Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Recap - The Month of Hell

I feel like I have been living in a hellish nightmare the last few weeks. My mother got very sick the beginning of June and almost died. My families life has not been the same since. Below is the story of what happened. It is pretty long so if you don't want to read it I understand just scroll down for the crafty stuff. I am posting this here because I use my blog as a journal as well and am hoping that my story might help someone else from going through this.
It all started on June 8th when my sister took my mother to Rose Hospitals ER early that morning because she could not stop shaking and had been saying her leg hurt a few hours earlier. After doing some tests they could not find much wrong so decided to send her home with antibiotics for a possible leg infection. She could barely walk and was confused by the time she left there but they let her go anyways. My sister took her home put her to bed and left.
A few hours later my sister called to tell me what happened. I called over to my parents house to see how things were. My dad answered the phone and said he had called an ambulance because she fell trying to get out of bed. I talked to her on the phone and she said was not going to the hospital. I called my sister and we raced over. When we got there we found her on the toilet white as a ghost. We called the paramedics back again and this time we made them take her back to Rose hospital. We sat in the emergency room for over 6 hours with her. During that time my mother was in a lot of pain disoriented and kept trying to get out of the bed. I spent most of that time taking care of her myself because the nurse was not around much. They finally admitted her to the ICU about 6 but nobody was really telling us what was going on. Her leg was looking really bad at this point though. When we finally got to see her in the ICU she was still trying to get out of bed,was disoriented and in a lot of pain. They still felt she could make her own decisions though so nothing we said really mattered. Both my sister and I was exhausted by that point and mom was telling us to go home so we left.
A few hours later we called to check on her and they said she was stable. My sister forgot to ask something so I called back to asked that question and was then told they were intubating her. We raced back to  the hospital to find out she was now septic. She spent the next 5 days unconscious and unable to talk.She almost died. During this time we also found out that she never updated her will from 1997 and had my father down as her medical power of attorney so I had to get a medical proxy to make decisions for her because my father and sister didn't want to do it. On Sunday we thought she was doing better but got a call shortly after coming home and was told they thought she had a heart attack. Thankfully she didn't and her heart was just stressed from the sepsis. The had to put a balloon in her heart to help it work though. It was horrible to see her that way. They finally found out that it was a strep infection a few days later and were able to treat it with the right antibiotic so things started to get better physically. After 5 days they finally pulled the breathing tube. She was still out of it from all the sedation though and was talking about crazy things like there was a turkey in her basement, which we knew was not true but at least she was talking again.
A few days later they moved her out of ICU. She could not walk though because she was to weak and the leg still looked terrible. She was trying to get up on her own again too. Instead of calling my sister and I come and calm her down they moved her to a room with other elderly sick people to watch her because they now thought she was risk to herself. By the time we found her there she was a even more confused and upset and we were again besides ourselves. We demanded they move her back to a private room. They did but then then insisted we have 24 hour sitters to watch her. We finally found someone to stay with her and were able to go home. It was very costly though. She kept saying she wanted to come home but we knew that could not happen because she couldn't walk and we don't have the money for 24 hour care. She finally agreed to go to a rehab instead. That didn't last long though. The leg started to get infected again because they didn't send her there with any antibiotics. She was out of her mind again by that time too. She was saying she was going to call a cab to take her home and I found out the rehab could not stop her. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. My sister, niece and I raced out there to try and stop her. By the time we got there the head nurse was trying to talk her into go back to the hospital. She finally agreed to go to Aurora Medical but still said she was going home afterwards. My sister and I spent the next 6 hours trying to get them to keep her. They kept telling us that because she could answer simple questions like her birthday, who the president was etc., if she wanted to go home she could. We could not believe what we were hearing. She was also mean and nasty during that time too. I finally called Rich to come and help us. He had been at an important meeting but thankfully it was over by then. When he got to the hospital he tried talking to her calmly and told her that he would take her home but only if she show us that she could walk. When she finally tried she couldn't even stand on her own which we knew but that finally convinced the hospital to admit her and not let her leave. Thankfully one of the ladies that stayed with her in the rehab was able to come and stay with her again so we could finally go home.
The next morning my mom called me and it was like a different person. She was back. The antibiotics they gave her were helping and she was more like herself again. She ended up in that hospital for 3 days. She fell twice while she was there because she won't say down for long. She still wanted to come home though so I began arranging for home care. I spent hours getting everything arranged and then she called and said she changed her mind and was going back to rehab but a different one this time. This rehab was not as nice as the last one though and she only lasted 2 days. We finally brought her home on Tuesday the 25th. The rehab did not send her home with any meds though. I finally got that straightened out after hours on the phone. She is able to get around house using a walker but we are still having to watch her though because she tires easily and can get confused. Next week she is going to see a new wound specialist about her leg. Hopefully it will be okay until then and they will be able to do something to help it heal. My biggest fear is the infection will come back again especially since they don't have her on antibiotics anymore.
I don't know if our lives will ever be the same now. I never thought about something like this happening but will do my best to get things in order so if it happens to me Emilia never has to go through something like this. The saddest part is that I found out we don't have any control over our own parents unless we have their rights taken away which is not really an option for us right now. The same goes for our children when they turn 18. Something needs to be done to change this. We should be able to help our family members in situations like this.  All we can do is just take things one day at a time right now and hope my mother continues to get better. If you have any extra prayers I could definitely use them right now.

With all this going on I have still managed to continue working on orders for my Etsy shop.
 It has been really hard trying to keep up but I am managing, some days I was getting up as early as 5 a.m to get the orders done and take care of my mom and I am not usually a morning person.  Today I wanted to share my pink and grey chevron collection. It all started out with a custom order for a  matching hat and name banner.

Pink and grey chevron seems to be a very popular trend because they have become a big seller in my shop and I have done many more variations since. Below is a  tea party which included a chevron tea pot, high chair banner, 12 month photo banner, smash cake topper and cupcake toppers back in May.

I have also done a teddy bear version.

 In the middle of June I did a banner for a baby shower where they revealed they were having a girl. I added onesies to this banner.

 In July I will be doing pink and grey elephants and owls as well and will share them with you later. That's all for now.I hope next month will be a better one and I will get to post more.


guilinger2 said...

Terri --- I'm so sorry for what your family has been dealing with! Since I live in the same area, I'm curious which hospital you were at ----I may want to avoid it in the future.

teachdanz said...

wow!! very scary! I am glad she is okay now and praying that life calms down and she doesn't have any more issues

Regina Easter said...

omg Terri, you poor thing, Thank God she is okay.....I will keep you all in my prayers.......cute projects

Cammie said...

Terri, I am so sorry you have been going through this! Does the hospital have social workers to help with transitional care? Is there an agency on aging in your area that can offer assistance? Also check for books on dealing with the elderly. I was given a book which I passed along to a friend which offered insight and practical suggestions,unfortunately, I can't remember the title. I can so relate to your frustration of trying to deal with an irrational parent. We had several occasions like that with my father. Remember to take care of yourself. One of first social workers we met told my sister and I to take care of ourselves and see our physicians if we needed help during this stressful time--anxiety runs in our family,so this was excellent advice. Finally, try to keep a sense of humor. I remember sitting in the hospital cafeteria with my step brother and his wife when they calmly announced they were taking up sky diving. They were joking of course but they were thinking risk taking would keep their sons from the situations we were facing with our parents. Hugs

Karel Hamilton said...

I am so sorry that you are going through all of this with your Mother. I went through the same type of frustration with my Mom. Be firm and don't let the hospitals push you around or keep you in the dark about your Mother's health. I learned the hard way and became known as a force to be reckoned with. In the end I think the staff hated to see me coming. Lol But I did what I had to do to get the answers I needed. My Mom has passed away now, but I remember how hard it was to deal with it all, so I will pray for you and your Mom that she continues to have good recovery. God Bless.

Carol's Ink Spot said...

Terri, So sorry you have had to go through all this with your dear mother. Seeing the wound specialist is a wonderful idea. We finally had to do that with my father and he was a great help. This experience will help you and your sister to set things up in a better fashion for your family as well as anything to come with your dad. Hopefully, things will get better. Sending prayers and hugs you way. PS: Great party ensemble.