Sunday, September 09, 2012

Working backward

I have so much to write before I forget! Between the drama with my mom and having no modem, it's been nearly impossible to post.

First out of the box -- I spoke to my mom yesterday! Her voice sounded strong and she was completely lucid. Happy and able to move from her bed to the chair in her room. She knows where she is and how she got there.

She had a bleeding ulcer and a hiatal hernia. Together, the strain on her gastrointestinal tract was the catalyst for another attack of ischemic colitis, just like she had last spring. The ischemia is what caused her to vomit blood, and unfortunately she aspirated some blood into her lung and gave herself pneumonia.

I used my AAdvantage miles to fly up to Madison to see her in the hospital and it was brutal. She was in terrible pain, so the doctors put her on a powerful combination of meds. This left her delirious. She yelled and was profane (very much not like her!). She told me to shut up and said she wanted to hit for me "conning" her (I said she was going to get well). She actually did hit my kid sister and called my older sister a bitch. She was desperately thirsty and was content to suck on a tiny sponge on the end of a stick.

I kept remembering what JFK once said, after visiting his stroke-debilitated father, "Old age is a shipwreck."

I think part of what upset her was that we all raced to her bedside and seeing us all there convinced her she was dying. She was so agitated and her heart rate was over 120. So, after talking to her doctors, I thought it right that I get out of Madison. I hate flying, especially on small planes, so I was distressed when I went in to say goodbye to her and she opened her eyes wide and gasped, "I'M DYING!" That evening, while waiting in the tiny Madison airport, the sky opened up and the night sky was bright with lightening, I was sure I was the one who was going to die, in a fiery crash. The airport had the good sense to close down, and after a night in a budget motel I ended up flying back home.

So it's been stressful, but I'm impressed by her fight. My mother wants to live, and so she will. I did my share of prayer, but the answer I kept getting back was that it's up to her. And she came through like a champ!


  1. happy to hear your mom is doing better. i don't know how i will handle when my dad passes...he is 87 so i know time may be near...but then again at his last check up the doctor said he was in great health...holy cow i will pass before him..i am sure

  2. It's so hard to see our parents get frail. Glad Mom's fighting!

  3. Anonymous9:47 PM

    I'm glad your Mom is doing better. It's terrifying seeing your parents sick, especially if they are in the hospital. It's a constant worry of mine.

  4. You did wonderfully in the face of a chaotic event. SO GLAD your mom is getting better. You are such a good daughter, braving your fears to be by her side. <3

  5. I'm so happy for you and your family. Your mom is a fighter, which means a lot for her recovery. And you are strong and brave for doing what you had to do, in spite of the fact that it was upsetting and frightening on many levels.

  6. Anonymous7:42 PM

    So glad your mom is doing better! I hate flying too, but I sure rack up a lot of miles that way.


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