Dec 30, 2011

Changes & more changes…

I spent close to 2 hours on the phone Wed. night discussing Mom and  way over 3 hours tonight ( Thursday pm).  Mom is doing really well in the the heart surgery department but now we are dealing with major complications related to pre surgery conditions.  All the issues of the last few days have finally been brought into the open and discussed between the medical profession and the family.  There have been issues with communication.

I could fly to Edmonton tomorrow but I would be out of reach from 11AM till 1AM the next day.  I am much better off to be here dealing with medical issues and family situations.  Even the family members that are at the hospital aren’t able to spend much time with Mom.  I can and am doing better from here.  Dad is beyond exhaustion and for now my sister Lise will become the family spokesperson with the hospital.  I am allowed to call in only in a crisis or for medical explanations.

Main problem….Mom is still not really waking up from the surgery, a week ago today.  Why?  Her system is extremely sluggish.  Yesterday, many attempts were made to put a feeding tube in place.  Totally non successful, mostly due to a huge hiatal hernia that has moved her stomach into her left chest cavity thus creating a major aspiration problem of fluid & food into her lungs.  Plus it was discovered yesterday that she has no gag reflex whatsoever and is unable to swallow.  So there is no way now to get certain meds into her ( those that cannot be given via IV ) nor any nutrition.

From a heart surgery point of view she is doing really well, it is just that her body is shutting down re other problems, mostly caused by the many medications she has been prescribed over the years. Tomorrow an attempt will be made to insert a feeding tube directly into her stomach. Plan B was not successful today so this will be the last resort.  She may never be able to eat or drink again.  She needs her meds and needs nutrition in order to wake up and to start functioning.  This is a very basic explanation of where she is at.  Hopefully over the next few months she can be retrained to swallow correctly.

Is this a better life or not?  She will now have the energy to walk and breathe and enjoy a full life but she will be unable to eat or drink.  Is that a life?

Much of the family concerns come from the fact that they were told she would feel 300% better 24 hours after surgery and be home within 2 weeks.  Now she is looking at many more weeks in hospital and possibly months.  She is alive but is she happy, is she content, is she accepting of her situation??  We don’t know yet!

So now we are taking it, hour by hour.  Our greatest fear is that when she leaves ICU she will become lost in the system. That is when I will step in.

You are not aware of all these posts about you Mom, but I do know that one day, you, the English teacher, will read them.  I am ready for your critique.  Love you!

2:45PM update from the hospital

Perhaps due to staff shortages and many emergencies, I am strictly no longer able to speak with ICU staff.  Only one spokesperson per family in order to minimize staff time on the phone and that is now my sister Lise so Dad can get a rest from the endless phone calls he is fielding.  In order to take some pressure off Lise I will be using this blog as an update site for a bit longer.  Dear regular readers I know that you are supporting me & my family, please bear with my using the blog for a few more days re updates.

Mom seemed to be more alert this morning but is very thirsty.  She was taken in about an hour ago for the procedure, it has failed so at the moment Dr’s are discussing options and the next step. Thank goodness she is in the best hospital in Alberta which is a teaching hospital.   Check back later……

3:15PM update

At this time the Dr. is going to leave the tiny tiny tube in that yesterday he told me is not at all stable.  They tried various ways & angles to get a tube into her “belly” as he likes to call it but her body won’t allow it.  The hernia is causing the majority of the problems.  They will try now feeding her thru this small tube and giving her some meds this way.  The Dr., as were my Dad & sister impressed at Mom’s alertness today.  Problem with this small tube is that it is apt to plus easily.  The current plan is to take it hour by hour.  She still has a feeding tube down her nose’ just in case’ and is unable to have nothing by mouth for at least 6 days including ice chips.

Next update about 9PM.


Per email from my sister Mom is sleeping and being fed via her nose tube  (20 cc’s pr hour)…..I have to give up….the Dr. said not possible as she would aspirate???????

Have received all your personal emails…gracias for thoughts and comments.  Good night all….

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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Changes & more changes…”

  1. Elaine says:

    So sad…love and hugs and tons of prayers to you all C….hang in there

    • contessa says:

      Elaine….you are my lifeline!

      Connie…..keep up with the prayers my friend.

      George…milles gracias!

      Longdog2….thank you so much for your thoughts…I do have a feeling that come mid January things may get worse.

      KAK….welcome to the blog, your healing thoughts are greatly appreciated.

      Marty…I trust your prayers, gracias!

      T n T….you brought tears to my eyes. Thanks friends.

      RayS from Pennsylvania….thanks for your special email….I do and I will!

  2. Connie in PA says:

    Still keeping your mom in our prayers – hoping for the best – we went thru that with my mom years ago – it is so hard – take care, Contessa!!

  3. Lets hope for the best and will keep you mom in our prayers.

  4. longdog2 says:

    Contessa, I am so sorry this is so difficult. It is really unfortunate when medical people do not coordinate well with each other and then with the patient and family. Expectations get way out of whack and it is even harder to deal with things when you finally know what the whole picture is. You and your mom are in my prayers.

  5. KAK says:

    Healing thoughts to your mom, you, and your family.

  6. Marty says:

    Darn it! It’s too bad she had to take a turn like this! I will pray for a miracle-that she will be able to eat and drink better than ever.

    No kidding about getting lost in the system-I’m fighting that myself. You just have to get snotty before they listen. It’s a real shame.

  7. Trent and Teresa says:

    We have no advice to offer, but we CAN and we WILL pray our little hearts out for you and your family.

    Hugs, Trent

  8. Sorry to hear that your Mum is still having problems. Our thoughts are with you and your family that things will change for the better quickly.

    Kevin and Ruth

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