Since my last post, the health issues with my mother have gone from REALLY bad, to horrible, to promising. Let’s see if I can break this down in a language that everybody here can easily understand.
My mother went into the hospital November 23; the day after Thanksgiving. She was feeling horrible and talking about going to the hospital to get her health examined. That Friday, she simply was NOT acting herself. So, my step-father, Larry, took her to St. Luke’s in Cedar Rapids. They transferred mother to Mt. Mercy in Iowa City. Her heart-doctor at Mt. Mercy concluded that she was in far worse shape than expected and quickly transferred her to the University of Iowa Hospitals.
A Week Goes By
By the middle of the next week, Mom was feeling better and the doctors were determining what the course of action would be. They had initially determined that her blood-pressure was not high enough to push blood through her kidneys, which meant that she had slowly become internally toxic to herself. What was to come, would either be a small repair to her heart or possibly a heart-transplant (which at the time she was not eligible since she was not ill enough).
Then, all hell broke loose and her health went to SHIT. By Tuesday night, she had a head-ache that would NOT go away. On Wednesday morning, CAT scans were ordered. Wednesday night, the decision was made to go into the back of her skull, install a tube, and hopefully drain the blood; blood that filled the surrounding tissue. Her blood had become too thin to stay within the capillary walls.
This had now become VERY serious! We contacted family. My sister, Michele, flew-in Thursday night. She’s from Minneapolis and 8 1/2 months pregnant. Beth, my step-sister, drove in the following Friday morning. Of course, I’m writing this the day after Christmas, so my time-line is a little hazy.
They punched a hole in the back of her skull to drain most of the collected blood and placed another smaller drainage-tube into the top of her skull to drain any fluids along the forward portion of the brain/skull wall. Surgery took 8 hours to complete.
Since then, it’s been a roller coaster ride. Mom spent 17 days in Surgical ICU. We (Angie, Larry, Christine, Dave, Uncle Al, Aunt Ruth and myself) held a small Christmas Party for her upon her release to a private room.
Throughout much of Mom’s recovery, she’s been in-and-out of consciousness on a minute-by-minute basis. Most of the time, she’s been coherent, but on occasion she makes little sense. The family (along with the doctors) doesn’t believe there is any permanent brain damage from the ordeal that landed her in SICU in the first place. The consensus is is rather simple: She’s been in ICU for WAY too long and her body is too weak to make a speedy recovery.
So, for the time-being, Larry will be driving to Iowa City on a daily basis. I join him mostly during the evenings and during the times when either Larry cannot make the trip or has to leave early.
Everyone has been very supportive and we are fortunate to have as many friends and family to help out when necessary. Cross your fingers, because we are going to be here for a while.