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Saturday, February 25, 2012

mom update

Car accident... Mom hurt... 3 broken ribs... Brain bleed...
Airlifting to Akron General...

These are some of the scariest phrases I've heard in my life.
I'm 38 years old now. On that horrible night three weeks ago, I
realized for the first time that my mother isn't Superwoman. She
can be hurt... And if things had been just a little different,
she could have died.

It has been hard watching my mother go through this ordeal. I
would do anything to take away her pain, but I can't. I must
believe that with time, she will fully recover and life will
return to normal.

Mom spent 10 days in the hospital. Because of the broken ribs,
bruised lung and COPD, she was having serious breathing episodes.
Although she had a lump on her head the size of two golf balls,
the brain bleed was small and stopped on it's own. I am so
thankful for that.

I visited her in the hospital five days after the accident. She
was obviously not doing well. I had trouble understanding her
fingerspelling. Her hands were so weak she couldn't properly
form the letters.

Even at that time, they said she'd be going home soon. The days
dragged on, but she still wasn't released. One day she was all
ready to leave. She called my father to pick her up. By the
time he got there, it was decided she had to stay another night.
The doctor wanted a new scan of her brain. It took awhile to
get the results back.

The next day her blood sugar was high because of medication.
They gave her insulin - too much, too fast. Her blood sugar
plumaged to 30. She nearly crashed. The incident left her
feeling weak, dizzy and scared.

We were all thinking the same thing. We had to get her out of
there before the hospital staff killed her.

On the 10th day, Mom was ready to break out of prison. My father
had to rush to the hospital to keep her calm. She was highly
anxious. If she had a panic attack, it would cause a breathing
episode, and she'd have to stay even longer.

Luckily, she was finally released from the hospital. The drive
home was painful and traumatic for her. It took 20 minutes to
get her from the car into our house. She was shaky and weak.
She couldn't talk to me, but just wanted to hold my hand.

The oxygen man came here right away to get that set up. Yes, Mom
is still on oxygen. There are lines running all over the house.
She's afraid I'll trip, but I've been fine with it.

Some people think it's over when the injured or sick are released
from the hospital. There's no truth to that one. But now all
the pressure is on the family to provide care and figure
everything out.

What upset me is that they just sent Mom home and let us deal
with her care. They didn't give her pain medication to help
with the ride home. My father needed to go to the pharmacy for
her meds, but he couldn't leave her alone. Then CVS kept making
mistakes. He didn't need all that extra stress.

It was almost a week before home care and rehab services were set
up. What happened in the mean time? My mother lay suffering
on the couch, while my father went crazy trying to care for her
and hold the family together.

Joseph still had activities to attend. I had class, massage
therapy and other events. We were out two drivers. Mom
obviously couldn't drive. and Dad couldn't leave the house. I
canceled many of my plans, but that made Mom really angry, which
would provoke a panic attack and breathing trouble.

Thank God for the many people who came to our aid. They provided
rides for Joseph and I. Some sat with Mom so that Dad could go
out for meds, groceries and other things. Many people sent
flowers and food baskets, as well as cards. The most helpful was
those who sent food. We didn't need to worry about cooking. We
always had something to just heat up and eat. Friends are still
sending meals. That is simply wonderful.

At this point, Mom is still on the couch. PT and OT have been
working with her to regain some strength. They got her started
with a walker. It was a beautiful moment last week when she
walked to the kitchen and had dinner with us for the first time.
She's been doing that most days.

One night this week, she just stood up and came to dinner. She
completely forgot about the walker. Now she's been walking on
her own more.

At this time, she is getting PT, OT, a visiting nurse and
clean-up each twice a week. They tire her out, so she doesn't do
much physically the rest of the day. She's getting uncomfortable
on the couch, so this week PT will start her working on the
stairs. That will be a tough one. She doesn't want to go up,
just to be trapped with no way to get down.

For every good day, there are several bad days. She's still so
weak, tired and in pain. Sometimes she's confused and easily
upset. Other times, she's her same old self.

My mother has already proven that she's an extremely strong
woman. She will get through this. I know it for sure. Thanks
you for all your prayers and well wishes.

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