what she wanted. 

I am still trying to figure out how to get through I can remotely move on in life, when my mom is in ICU,  most likely be in a home and is suffering.  I wish I was closer than a 7 hour drive, so I could see her more often, so she knows I care.  I don't know if she remembers that I came and was there with her, when she was still alert the day after the stroke. 

How to process this all, has me at a loss....


d e v a n said...

I am so sorry Frances. I've said so many prayers for you guys over the last couple weeks. I certainly hope that a miracle happens and your mom is able to go into pt. I'll keep praying.

Tracy said...

Frances- I'm so sorry. This must be so hard. I can't imagine going through this with my mom, as I am sure you couldn't, up until this point, either. It breaks my heart for you.

We're still praying for you all. If there is anything else we can do, please don't hesitate to ask.

Jill said...

Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to read this! My heart is hurting for you and your family. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and hope to hear a positive update soon. TONS of hugs.