I haven't written an update on what is going on with my mother in a while because I've been overwhelmed. Either there is nothing going on and I am waiting for the next thing to happen, or the next thing is happening and I am too consumed with it all to write about it. Then by the time it is over I'm exhausted, mentally and physically, to do anything but, roughly, go through my daily routine. So, while I have a minute I want to update you all on what has been going on the last month or so.
On July 14th, Mom went in for surgery on her throat. The doctor was not at all concerned about this surgery, however, Mom was. She was, for a while, convinced she was going to die during this surgery. She had speeches prepared for us for before she went in. I told her she could tell me she loved me but to the rest I said "knock it off." It was too much. Too much to think about, too much to handle, just too much. She did great and came out of surgery feeling pretty good. Her doctor said that when they went in, it was worse then expected but when they finished, the end results was better then they had expected. During her follow up visit a week later her doctor was VERY impressed with how she was healing.
On July 30th Mom had an appointment with her regular doctor because she had ear infections and a fever. When we got to the doctor's office her blood pressure was pretty high. They were going to send her home with an extra blood pressure medication but I voiced my concern over how high her blood pressure was. Last time it was that high she had seizures. I wanted her admitted to the hospital because it was so high. The doctors didn't feel the same way, they really thought that another medicine will help. Honestly, doctors (or at least the ones we have encountered - other then Mom's ENT doctor) do not like when anyone other then the patient have input. I asked them to retake Mom's blood pressure, I got a grunt then a sigh, which was followed by a "You are right. We will be sending her to the hospital." Mom's blood pressure was extremely high, so she was sent to the emergency room and then admitted. They also found something in her blood work that was elevated, which indicated an infection somewhere. While she was in the hospital those numbers came down along with her blood pressure after adding two more BP medicines and she came out Saturday Aug 1st.
On Tuesday, when I stopped by to see Mom she was having a a lot of trouble breathing. She was taking very shallow breaths and it scared me. I told her we should call her ENT or take her to the hospital. She said that as long as she was not moving around she would be fine once she calmed down. She did not want to go to the ER, she had an appointment with her ENT on Thursday and was hoping to hold out until then. Her home nurse was scheduled to come the next day and once she calmed down she was breathing okay so I didn't fight her on going to the hospital. I figured if the nurse thought something was wrong she would do something about it and until then I told her not to move.
Wednesday, August 5th Grandma called me to tell me that they had called an ambulance and were taking mom to the hospital. While the nurse was there mom's oxygen levels dropped pretty low from her just moving from one side of the couch to the other. I was scared and anxious because I did not have a car immediately available for me. I called Tyrone to come get me as soon as he could take a break at work. Once we were there and back with mom I was a little better until they started talking about what could be wrong. More things of the same, I can handle. I was not prepared to hear that something may be wrong with Mom's heart. The first thing that was mentioned was that Mom possibly had congestive heart failure. All her signs and symptoms pointed to this. However, it was not a definite diagnosis. They did two echocardiograms (ultrasounds of the heart) in the ER while they were waiting for a room to open up because she was definitely being admitted. The second ultrasound tech did not seem to think the same thing as everyone else so I was holding out hope that it was not congestive heart failure. Once Mom was admitted and went up to her room a team of doctors came to introduce themselves. The hospital Mom is in, is a teaching hospital so you have an attending doctor (head doctor) and residents (student doctors). He had them poke around and take guesses as to what they thought was wrong with mom and again they guessed congestive heart failure. They had not yet gotten back the results of the Echocardiogram so they had no definite, nor were they cardiologists, so they were just taking their best guesses. This unfortunately was how I had to leave that night, with no answers. The next day was more of the same, testing and guessing. This day's diagnosis was pulmonary edema. It did not sound awesome either but it was not congestive heart failure so my anxiety level went down a notch or two. No matter what she had, the plan was the same, get the fluid off her lungs and bring down her blood pressure. This diagnosis did not stick however. The final diagnosis (I say this, of course, but it could always change, though it has been the same for a few days now) was moderate diastolic dysfunction which, when you google, everything comes up as heart failure. I hate google sometimes. The way it was explained to me is her high blood pressure was causing heart problems, and the heart problems were causing fluid in the lungs, which was causing the breathing problems and leg swelling. So the plan is to change blood pressure medicines to something that actually works and a water pill to get the fluid off her lungs.
Today is now Monday, August 10th and hopefully the plan is for mom to come home. This morning she had an ultrasound on her kidney's and I am waiting to see if anything comes of that or if she is still headed home today. Also, I am hoping they have done a recent chest x-ray to check on the fluid in her lungs, if not that is what I will be requesting when I get there. It does not make sense to send her home without seeing if the water pills are working right? So, this is what has been going on with us. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.