Sunday, October 23, 2005

She's still here!

Apologies to all for the lack of updates. It has been necessary for someone to be at the hospital with Mom 24 hours a day - not because of her illness as much as for her protection! Since the tracheostomy, Mom has been unable to speak. This leads to much frustration on her part as well as the nurses'. But more than that, things "happen" in hospitals: crazy patients, wrong medications dispensed, and most of all - more pain medication dispensed when they don't want to deal with you. So Donna and I have been pulling Mom watch at the hospital full time and I have been unable to get to a computer.

Now... as for MOM...

She is doing great! The staff infection that she had actually turned out differently than thought at first. She had two. The first one was the skin staff that was nothing to worry about. However, the second one causes endocartisis, which means that bacteria attaches itself to the heart valves and lining of the heart. The second one IS a bit more serious, so she has remained in the hospital to begin treatment (4-6 weeks of continual penicillin drip). After an echocardiogram showing that she has a heart that is strong and healthy, they have devised a plan of treatment for this that we will be allowed to pursue at home with the assistance of a Home Health Nurse.

As for her pain, we have been fortunate enough to have Dr. Johannsen (sp?)come in as a consultant. He is the director of Hospice and a pain management specialist. His first question was "what is causing the pain?" After careful questioning on his part and a thorough exam of Mom, he ordered a bone scan to see if the cancer had gone into her spine. Again, Mom passed with flying colors: no cancer in her bones - anywhere. So it looks like the excruciating pain she has been experiencing is probably a combination of being bed ridden and the tumor causing pressure against the back of the neck. Dr. Johannsen has completely changed her pain medication, and Mom is responding WONDERFULLY!! She is able to move about, cough, and stay awake virtually pain free! Prior to all of this, the narcotic drugs just kept increasing while her consciousness kept decreasing. Now that Mom is feeling so much better, she is bored. If you are in the neighborhood, please come visit!

The only thing stopping a homeward bound trip at this point is paperwork. The phone calls and arrangments are to begin tomorrow (Monday the 24th), so it is possible that she will come home late tomorrow, but more likely on Tuesday. We are requesting fervant prayer for a speedy and safe trip home.


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