Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Turning Corners
Hi everyone. First of all I want to say Thank You All for all the prayers and warm thoughts that are being sent our way

Yesterday, when they placed my Mom in the 'standing frame' (sample is pictured here) during physical therapy, her blood pressure dropped and they had to stop and put her back in bed. All day her pressure continued to drop and she could hardly talk. She was so very depressed, I was feeling as if she had given up and would just lay there and die. She would not try to do anything for herself at all and she hadn't been eating either. Her legs absolutely DO NOT work at all. But the frame holds her up.

Today has been a very good day for her. I feel she has turned a corner and may be on the way to recovering and eventually coming home. When I arrived at the Rehab Center this morning, Mom had just been put back to bed after having been in Physical Therapy for 3 full hours. That is a BIG change! She had 'stood' in the standing frame for 15 minutes and had sat up for the full 3 hours. That was totally different than what was going on for the last 5 days.

When I talked with Mom today, she was responding correctly and her voice was stronger, her sense of humor even came out. She fussed at me about a couple of things too and I just laughed and told her that I was so happy to hear her fuss. She then stuck her tongue out at me and smiled. I can't tell you how that made me feel. I knew she was in there again and that she would be coming home. She is eating again and her thought processes are better.

She told me "I am going to come home." Yeah! I can hardly wait! Please continue the prayers for her full recovery.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
2006, a terrible year....2007 starting not so nice too
Thank you Renee and Daisy for your comments, prayers and thoughts.

2006 was quite a year . On New Years Eve 2005, my good friend Angele died; my house flooded in March 2006; then my grandmother died in May 2006; then another good friend Gwen died in June of Lou Gehrig's disease; then my sister's accident in July 2006 that nearly cost her her life; all the construction on my house started in August (still not QUITE finished, but mostly); Retirement in August (that was a good thing); my Mom's move into my house in September, another big adjustment, and now she is extremely ill; and that started January 8th.

People keep telling me to take care of myself and I really am trying but it is difficult. My brother, Frank, works one week on, and one week off. He has been here this past week and is supposed to go to work tonight, but he called while ago and said he is taking another week off. That made my day because I know he will be here another week to take on some of the Mom care.

He lives about 10 minutes from the Rehab Center, and I live about 40 minutes away. So he can get there a LOT quicker than I. I have been going pretty much every day but I DID take today off. Tom and I went yesterday for a couple of hours. I tried to get Mom to do some of her exercises and she got mad at me and told me not to come back today. So I stayed at home and worried about her all day.

Frank has been to the Rehab Center about 4 times today just to check on her and he has called me everytime to let me know her status. She is fair, but still is not eating much and not willing to do much either. But he got her up out of the bed and rode her around in the wheel chair for a bit, so that helped.

Tomorrow, I will go up there and spend some time if she is over being mad at me. She did call me earlier, so that was a good sign. LOL

I will give you all an update when I have more time. Please keep the prayers coming.
Friday, January 26, 2007
Slow decline.....slight progress
I know it's been a while since I last posted, but I have had a very busy week.

My Mother was finally moved from the Telemetry Unit of the hospital to a Rehab hospital last night. (literally at 9:00 pm last night! Rediculous!)

The past week has been very scary for me. She was finally able to have the Heart Catheterization on Wednesday after spending a week in the new hospital under the great doctor's care. (I think really good things about this doctor) Anyway the catheterization showed that the bypass that was done 21 years ago is now blocked up completely. The cardiologist tried to open it up with a balloon or stint, but was unable to do so. However, he said that the smaller veins have actually bypassed the bypass and she is getting proper blood flow through the heart, therefore she does not require surgery right now. (that's a good thing because she is too weak to live through it anyway) She has continued to have some chest pains, but he said to expect that and they will treat her with medication to help that.

During the past week in the hospital, she has steadily declined in strength to the point that now she cannot stand up by herself, turn over in the bed without help, or speak more than a couple of words at a time. She is EXTREMELY WEAK. She requires full assistance to do ANYTHING right now. She is able to feed herself as long as her meat is cut up for her and her milk carton is opened for her, but beyond that, nothing. She is also staying somewhat confused about what is wrong with her, why she is there, why doctors and nurses are doing what they are doing, and where she is.

The rehab hospital will focus each morning on physical therapy, first to regain strength in her legs. Right now, even when the aides pick her up to move her from the bed to a potty or wheelchair, her legs do not work at all. It's like they are made of jello and just go limp. So she is dead weight. They want her to start sitting up more each day and they will work with her legs and arm strength for the first few days. She will be there a minimum of 14 days. I trust she will get well and be able to come back home after her stay in rehab.

I have been so very worried about her. I thought I was watching my mother die right before my eyes. She even said to me, "I am dying." I was terrified and felt so helpless. I asked her to focus on living, rather than dying and she said she would try. I know there are lots of prayers going on for her right now and I appreciate each and every one. I know God answers prayers, because she is still with us right now and trying to get better now. Please keep the prayers going.

I will post more as I can. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and your support.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Never complain about sleepless nights!
My last post was about me being up all night with no sleep. Man! I will never complain about that again.

Last Wednesday, the 10th of January, my Mother started having difficulty breathing after having bronchitis for a few days. She is a smoker and could no longer even smoke. I have learned now, that if a smoker CAN'T smoke because of being short of breath, GET THEM TO A HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY!

I had to call an ambulance at about 8:30 pm because I was afraid she was about to stop breathing at that point. By the time the ambulance arrived (10 or so minutes later) Mom was gasping for air. They loaded her up and headed to the hospital, the nearest one is 25 minutes away and it's a horrible place to go. Anyway, on the way there, Mom became non responsive and wasn't breathing, so they intibated her through her nose and started breathing for her.

When we gotto the hospital, the doctor tried to remove the tube from Mom's nose and put a different kind of machine on her but then she had complete respiratory failure and could no longer breathe by herself. They immediately put her on a ventilator and then to ICU she went. She stayed on the ventilator in ICU for about 24 hours and then they removed the vent and she continued to stay in ICU for 2 days. Then they put her in a room and the care she had been getting went down the tubes.

From that point on for 4 days Mom did not sleep more than 6 total hours. She was so tired and getting weaker by the minute. By Monday, I had had enough and starting chewing on people's heads around there. I wanted Mom transferred to a different hospital, but the one I wanted her in was on diversion (No room). So this particular hospital sent her home on Tuesday, 2 days ago.

We had home health care come here to watch her, but she continued to get weaker and weaker. Today they brought oxygen here for her, a permanent unit and a portable unit. We loaded her up this afternoon and took her to see her regular primary physician. He took one look at her and put her right back in the hospital, but in the one I wanted her in. He is a wonderful doctor and I know that she is very much taken care of now. They wouldn't let us stay with her all night because she is in a semi private room. We have her on a waiting list for a private room.

They are telling us she had a heart attack last week, along with Congestive Heart Failure, and COPD, and beginnings of emphysema, an enlarged heart and it is very difficult for her to breathe still. Now the doctor is going to do a Heart Catherization to see what the problem is with her heart. He also said that before she comes home again, he will send her to a rehab hospital to help build up her strength so that it will be easier for me to care for her once she gets back home. THANK GOD FOR HIM!

That's all for right now. I am very tired, and going to bed. Gotta get back to the hospital early in the morning.......Good night.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Sleepless Nights....sigh....

It is 2:09 am and everyone else is asleep (even the dogs) except me. I don't know why I can't sleep, but here I am, so I thought I would come in here and blog a little.

I had a busy week (when did I ever have time to work?) I had physical therapy Wednesday, aqua therapy that is. I enjoyed being in the pool and it was nice and warm. They had me do some things to try to strengthen my back and abdominal muscles so that these spasms will quit bothering me so much. I thought the exercises were fairly easy and really didn't bother me too much, so maybe this will work. At any rate, I am going back on Monday for another session.

Thursday.....I don't remember Thursday. Is it that I am getting older or do I have some sort of forget disease? I don't know, but I guess if I can't remember it, it must not have been very important.

Friday, I drove to Hammond to get a hitch installed on my truck, because my Mom's power chair carrier arrived in by UPS this week and I need the hitch to carry the chair. The man, Rick, said he had it in stock and gave me the price and off I went. Now Hammond is about a 45 minute drive from my house. In the first place, he gave me stupid directions and I got lost and ran around for about 20 minutes after I got to Hammond trying to figure out where Rick was. Finally found him and you won't believe hitch in stock. Yep, you got it....I was pissed.

Rick, very apologetically, explained to me that he thought he had it in stock but that one was for a Rav4 and not for my vehicle. He had ordered mine but it wasn't in yet. He had failed to get my phone number when he made my appointment, so he couldn't call me to let me know it wasn't there. So off I went back to Baton Rouge. Now I have to make ANOTHER trip over there sometime this coming week to get, I hope, a hitch for my truck. I could get one in BR, but it would cost a lot more, so I am holding out for Rick.

Today, Tom and I went out to dinner with some friends we haven't seen for a very long time. This guy is a very old friend of Tom's and I don't really know them very well. After being around him for a while, I realized why we don't go out with them very often. The guy is strange to say the least. His wife is very shy and doesn't talk much so as soon as we were finished eating Tom and I left and went shopping.

We are in the market for a large screen TV. Need I say more? There are more kinds, types, sizes, with this attachment and that attachment, out there than you can shake a stick at. UNBELIEVEABLE! We have read and studied about all this crap until we are so confused, it's impossible to make a decision.

And then there was the trip to Wal-Mart before we came home. I couldn't believe it but all the shelves were empty of things like paper towels, dog food, clothes washing supplies, etc. It was 9:30 pm and they tell us the re-stocking crew is coming in at 10:00. Well that chapped my butt royally. They should be restocking all day. So, I had to bitch about that to the manager and let her know how unhappy I was about it. She was very nice and listened to me bitch and then told me I could come back in the morning and get everything I couldn't get tonight. All my bitching was wasted. She didn't care. So, I still have to go back to Wally world to finish my shopping anyway.

This is Sunday, so I think I will just stay at home and empty a box or two or three. We still have all that to finish and I am just plain lazy about it. I don’t want to do it, but I gotta!

Oh well, that's about all that I can come up with at 2:30 am. So I will say goodnight to all and check TV (the plain old kind) to see what's on at this time of the morning. Night all!
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I finally talked to myself about giving up what I had planned in order to accommodate others. In the first place, my sil did not end up coming with my brother, but my nephew and his wife did. That was fine.

After I found out they were all coming down here and after my spewing about how my plans were ruined, I had that talk with me about it all and decided that I was going to go on with my plans anyway.

I decided to cook a good meal so my mother would not have to cook for the crew and left it for all of them to eat. Tom and I went to Heather and Allen’s and had a great dinner there.

Then all of the others that had shown up there for dinner left, Tom and Allen and one of his brothers went to the woods to make new 4 wheeler trails (they lost all the trails during Katrina) and Heather and I took a nap. Now that is what I call a GREAT TIME! Just about the time we woke up from our nap, the guys came back and everybody was happy. By the way, the picture is of Heather and Allen's new puppy, Velma.

Yep, it turned out nice after all the bitching I did to you guys out there. Thanks for listening and I did get some great advice from a good friend. And after a lot of thought, I took her advice and did what I wanted to do.

Back at home, I did enjoy my brother’s visit. I talked at length with my nephew about his ‘on the way’ baby. They are due in May or June and he was being a little immature about it so he and I had to have a heart to heart.

He is young and as it turns out, he is scared to death. Once he told me that, then we were able to figure out what to do so that he wouldn’t have the fear anymore. He finally agreed that he needs to take a parenting class and some ‘for Fathers to be’ classes. With that settled, he seemed much better.

So the weekend turned out to be quite enjoyable for all. It was actually quite restful which is what I wanted all the time. Happy New Year to all!