Monday, March 9, 2015

A GREAT Update on Mom

     I have not really updated on my mother because there hasn't been a lot to update on. However, a lot has happened in the last few days so I wanted to update. Saturday afternoon I got a phone call from a hospital number, so I answered and it was my MOM!! I said hello? she said "hi" and as she was saying "it's your mom" I was crying mom! All I could get out was oh my gosh before I started sobbing. It was the best phone call I have ever received! As soon as Tyrone got home from work I went out there. We would have all gone up but Haleigh had what seemed like the beginning of a cold so I didn't think she should go up, just in case.
When I got to the hospital she had a little purple cap on her trach, she was sitting up in bed and she started talking! It was amazing!!! Her voice was still very weak/horse but it was HER voice. When they told us a few weeks ago that she would eventually be able to put on a speaking valve and talk to us, I was very skeptical of it actually sounding like her, but it does! It sounds just like her. It was so great. I talked to her doctor and nurses about what the plan was and was told that the plan was to do a swallow evaluation on Monday and see where she was with that. Then they would probably put a red stopper (I don't know the technical term) on her trach to see if she could breathe on her own. If she could breathe on her own for 24-48 hours then they would potentially be taking the trach out. They weren't expecting any of this to happen until monday though.
     Sunday I wasn't feeling great but Haleigh was feeling much better so her and Tyrone went up to the hospital while I stayed home and rested. Haleigh was so excited to hear mom talk. You have to remember that I usually talk to my mom on the phone almost every day and Haleigh talks to her most of those days as well. We have gone almost a month and a half without hearing her voice - this is amazing, just amazing!
     This morning I went in the hospital early because I knew a lot was going on today and I wanted to make sure I was there for everything. They come in and out of the room so quick (it is SO different then in the ICU) that mom really wants someone in there with her in case she misses something. So first thing this morning they came and got mom to take her down to do a swallow evaluation. That's where they give her different types of things to eat and drink and see if when she swallows it, it's going down the right way. I had to leave the room but the test only took fifteen minutes and they called me in as soon as they were done so they could talk to both of us about the results. Mom passed! The only thing they told her was to chew very carefully, to take a sip of her drink after every bite, and when she drinks she has to tuck her chin while she is
Flowers from Grampa & Aunt Pat
swallowing. This helps protect the airway so she doesn't aspirate any of the liquid. She will only have to do this for a little bit while her body gets use to eating and drinking. Mom was SO excited!! The first thing we did when we got back to the room was ask the doctor for a diet coke for her. Then we called up Grandma and asked her if she could get mom some chinese food. She said she would get dressed, get the food then be up as soon as she could. After we got off the phone the  respiratory  therapist came in and said they were probably going to take out the trach. Wait.. excuse me? Take it out? So, of course I questioned him. Which I am sure he was expecting because he was with us in the NNICU in the beginning, so he was aware that I wasn't going to just let things happen without understanding exactly what was happening (and agreeing to it - though mom is awake and aware so I don't have to make the decisions). I explained what we were told, that mom would be 'red capped' for a day or two before they would make the decision to take the trach out. He said that he felt she was doing well enough that they did not need to wait that long. That he would go ahead and red cap her trach for a little while but he was sure she would be just fine. After he put the cap on, I asked the nurse to hook her up so we could see her oxygen levels. They weren't planning on doing that until I mentioned it. Which I don't understand because other then her grabbing her throat and yelling that she can't breathe how would you know that her oxygen levels were okay? What if they slowly went down in to a dangerous level? How would they know? I told them I was very happy they believed in my mother's health 100% but I had been there when they believed in her so much they just took her breathing tube out and she turned blue because they were unprepared. So they listened, they hooked her up and watched it. However, after only five minutes of the trach being capped the RT thought she looked great and he took the trach out all together. I was scared and mom was nervous but we held hands and it was fine. It all worked out perfectly. Can you imagine how happy Grandma was when she showed up only an hour and a half later and mom had her trach all the way out?! She was ecstatic!
     Then after almost a month and a half my mom got to drink soda and eat chinese food! She looked at us, smiled, and said "this is so great, I'm talking, eating chinese food, drinking soda, and watching Gibbs!" Finally, I was seeing hope in mom's eyes. She was finally seeing, after her nurses have been telling her for a week, how well she was doing. How could she not? Within four hours she passed her swallow eval, she drank a soda, she took her medicine on her own, she had her trach removed, she was eating and drinking, and she was talking! When they first took out the trach, the doctor said she would probably go back to a whisper for a little bit then slowly she would gain back the muscles and be able to talk normal. Before I left the hospital at 1 she was talking well above a whisper. Mom has made amazing strides today! Now, the next step is rehab to get her back to where she was before the hospital. She should be moved there sometime tonight or tomorrow. We are all very happy! I cannot wait to update you guys with more great news!

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