Thursday, November 30, 2006

The room smelled like mortality.

I spent all day yesterday at the hospital with my sister and father, to support my mother in what should have been a routine procedure. My mom failed a stress test, and was having slight chest pains two weeks ago. It was recommended by her doctor that she go in for an exploratory procedure to see if all was okay with her heart. Worst case scenario would involve the insertion of a stent into one of the arteries. I should also mention that during the stress test, it was found that her carotid artery, the main blood supply to the brain was blocked. The doctors felt that it would be best to deal with the heart issues first, then go back and clear the coradid artery in 3 months.

She went into surgery at 1pm. The doctor came out at 2:45 pm, to say that the artery on the lower left side of her heart was 95% blocked, and that they were unsuccessful in getting both stents into place. The wanted to wait until the morning to finish the surgery, as they had used the maximum amount of radioactive dye needed to view the procedure and didn't want her to go into kidney failure. The three of us were allowed to go back to see her one at a time. My sister was the last one to go in, and while she was there, my mother began having intense chest pains. They immediately took her back into the operating room to finish the surgery, fearing a massive heart attack. Once again, they were unable to get into the vein. It was too blocked. The surgeon again came into the waiting room, this time asking us to come into a consultation room where we could talk in private. This time he said that he was unable to get in, and that the only option was to perform open heart surgery, a bypass. He wanted to consult another surgeon before beginning the proceedure, and he would be back in a few minutes to talk with us more. Those few minutes seemed like an eternity. Now two doctors are coming towards us, the looks on their faces didn't look good. The second doctor then said " This situation isn't looking good. We don't feel that your wife/mother is able to withstand open heart surgery, due to the clogged carotid artery and her weight. We fear that if we go thru with it, she will either not make it through the surgery, or will have a stroke during recovery. There is also a high chance of infection, pneumonia, and blood clots. We recommend that she be taken to the Cardiac Intensive Care unit and have a controlled heart attack. Since we can not repair the vein, a heart attack is going to happen. We will control it with nitroglycerin, and morphine for the pain. If it ends up being more of a heart attack then we think, we will then take her into surgery for a by-pass".

The three of us sat their with stunned looks on our faces. I saw my father cry for the first time in my life. I told the doctors I wanted to see her, immediately. They agreed and took my father and me back to see her. I thought she would be in the recovery area, but I was wrong. My father and I were escorted into the actual operating room, where my mother was on a stretcher waiting to hear what was to happen to her. At that point she had no idea. My dad and I waited at my mothers feet, as the doctor explained to her what was happening telling her all that was told to us. All she said was "Okay, I'll do whatever needs to happen. I have two grandchildren that I would like to see before I die". The doctor excused himself and my father and I approached. She had no idea that we had been standing there while the doctor gave her the news. She smiled a weak smile and said everything was going to be okay.

They moved her into the Cardiac ward, pumped her full of nitroglycerin and morphine. I spoke to her at 10am this morning. She said she had chest pains all night long, but they stopped by morning. I have no idea at this point if the controlled heart attack is over, or still ongoing. I'll have more news later tonight. As for the carotid artery, they intend on cleaning that out in about 4-6 weeks. In a way, I am glad they can do it sooner than they originally thought. However, if that surgery goes the direction of this last one, well...

Dec. 12, 2006 UPDATE

Spoke to my mom this morning. She had a very bad night last evening, with pain levels at 10. They gave her 3 consecutive morphine shots, but the pain still cut through. Her doctor isn't happy with what is going on with her. He wants to transfer her to another hospital, one that is better able to handle her condition. The hospital is an hour away from my parents house, about and hour and a half form my house, and my sisters. I can tell by my mom's voice, that she isn't doing well. She is saying things like "this is going from bad to worse" and " if something happens, I am still going to be watching you all". This is very disturbing to me. She won't let me come to see her, telling me that I have my own things I need to take care of (my son, the baby) and that the weather is too bad for me to travel. I am not allowed to call her friends or business people to tell them anything about this. I can't understand why she feels she has to do this all by herself. This is the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh shit Cammie. Fuck me I'm so sorry. I pray you can be string for yourself and your family. Prayers coming from down here up mto you...

Life, or Something Like It said...

God, Camie, I'm so sorry. Prayers from here, too. I'll be thinking of you. Keep us posted. Hugs xxoo

Gardenia said...

Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear. I am crying because this is so sad - she must be a fighter extraordinary! Keep fighting for her. I will pray also tonight for strength for you and your family and the best of medical care and success for the upcoming surgery(s). Keep us posted.

Shep said...

Thinking about you, sweetheart x

Anonymous said...

hey sweetie be strong for her, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers, hugs an kisses x

RD said...

Camie.

I am so sorry to hear this. Its terrible news.

My thoughts are with you lady.

cappy said...

fuck. er, erm. you know where i am. if you need me.
shit. thinking of you. and the rest of your family. good vibes!

Cynnie said...

Sorry Cams..
I'm so fucking sorry

FOUR DINNERS said...

Be strong babe. Your mum must do it her way. You just be there for her when she needs you. Meantime focus on your dad. We're here for you if and when you need us. love n hugs xx

Anonymous said...

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. My father has been through a lot of open heart surgeries. I know how you feel. Stay positive. I'm glad they transfered her to the specialists.

All the hugs in the world xxxxxxxx

Laura said...

Oh hon, I'm so sorry. How very scary for all of you. It sounds like she's in the best of care, and they caught it now instead of 'in the field'.

If it were my mom, I could go along with the don't tell anyone yet, order, but not the stay home one. As long as the weather didn't hazard driving, I'd have to stay at the parent's house until she's out of the woods. If your dad is like mine, he's too worried about your mom to take care of himself.

I'm sorry, I'm rambling. I'd probably be a lot less wordy if I were there to hug you in person. :)

Anonymous said...

Geez...I'm sorry.

Very, very, very sorry...

Hope it works out.

Steve~

Anonymous said...

Oh this is terrible...my warmest wishes are with you and yours.

best.

d34dpuppy said...

camie i will think all positve thots 4 ur whole family if i go 2 church this year i will lite a candle 4 u all i m glad u dint move to wyoming( is it tha place?) yet.go there if u wanna dont let her says no thay never let me tell my mum goodbye which is not sayin that u has 2 i no i dun make sense but i hope u no wot i means neways
i hope 4
peace in ur hearts
peace in ur minds
goddess keeps u in
her heart all tha
tiem
xxooxx
mazdx3

Pie said...

My thoughts are with you and your family.

* (asterisk) said...

I'm getting to this a bit late since I've been out of blogland for a couple days. But Camie I just want to add how sorry I am to hear this. I hope everything works out okay, and i'm sure it will. I'm not a man of God; instead, I'll put my faith in science a good chunk of the time. And the docs know what they're doing, y'know. Thinking good thoughts for you all.

蔡健雅Tata said...
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