On Friday, March 16th, while at my hair and nail appointment, my mom called to say she was being checked into the local hospital with double pneumonia. (Let me note, but until now, I couldn't spell pneumonia.) She sounded okay, so I finished my appointment and then went home to do a few things before heading to town to see her. I visited for a while and she seemed ok enough. Then I went and watched Valex & Daxsen so Vanessa could go see her.
Saturday afternoon I was getting ready for my St. Patrick's Day party, so I just called to visit. When I called, she answered and said "I'm having trouble breathing, talk to you later." I stressed for a while, but then a few hours later she called back and sounded just fine.
Around 1:00 that morning I got a text from my sister saying that mom was not doing well and they were sending her out by life flight to SLC. Then at 2:30, my dad called. He was concerned because my brothers had decided to drive out to the city then, they didn't want to wait until morning. I knew I was too tired to do anything, so I texted my brothers and encouraged them to wait until morning. At 7:00 in the morning, I got a text from them advicing snow chains. They had hit a storm on their way out.
After that, I called my sister. She had decided she wasn't going to drive out until the weather cleared. Which in the end worked out, because later she realized Daxsen had a doctor appointment. So Monday afternoon, my sister and I drove out together. We dropped the boys off at Heather's and then headed to the hospital.
Friday, I thought my mom looked okay. But on Monday, she scared me. Cords and IV's running every where, including a ventilator down her throat. They also determined that she had had a heart attack, most likely in Roosevelt. It was so hard seeing her like that, but one of the hardest things, was seeing her tied down. When patients have a ventilator in, its standard procedure to tie their hands so they don't accidentally try to pull it out, usually while sleeping.
My brothers needed to come home for work and other things, my aunt had to go back to work and my grandma needed to go home for a break and then repack for a longer stay. So I volunteered to stay the night with mom so Vanessa could at least go back to Heather's and sleep with the boys. Then she would come back the next day.
The first night was LONG. Beeps and alarms go off pretty much 24/7. But the worst part was when nurses starting running up the hall and calling a dr. to say that a patient was coding and the dr. was needed NOW. I was too scared to even move. After a bit, my mom's (very AMAZING) nurse came in. He said that normally, its a little more quite, but they had 2 patients code at nearly the same time so chaos had broken out. He wanted us to know he was still watching after my mom, but might be busy for a while. After he left, I looked at my mom and told her she was NOT allowed to code out like her neighbors. She vigorously shook her head in agreeance.
Because of the ventilator, my mom couldn't talk. But she had a pen and paper so she could still communicate. She also tried charades, but I'm not very good at that.
Every one at the hospital was nice, but Robert was by far the very BEST. The first night I was there, my mom even wrote him a love note. By morning, I was in love too. He was the sweetest, gentlest, most caring nurse ever. He wasn't working the 2nd night and even though that nurse was good, I still missed Robert. I mentioned the hands tied down thing. During one of the many checks Robert did through out the night, we untied my mom's hands for a minute so she could write something out. When Robert went to retie them, he paused and asked my mom if she wanted them left untied. She shook her head yes. Robert said, "Do you know what they say Tammy? Never trust a patient. But tell you what, I'm going to trust you." We later decided it was a big deal that he did that, but I'm so grateful he did. When he went off shift in the morning, he told her that even though he had done that, it would be up to the next nurse whether they would do that or not. But he must have put in a good word because they didn't tie her back down after that, even though she spent one more night on the ventilator.
Vanessa came to visit on Tuesday. Then she went back to Heather's that night because her boys needed her (they aren't use to not having her around). So I spent a 2nd night there. No one coded out, so it was much quieter and I slept as well as can be expected in a hospital. At one point in the night, her feeding tube plugged up. The nurse decided to move it a little and try to flush it again. After a few inches, it flushed out the clog. He said normally, they like the feeding tube in the intestines, but now it was most likely in her stomach. As long as she didn't get nauseous, that was fine. In the morning they did and xray, and it was in her stomach, which was fine for the moment.
Then the big moment came and they pulled the ventilator and a few of the many iv lines. They did have to put a mask on to help soothe her throat some. After a while on that, they helped my mom get out of bed to sit in a chair. (Which she had also done the day before.) While getting her up, the feeding tube came loose from her stomach, so they had to pull it. They couldn't promise to leave it out, but they would see what the speech therapist thought. The nurse told her to practice swallowing to increase her odds. Which worked because they let it stay out and she got to eat real food that night.
When Vanessa came to the hospital, she brought the boys with her. They couldn't go in to see my mom, but this way I could watch them in the waiting room and when we were ready to leave, we could head straight home.
Vanessa and I came home Wednesday afternoon. We stopped at the Dairy Keen in Heber on our way for lunch and Valex loved it.
Because mom was doing better, I didn't go out again until Sunday night on the hopes that she would be able to come home Tuesday. Yesterday they did an angiogram to look at her heart. All this time they have been telling us she would need a valve replaced, but this was to get a better look so we can make a game plan. The good news is they found no blockages. The bad news is she needs the surgery as soon as possible. I stayed until about 5:30 last night hoping to see the dr., but finally decided to head home. Of course he came in 30 minutes later!
IF the pneumonia clears up, they will operate on Thursday. But she still has fluid in her lungs, so its a big IF. I had hoped she would be able to come home between now and the surgery, but on the chance they can do it Thursday, they decided to just keep her there. I forgot to mention, that one doctor did try to release her Friday, but another doctor wanted her to wait until the angiogram test, so she had to stay. If they don't operate on Thursday, well, I don't know what. So as of now, we aren't sure when she gets to come home. She just knows she is tired of the hospital bed, walls, food, etc. and we all know we're ready to have her home. She is still on oxygen but other then that she seems well enough. She can move around on her own and even wanders the halls a few times during the day just for a different view.
To end this blog on a happy note, here is a few pictures of Valex and Daxsen I took when we stopped at the Dairy Keen.
The toy in Valex's kids meal was a blow up mace. After I blew it up, he tried to blow it up too. It wasn't until later that night he figured out it was for hitting people. Which he found just as fun, until we took it away because he hit close to his brother.
Dairy Keen is also known as The Train. They have a train that runs around the top inside. Then they have other train displays and toys for the kids. Outside they have a train table. We ate inside, but before leaving, we let Valex sit on the train for a bit. He thought it was great fun. He posed for a few pictures, but then became more interested in the big trucks driving down the road.
*UPDATE: My mom came home on Wednesday. After spending 12 days in the hospital, she was glad to be out in the sunshine. Her surgery is scheduled for April 11th where she will be having open heart surgery to replace a valve. We are all glad to have her home and thrilled that she will be home for Easter (which is going to be at my house, which means its going to rock.) :)