Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Mother's day

We were all so pleased, and optimistic when my mother came through her major surgery on Wednesday, and even more pleasantly surprised when her first day after the operation proved her to be in very little pain, relatively speaking. The third day, second after the operation, I spoke to her on the phone and she seemed more concerned about me and my sister than about herself.

That was Friday.

Saturday, the nurses recorded a significant change in blood pressure. Blood tests were not encouraging.

The following day, Sunday, my sister phoned me in tears. The doctors had determined that regardless of their prior optimism, apparently some sort of "infection" had developed within the operational area, defined by the surrounding pelvic girdle. Their only choice would have been to immediately re-enter the torso, remove the colon, excise any possibility of infected tissue, and fit her for a colostomy bag.

Mother had already decided against 'heroic' (or "extreme") attempts to extend life, and voiced a strong preference to NOT ending her life with a bag on her belly. The doctors told my sister thta the only possible outcome was that the infection would prove fatal in the near future.

Mom is in the hospital doped to the gills with Morphine Sulfate; both to minimize the amount of discomfort (searing pain) ad to encourage her to sleep as much as possible.. She is incapable of lucid communication, obviously suffers hallucinations when the painkiller dose is too low, and does not appear to recognize any of her family or personal friends who have visited her.

We are on a death watch. It is almost the same situation as the family of Mom's friend and neighbor endured earlier, except that we don't know if our mother will linger for days or weeks ... or hours.

I've returned home to shave, shower, and get a few hours of sleep. Yesterday slept from 4am to 6am this morning; Friday I didn't sleep at all. My sister gets by on her firm intention to be as much help to her mother as possible, and the support of friends and family. My eldest niece is an active Christian and supports us all with prayer from time to time.

Obviously I won't be talking here much for a few days. I may borrow my sister's laptop if I feel I need to vent, but I'll try to spare my friends that experience.

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