Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Words on a Wednesday-- with a brief Update
Here is the latest on my mom's health issues. On Saturday morning she lost consciousness while at my sister's. The ambulance was called, and she was taken to ER, where after a few hours she was admitted. We learned that during her previous stay at the hospital last week, her heartbeat was quite low (in the 40 bpm range). She was experiencing atrial fibrillation. Her confusion persisted and she was at a great risk for falling.
After three days in the hospital, the cardiologist told my brother and sister that my mom would need a pacemaker to stabilize her heart. Without it, she would continue to pass out and most definitely experience a shattering fall. So, on Tuesday we did a four-way telephone conversation (me here in far northern California, my older brother on the east coast in Virginia, and Michael and Lynn in southern Cal-- the best use of technology ever!). We talked it through, trying to decide if surgery with anesthesia was the right way to go. There is the possibility that the anesthesia will make her dementia worse. We had to balance that with knowing that there is even a greater likelihood that without a pacemaker she will fall. We also talked about what our mother would want. She worked for doctors all of her adult life. She believes utterly in western medicine. If she could choose for herself, we agreed, she would choose surgery and a pacemaker. So, on Wednesday she will have the minimally invasive surgery. We will keep you posted.
This has been the most stressful two weeks. Roger and I have been waiting for my mom to move into the new 24/7 care facility, so we can see how well she adjusts to it and plan our 700 mile (1126 km) trip south to see her. Each day there's been a new obstacle and detour. We're hoping that once she's on the other side of this surgery and is comfortably moved in to her new home, we'll know when it's time to travel south.
Here is the best part of these past few days for me: On Sunday the phone rang. Yes, it was my mother calling from the hospital. She sounded almost lucid for about two minutes. Then her voice became wispy and vague and faraway again. But it was so incredibly heartwarming and wonderful to hear that "Hello Robin and Roger!" I went outside after the call and looked up at the sky. I photographed this iridescent cloud, first one I had seen in quite a few weeks. It was just a wonderful coincidence of joy.
BRIEF UPDATE: Surgery started later than expected and lasted longer than expected. The surgeon said it went well. It took longer because an IV needed to be changed. She woke up and seemed a bit more alert right away. My brother said she gave my sister a big smile. We're hopeful. It's too soon to tell how things will go. We'll know more tomorrow. Thank you all for your love, thoughtfulness, good wishes, and kind hearts.
Posted by robin andrea at 12:00 AM