Sunday, March 01, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

This week my emotions have been on a merry-go-round. We get good news followed by bad when it comes to the status of my mother's health. Friday she was moved from cardiac intensive care to pulmonary care and she was almost chatty at times, albeit a bit goofy from the new pain meds. Yesterday after my Indiana cousin and her daughter left, Mom went into afib. At one point during the visit Mom didn't know who the three of us were, telling the nurse she assumed we must be relatives since we were there visiting her. There was talk of "people out to get your dad", someone might be after Datha (my cousin), gila monsters and that I should put the little tequila bottles in my purse when I go. Okay, so some of it was funny, but most of it was worrisome because I had no idea of where all this stream-of-consciousness was coming from.

The good things this week: being moved, being allowed solid foods, having her digestive system start functioning. The not-so-good: the cath stays in, the afib, the mental confusion and my impression that Mom might start to give up soon. She is very, very tired.

This journey's final destination might not be where I thought it was.


SkippyMom said...

Hey you! :)

Could the mental confusion be due to the meds she is on? I would ask the doc' [which I am sure you have, but just in case...maybe if the downed the dosage, but maintained her pain she would be a little more lucid?]

Don't let her fatigue fool you - right now it is quality of life, not quantity - and if she has something to look forward to she will rally. [Even if it is something as silly as her beloved cigarettes, believe me on that one :)]

Here is something to make you laugh - when my Dad was on heavy meds for cancer he was convinced there was a racoon under the chair I was sitting in. He kept yelling "Skippy, there's a 'coon there, a 'coon! Get him!" We kept trying to shush him, to no avail. The lovely night nurse kept laughing and said "I have seen it all, no worries. But I have to say, I thought he was talking about me."

On other nights he would lay there and curse like a sailor - that was funny, because he didn't cuss. It was weird to see my usually stoic father shout out the "f" word for all the ICU to hear. argh.

Once he was off the pain meds he went back to being my Dad, the 25 year career military officer with an MBA from the University of Penn.

The night of the racoon? He was simply reliving his childhood on the farm.

Again I am long/verbose...I just want you to know it may not be as dire as you think and I know how tired you are. Please take a little time for yourself. A cup of tea and a nap sound good, eh?

Hugs, and good thoughts to you!

Anonymous said...

This is a tough journey. The hardest part is often keeping up the hope as the road is lined with numerous bumps and pot holes. Atrial fib is something we deal with a lot in ICU. The treatments modalities are often successful with the ultimate goal being to revert the rhythm back to a normal sinus. If that isn't possible.. then rate control is the aim. There are many good cardiac medications out there to help those that live with atial fib.

When my dad was sick, he too had many periods of confusion.. mostly related to the drugs he was on. The good thing was, that once he improved he didn't remember any of it. He would have been so embarrassed if he did, so that was a blessing.

SkippyMom is so right... I hope you are taking time for yourself.. remembering to eat and rest.

Sending more warm thoughts your way.

Nancy said...

Let me triple SkippyMom and, drink water and rest.

It may be the drugs messing with her mind. My mom was loopy and completely out of it till they found the right medication to sedate but not completely shut her down.

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