Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Words you don't want to hear

"critical condition"

"life support"

"as sick as a person can be"

"it could go either way"

"Is she DNR?"

These are some of the things that have been said to me in the last 2 weeks in regards to my mom. Writing them now is freaking me out again. She's been in the hospital since the morning of 12/29/2010. We still don't know if she's going to make it. In fact, her latest doctor just called and wants to speak in person; that doesn't sound good.

Maybe later I can describe in more detail what had been happening before I called 911 that Wednesday morning. But the short version is that Mom had developed pneumonia--which is really bad for someone with COPD--and it progressed so quickly and stealthily that neither of us knew she was so close to death. It had started to affect her heart and kidneys, besides her lungs. In an weak, older person these problems can rapidly snowball. That she may have had very low blood pressure for an extended period period of time could mean brain damage.

The ventilator tube was removed on Sunday but my mom's not talking yet. This may be due to the tube irritating/damaging her throat or vocal cords, or her general weakness which is extreme. I was told it will take longer for a senior person than a healthy young person to regain this function but everyone's getting concerned that this much time has passed. Plus, her ability to nod yes or no still isn't consistent. The thought that I might never again be able to communicate with her is horrible and depressing. She and I aren't finished yet with work that needs to be done on our relationship.

1 comment:

Jill said...

Deb - my prayers are with you, your mom, and your family at this difficult time.