December 29, 2002
Just glad she’s so stubborn.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about what’s happening with my mom. That’s partly due to things going well over the past few days, and partly due to a setback which threw me and my family for a loop prior to that. The thing is, we almost lost her on Boxing Day. Her condition had been stable, but not really moving up or down the scale one way or the other. That evening after dinner, we got a call from the nurse on duty that something had occurred which caused a drastic and dangerous increase in her heart rate. Things didn’t look good, but the fact that an intern was checking on her when this happened more than likely saved her life that night. There was a cardiac reaction to the amount of fluids being pumped into her body to keep the vascular spasms in check. Her heart apparently had enough of it, thank you very much. The ICU staff managed to get her heart rate back down, started a blood transfusion to dope up the quality of her blood, and put her on two different types of IV drips that would help strengthen her heart and regulate its beating. My wife and sister and I had met my dad at the hospital after the initial call from the nurse. Although there was really nothing we could do, we slept in the ICU waiting room that night. My sister and I didn’t stay there for my mom or for ourselves. We stayed there for my dad, who obviously needed family around him while the details played out. Thankfully, my wife stayed for me, as I was teetering somewhere between frustration and betrayal. In the morning, all of the science and magic and prayer must have worked, because my mom was still with us. She’s almost weened off of the special heart medication and the ventilator is being used less and less. Yesterday, when I was holding her hand, she grabbed it tight and raised it up to my chin. When my prickly five day beard touched the always soft skin of her fingers, I swear she turned her head suddenly, winced and then scowled at me. She never did like it when I left my face unshorn. She still doesn’t. Thanks for being so stubborn mom.
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