This past week we have been in Idaho visiting family...mostly my Mom. This was an unplanned trip. My Mom had surgery about the second week in November and has struggled ever since. She currently is in ICU. I have been spending the last five days with my Dad by my Mom's side. Even though she is in the ICU she is doing remarkably well.
On December 6th I got a call from my sister, Brenda, and my Mom had taken a turn for the worse. We didn't know if she was going to make it. When I got off the phone that night, I couldn't breath. The thought of not having my Mom around was more than I ever want to imagine. That night she was transferred to a different hospital and put in the ICU. The following days she started making progress, we were all hopeful. Through text, emails and cell phones information was shared.
Then on December 21st Mom was basically put on life support. All my siblings that are in the area have done great trying to keep us informed. But, when you receive a text that Mom is on life support panic sets again. This is when we started to seriously consider making the trip to see my Mom.
I'm soo glad we came. When we arrived at the hospital on Sunday Mom was awake and alert. What a relief that was. She didn't look like herself at all. She was retaining water, yet I have never seen her so frail looking. She had a tracheotomy and was hooked up to a ventilator (helping her breath) receiving oxygen, on a feeding tube, and had a heart monitor, temp monitor and two other tubes for fluids. Very overwhelming. With her having a tracheotomy, she couldn't speak. We had to read lips. Such a challenge for all of us. She was so weak that she wasn't able to feed herself ice chips. The ICU unit basically kicks everyone out at 6:30pm. When we left I was in tears, she was totally helpless.
Over the next few days she has improved by leaps and bounds. She is feeding herself, has been out of bed, off the ventilator during the day, feeding tube only at night (to make sure she is getting enough calories), and is only connected to a heart monitor. Wahoo!!! Today they changed the type of trach she had and now she can speak!! I was soo excited to hear her voice again. No more reading lips!! Her Dr. has a goal to have her off the ventilator completely by Monday. Once she is off the ventilator she can be moved out of ICU. She then will need to focus on getting her strength back. That will require a lot of physical therapy. Not something she is looking forward to, but necessary.
I'm soo glad we made the trip to Idaho. I have been able to visit with my Dad, and do little things to help my Mom feel more comfortable while lying in a hospital bed. (I'll share pictures next week when we get home.) Through all of this I have talked to my siblings more than I have in the past 15+ years. Over the past few years I have felt a strong desire to know my siblings better. With having 9 brothers and sisters that can feel very overwhelming. But this last month has brought us together. I love them all very much. I hope we can continue to maintain this new relationship we have. We need to lean on each other more often. Family is everything!!
13 hours ago