Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Mom (part 2)

Facebook updates have worked well to update the masses though not everyone reads through their newsfeed everyday (me included) so they miss updates here and there and then the requests for updates come rolling in.  Information changes on a daily basis so it might be a good idea to bring everyone up-to-speed on how she is.  Please help me out some with getting this information out.  I’m not answering phone calls about how she is doing except from a few people who are collecting information for those not connected to the Interweb tubes.  You’re welcome to call me to let me know that you’re ACTUALLY GOING TO DO SOMETHING to make my life easier.  I’ll gladly take that call.  (I’ve had a couple of people offer to do “anything” to help and then slowly back away when I took them up on their offer like they just wanted credit for offering.  Don’t do this unless your ultimate intuitive longing is to get punched in the face.)  Thankfully I’ve had a few important people helping me and my mom out that I don’t know what I’d do without.  They know who they are.

First some facts:

  1. She is at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland in their CCU.
  2. She is welcome to have visitors though understand as of the time of this post, she is not able to respond.
  3. If you want to send cards and letters email me at tracy (at) tracy green dot com.  (say it out loud and let common sense do the rest) and I’ll give you my address.

Back story:

My mom was moved from Evergreen Hospital on Monday of last week.  I joked with her that she had to be moved because she simply wasn’t sick enough to be pampered in the Critical Care Unit.  She pretended to be upset about it and we prepared to make the transition to her facility at Kindred Hospital in Northgate, just north of Seattle.

This hospital was going to be her next step in terms of getting stronger and weaning off of the ventilator which she is now connected to through her trachea. 
I waited with her for the ambulance to arrive and I signed for all of her belongings. 

 My mom at age 79

When the RN and EMT arrived to transfer her to the next hospital I waited until they transferred her to the gurney and then I gave her a kiss and told her I’d meet her at the new place.  I went home and had a quick bite to eat thinking that they’d beat me by a few minutes but I’d be there to help her get checked in.

After a stop at my house to eat something I headed on to Northgate and went into the building and told them I was here to see my mom.  They informed me she hadn’t arrived yet. That was okay, I took the opportunity to get a little sleep in my car.  You can imagine that any opportunity to sleep over the last few weeks is a good thing.  I slept for about an hour and she still wasn’t there.  Another hour went by and I called Evergreen who informed me she had been discharged and nothing more.  The 40 minute ride to the new hospital took about three hours due to the ambulance having a defective ventilator.  They waited for a new one to be brought and when it arrived (from several miles away) it didn’t have the right connection hardware with it.  Finally an entire new ambulance came and she finally arrived, still strapped to the same gurney she was moved to over three hours ago.  She was anxious and warm from all the time spent in the ambulance.

Over the next couple of days she progressed to sitting in a chair and doing both occupational therapy and physical therapy.  It was nice to finally see positive signs of improvement. The next day I arrived and she was in bed and hadn’t done any therapy.  She seemed slow to respond.  The next day she was even slower to respond and was just staring at the wall blankly.  I asked nurses to explain the change in her appearance and they did not have a clear answer except that she was given something for her anxiety.  The next day after that she was staring blankly and not responding at all.  I asked for a doctor but one wasn’t available.  They promised to have the doctor call me and the doctor never did.  The next day she looked most sickly and had a fever and tremors.  I expressed my concern.  They initially said she was fine and just resting but finally saw it my way to see that a doctor sees her.  I was promised another call from the doctor.

The next day a call from the doctor did come.  It wasn’t to address my concerns but instead to tell me that they suspect that my mom has had another bleed in her stomach and needed to be transferred back to Evergreen Hospital to be looked at by the same surgeons and doctors who treated her before.  This sounded like bad news.  A few hours later I met with the doctors at Evergreen.

They informed me that she was not bleeding but in fact she had an infection around her feeding tube which had been pulled out while at the other hospital.  She had not received any nutrition or hydration for about 4 days.  We were back to square one with an aggressive bacterial infection from the feed tube leaking into her under her skin and kidney failure from days without hydration.  Staff at Evergreen informed me that had she not arrived sooner she would have certainly died.

Which brings us to today.  She is trying to recover from this aggressive bacterial infection and is being stabilized in the Critical Care Unit.  Obviously I’m furious that this mistake has caused her to have a serious setback when she was on the road to recovery.  I’m furious that medical personnel were slow to recognize her in failing health while directly under their care.  I’m furious that my mom has fought valiantly through these challenges but may not be able to overcome…I’m not sure what to call it honestly.

I have nothing more to say about the care she received at the Northgate facility for obvious reasons.  There will likely be an update on this in the future.


Anonymous said...

Your mom has had a lot to overcome and is obviously a very strong woman. You're an amazing support for her. She's lucky to have you. :)

Anonymous said...

Tracy, I am so sorry to hear about this. It is completely heartbreaking. Please do not hesitate to call me if there is anything I can do for you/her, I can sit with her so that you can get some sleep or spend some time with your family. Love you ~Angie

Anonymous said...

So sorry and will be praying for your mom <3 and for this bacteria to heal <3 love and prayers-Barb from church