Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update on mom, a daughters perspective

I am exhausted, so won't go in to too much detail right now. But wanted to get everyone caught up on where we are with mom.  Tuesday was her third back surgery.  It was supposed to be the easiest and least painful of them all.  So the plan was for her to come home Wednesday.  But around 9:30 am on Wed, she started having pain in her hip flexor area.  By 10:30-11, it was so excruciating that she could barely catch her breath.  In all honesty, I could stop there, because that is where we still are.  They have tried every type of pain medication, they have doubled them, they have given her enough morphine and steroid shots to kill an elephant, and still she cries in pain.  If you don't know my mom well, you need to understand that she doesn't cry in pain...ever.  She is stubborn and she will lie to your face if you ask her if she hurts.  But she can't hide this pain.  Her blood pressure stayed in the 170/115 range most of yesterday and today.  When I left tonight it was finally in the 140/95 range.  Thank goodness.  I cannot count how many pills they have given her or how many people have come in only to shrug their shoulders and say "I don't know".
Finally today when I saw that things were not getting better and the pain was increasing to the other side. I requested further tests.  The NP agreed, but could not get the DR to respond to her emails, pages and calls. So I let them know that if we continue to get no where, I would have to call in for a second Dr's opinion.  Fairly quickly after that the DR arrived and ordered an MRI.
Whether it is nerve damage or "normal" nerve pain, I don't know.  But I have had 3 nurses at the Spinal Surgery Center tell me they have yet to deal with anything like this, especially the inability to control the pain and blood pressure.  Mom's right leg is numb to her touch but on fire inside, that is the way she describes it.  Apparently our next step is to move her to a rehab clinic where they will try and narrow in on the exact pain and try and find a control for it.  He said we could be there most of next week.  It just depends on how quickly they can get it located and controlled.  At the rate we are moving I feel like she will never get better.  But what has been 2 days for the rest of the world has been a lifetime for me.  12 hours each day, by her side, watching her be so miserable.  All along being her normal sweet self, apologizing to every nurse for everything.  She hates to receive help, but she just doesn't have a choice now.  We measured today, when trying to sit up, she turns white as a ghost at 30 degrees, at 90 degrees she is sobbing and to stand up longer than 30 seconds sounds like she is having a heart attack and trying to catch her breath.  This is not the mom I know, and it has been horrific to watch.  But I can't leave her side, because someone has to fight for her.  She has been so sweet that if they asked her to serve lunch to the other patients, she would get up and try.  And then there is me... Making sure that she gets the care she deserves, and clearly needs.  But I did let them know they were lucky my brother is out of state.  Because he is 6'4" 320lbs and has way less patience than me!
So off to try and sleep, my shift starts early tomorrow!  And I just have to say a big thank you to Shannon Harris for keeping tabs on me and keeping me sane.  And my poor husband who has had to take time from his already too tight schedule to pick up the kids, because I can't leave her side.  And to Blake who let me laugh off some steam tonight, because when I say that I'm sure the nurses sit in their station hoping that crazy daughter isn't in the room, I am not joking  (And there are a few people out there who know how true that statement is)!  But he lets me call every night and vent and laugh so that I don't cry.
Thank you all for so many thoughts and prayers you keep sharing on facebook.  I share them with her throughout the day, and she is so grateful!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry. I wish I was there. I wish I could help. I will do the only thing I know how, and that is pray for you guys. Pray for peace, for rest, for strength, for health, for answers, for understanding and yes... patience. I miss you and am worried about you, but only a little because your strength, especially in this area, has always left me awestruck. I love you with a big huge chunk of my heart.