Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Day that Changed My (Family's) Life

Friday May 20th started like any other day for each member of my family. Unbeknown to me & my siblings our mother went out with some of her friends. Following their time of food & fun our mom asked one of her friends to go for a walk. This friend had already been for a long walk but she couldn't turn down the opportunity to spend time with Mom. As it turned out, the decision to go for a walk was a life saver. While on this walk mom had the worst headache of her life...then she past out. Thanks to being on a walk with a friend the aid car came within minutes, follow by a second car with a physician. Mom was then rushed to Evergreen Hospital where she was examined & it was determined that it was more serious then they could deal with & she was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Downtown Seattle. Mom had suffered a burst brain aneurysm. This is when the wall of a blood vessel in the brain weakens, forms a balloon & eventually pops, releasing blood on the brain.
At Harborview, Mom underwent surgery to patch the blood vessel. They were able to repair the blood vessel but the leakage had already flooded mom's brain. The results.....
Nobody really knows for sure what the end results will be... It has been a wait & see, day by day process.
I arrived in Seattle on Wednesday after the accident.
Mom spent nearly 4 weeks in ICU. Although she didn't suffer any paralysis the blood on her brain effected her breathing & vocal chords. This meant that a tracheotomy had to be put in through her throat so that she could breathe.
Week number 5 mom spent on the 3rd floor, one up from ICU, resting & gaining strength. By the end of her time on the regular hospital floor we were all pretty encouraged that she was making good progress. This included the hospital staff, so she was recommended to move to the 4th floor for rehab with the goal of her returning to her home with "some" assistance on July 2nd.
It has now been more than 2 months & mom has suffered many complications....infections, inability for them to remove the catheter, her blood pressure has been on a roller coaster & she has been having difficulty sleeping.
Next week she will be released to a rehab convalescence center for 120 days of therapy. After that will depend on what she has been able to recover & how independent she will be able to be.
Two months ago my Mom was living on her own, in her own home, paying her own bills, driving her own car, walking or swimming nearly everyday. She served at her church, played cards & Rubikubes with friends & neighbors. Mom was the rock for many people. Today, she is confused most of the time, she has to have someone with her when she uses a walker, & often she needs to be fed or she doesn't eat enough.
Obviously this has been an extremely emotional time for me, my brother & sister, as well as the grandkids.
My anchor has been the promise the Lord gave me early on in this process. He told me that this would be for His glory.
Please continue to pray for her on going healing. Pray for my siblings as they will be handling the decisions about mom's care, as I will be returning Poland in August 2nd. Pray for me that I will be free to do all that the Lord has for me to do.
*These pictures were taken last August when my Mom came to visit me in Poland.

**Some statistics on ruperted brain aneurysms:
About 3% of the US population experience such a bleed a year (30,000 people)
10%-15% die before reaching the hospital
Of those who reach the hospital 50% die within 30 days

1 comment:

Leslie T said...

Moving synopsis of your mothers and your journey these last few months. Brought tears to my eyes. God bless you both, my prayers are with you.