Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hospital Ping Pong

Surprises...I've never been much for surprises. I like to plan, I like order, and surprises...well, they cause disruption. While some surprises can be beautiful, I always find my surprises rather unwelcome. Today was no different.

Mom had an okay evening last night. She was up talking to me and recording messages for the family until late last night. She woke up around 6:00 this morning. I helped her out, and we chatted a bit. I gave her insulin a little early and gave her a snack and some juice. I went back to bed for a little while. Micah woke up early, and DH actually got up with him while I nursed Maya.

At 8:30, Senait showed up to help us out today. Mom was sleepy and did not want to wake up again. We let her sleep until 9, and then woke her up. She ate breakfast in bed and Senait got her bathed and dressed while I helped her with medications. Dad, Mom, Maya, Senait and I were out the door around 10 to go get Mom a platelet transfusion. Senait was very helpful and kind, and she was pleasant to have around.

While we were getting the transfusion, Mom listened to music and I called the doctors to see about getting her antibiotic changed. They ended up calling in a new one for her. Dad left at 1:30 for an eye doctor appointment and we wrapped up around 2.

We were home by 2:45, and Mom met with her speech language pathologist. He said she was doing great, and we worked on a list of goals. After speech, Mom rested a while and then her physical therapist arrived. She noticed increased weakness, but worked with Mom for an hour.

At 6:00, Senait brought Mom out for dinner. Dad arrived home, DH left for his volunteer night, and we sat down to a meal of leftover chicken and vegetable soup. Mom was eating well (and asking if we had more couscous), and Micah ate nothing.

During dinner, my friend Heather and her dog Bentley arrived. Bentley and Micah were chasing each other and playing. Micah was playing tug, and peals of laughter poured out. My mom was smiling at Bentley and grinning at Micah. At 7:30, Mom went back to her room. Micah and Bentley kept running in to check on her.

Heather and Bentley left around 7:45, and my Dad took Micah downstairs to watch Dancing with the Stars while I nursed Maya and checked on Mom. She was getting sleepy, so I told her I'd be back at 10 with her meds unless she needed me earlier. I tried several times to put Maya in the crib, but no luck. At 8:30, I went in to let Senait go home, and Mom was sleeping. Actually, she was snoring loudly with her eyes open and it was a little creepy. She wasn't waking up easily and I was worried. When Senait left, I grabbed the baby monitor to listen for Mom.

I tried putting Maya in her crib at 9, and I let her cry until 9:15. Mom was getting restless and she was coughing. I wondered if the baby was bothering her and it looked to me like she needed to sit up and maybe drink some tea or suck on a hard candy. I went and got Maya and asked Mom if she needed anything. She didn't respond, and I thought she couldn't hear me with the headphones and iPod, so I walked over to her. As I got close, it seemed Mom was choking. I dropped the baby on the ground and called for Dad. He came running, took Maya, and I told him to call 911.

As I asked Mom questions, she indicated that she was not choking but couldn't breathe. Her tongue was swollen and her lips were puffy, and I thought she was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. I thought about giving her Benadryl and then knew she couldn't swallow. Mom was indicating that her throat was closing up. I happen to have an epipen for allergic reactions and I decided to give it to Mom. I ran and got it...but it took me a few tries to get it working. Immediately, Mom started breathing easier and the swelling in her face went down. As she relaxed, we realized she was having issues speaking...and then she couldn't speak at all. The paramedics arrived, and Mom was doing fine. She could smile, she could move her right side, she was alert and responding. They left for the hospital with my father while I waited for DH to get home. DH was hone a few minutes later and I left for the hospital. We were allowed in back, and Mom had deteriorated. Her right side was not moving and she could not speak. They did a CT scan and MRI. While we were waiting, family friends and then my brother arrived. We learned that she had a stroke, and the prognosis is poor.

We are waiting for a bed in the CCU. They cannot administer the stroke protocol, so all we can do is wait. Her congestion is bothering her. She knows what is going on and is responding with her eyes. We will know more tomorrow, but things are rough.

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