Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Mother's Heart Goes On and On

I noted last night that there has actually been a lot going on in our lives, so it is time I start writing about some of it. Tonight, we update on my mother's health issues.

For the past several months, my mom has had bouts of two different problems. One is that she has had unexplained blackouts. She didn't always completely pass out, but she would more or less lose consciousness, become uncommunicative, and have no recall of it when she came back. First it was diagnosed as mini-strokes. Then when she had a worse one that landed her in the hospital, they suggested that it was actually seizures and put her on seizure medicine.

The second problem was increasingly severe abdominal pains. They had gotten to the point where she would be doubled over and screaming in pain. And really, my mom is not the demonstrative type. She doesn't scream. Between the two issues, she has had several hospitalizations, including I think three in a month's time.

Just over a week ago she was again rushed to the hospital, exhibiting both problems. But what proved to be different was that this time, the squad got there faster, so they ran a tape on her heart while she was in the worst of the problem. And it revealed that in fact, Mom's heart had STOPPED! Now the cardiologist says that he doesn't believe she ever had mini-strokes or seizures – that this has been the problem all along. A pacemaker was installed a week ago tomorrow, and she seems much better.

The abdominal pain, apparently, was from kidney infection that had escalated to near kidney failure. And the kidney infection was caused, we're told, by the assorted doctors who were treating her having over-prescribed to the point that they were poisoning her kidneys. So all her meds are being re-evaluated and adjusted.

Now Mom is at a nursing facility for two weeks of therapy and rehab before she returns home. On the one hand, it really highlights how little, old and frail my mom has become. She is 88 years old. She is in many ways a shadow of her former self. We are only given a limited time on this earth, and 88 years has to be nearing the extent of that. On the other hand, it is clear that the pacemaker and the nursing home are making a difference. She seems stronger than she has been in a while. It is looking like she might be able to go home, resume her daily activities and enjoy life as she knows it a while longer.

I've asked all my friends to pray for her, and I appreciate the many kind words I have heard in response. I continue to request those prayers. Everything logical tells me she is living on borrowed time, but I hope she and those of us who love her can manage to enjoy every day of that time.  


Emilia said...

So sorry to hear about all the medical upheaval, but also so glad they've figured out what is going on!

I was grouching last month about the thought of driving out west this summer to visit family. It's such a long trip, but then I snapped out of it and reminded myself that these are precious years to still enjoy with my parents and in-laws while they are healthy and alert.

Susan said...

I agree, Emilia. Not only are they precious for you, but for your kids. Make sure they get as much exposure to those wonderful grandparents as possible!