Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dark Days at the Circus

Friday and Saturday mom was in and out of consciousness. She attempted to write some notes, but we had a very difficult time figuring out what she was writing. It was so frustrating for us and her. After about 30 minutes we were able to figure out what she wanted. She was having a very difficult time breathing and was anxious. They were giving her low dose morphine and ativan which made her very drowsy.

This morning sometime after 5am, mom's nurse called to say she wasn't doing well. She'd had a rough night and had asked for ativan. The nurse repositioned her and her oxygen saturation in her blood dropped to the low- to mid-eighties. (It should be mid- to high-nineties.) Nothing the nurse and doctor did would bring her numbers back up. The vent settings were set the highest they could go. The nurse called us and told us to come.

The dogs roused Deb (my best friend from Atlanta) and Sandra. I called Gary who was at work. I told him to come to the hospital after his shift ended at 7am. The girls and I were out of the house in 15 minutes.

It's pretty bad. She roused a little when we arrived, but her eye's were just so foggy. She was trying to tell us something; or maybe she was just really confused. That's possible too since her oxygen saturation was so low. She appeared to be very uncomfortable so I asked them to give morphine whenever she appeared to be struggling.

The doctor came around about noon. He said at this point they had done absolutely everything that they could for her. Gary and I had discussed her status about an hour before. We decided to make her a 'no code.' There really is no sense in keeping her a full code. They can't possibly increase the vent, she would never survive compressions, and the only thing they could do is to give her medications to keep her heart going and her blood pressure high enough. We told the doctor we wanted to keep her as comfortable as possible. We put her on a morphine drip which will keep her sedated, but she will not have any pain.

It was a rough day for us all. We stayed until around 2pm at which point I was really worried about Gary who'd had yet to sleep. I was very weary myself. We chose to go home and made the nurse promise to call us if there were any changes. We got home around 3:30. I went to bed around 4 and slept for a few hours.

I think this is the hardest thing I've ever been through. I want desperately to stay 24/7 with her; to spend every moment I can with her. But I just don't have the stamina since my surgery. I can usually get about 3 hours of activity before I need a nap, but today I went about 10 and I'm completely spent now. It's breaking my heart completely. I have so much support around me; Gary, Sandolly, Deb, all the calls and emails from you all, but my mommy is dying and I can hardly stand to take each breath without hurting more and more.

I will do my best to keep the blog updated. I know you are all wanting information as it comes and know this is as hard for many of you.

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