May 01, 2009

It's all... big

Two weeks ago today my mom went into the hospital via ambulance because she couldn't breathe. She had been fighting a chest cold for a week at that point.

On the following Wednesday I got a phone call at 8am from my Dad that they were moving her from a regular room into the ICU. I left work, Dan left his student teaching job and we drove back home. I spent the night in the ICU with her.

The next morning, Thursday, she was placed in a medically induced coma and put on a ventilator because even with an oxygen mask on, she was unable to keep her O2 levels within a safe zone.

It was very scary, watching her struggle to breathe. And when they decided to put her in the coma and on the ventilator it was such a rushed decision, my dad and I were pushed from the room and I didn't get to say anything to her. The last thing I said before she went under was when she got upset at me and I told her not to be sassy.

Since then, everything has been hurry up and wait. Wait for her to get better. Wait for her lungs to empty of all the fluid that is, in effect, drowning her. Wait to see if she's going to be called away from us.

Because the semester is coming to a close, Dan and I were only able to stay for a week. Leaving her bedside was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

So she was placed into a coma. And she FOUGHT against it like you wouldn't believe. The nurses said that, with the medicine she was on, she should have been completely unconscious. Instead, stubborn as always, she kept waking up and looking around, a few times she woke up, looking over at me and started to cry.

In the midst of all of this I was at the house, washing dishes when Dad came in. There was such an expression of... pain on his face that I was positive he'd gotten bad news from the hospital. He looked at me for a second before looking away. "You know that we can't come to graduation, right?" I told him it wasn't even anything that he needed to worry about right then. Before I headed back to school to finish out the semester he gave Dan the camcorder so that he could record graduation. (I'm graduating cum laude!!)

Since I left her condition worsened considerably. This past Wednesday she was recieving 95% oxygen and her body was only retaining 92%. The doctor in charge of her case told my dad that he had never seen someone as sick as Mom was.

Then... last night I got a call from Dad. Mom's nurse for the next few days is a self proclaimed "Stubborn Polack" who was sick of seeing Mom in her ICU, so she was going to force her to get better. After a few hours in this woman's care she was down to 60% oxygen and was retaining 98% of it. This morning she was down to 55% oxygen and was keeping 93%.

I don't want to risk jinxing it, but I'm really hoping that she's starting to heal. This upcoming Monday they are going to do a tracheostomy because they can't keep the tubes down her throat for any longer because it'll damage her vocal cords. The good thing about this is that with the trech it's easier to wean her from the O2 because if she has a crisis all they need to do is clip the tubes to the trech instead of intubating her.

Now I just hope that they don't wake her up until after graduation otherwise she'll make herself worse worrying over missing it. As for me... I just want to go home and be with her.


mrspao said...

Hug x You and your family are in my prayers.

Chris said...

Thinking about your mom and your family right now.

Plus, congrats on graduating with honors!

Robyn said...


Holly said...

Hugs and good wishes!

Batty said...

I'll be thinking of you and your mom. My biggest, warmest wishes go out to all of you.

And congratulations for graduating cum laude! Graduation is just a way for the academic community to celebrate achievement. You can watch the video and go out for a nice dinner later. It would be almost like being there all over again, but with mom.

LA said...

So sorry to hear about your mom and I'll keep my fingers crossed that she continues to improve.

And as much as it pales in the light of your mom's condition, congrats on the graduating cum laude! When things settle we'll have to celebrate it up right.

DPUTiger said...

Congrats on graduating cum laude (quite an accomplishment!) and best wishes to you and your mom. She sounds like a fighter!

David said...

Man, big stuff indeed! Fingers crossed for you all.

Diane said...

Sending good karma your way for your mom's 100% recovery. It sounds like it's been a terrible time for everyone.

Congrats on your upcoming graduation. Through craptastic roommates to fire alarms where no one responds, financial aid that comes, goes, comes back, goes again, and comes back to stay it's been interesting to follow your back to school life.

JILL said...

OMG she is a fighter!
you are in our thoughts!
walk across that stage with your head help high and then you can get back up there!
let me know if you need anything!