Saturday, April 24, 2004

Mother's condition had been deteriorating for a while. Tuesday morning I dropped by the nursing home. She was sitting up front where she usually is. Instead of her usual surprised comment "What are you doing here?" I got nothing.

Mostly she said nothing but when she did speak I could not understand her because her voice was so low. She was feeling so bad that I could tell she really didn't care if I was there so I left but I was troubled.

That afternoon Julia called from the nursing home saying Mother was in distress. She was having stomach pains. We sat with her all afternoon, consulting with the nurse, trying to decide what to do. Julia wanted to request that she be sent to the hospital but when the pain finally subsided around supper time, she relented and we went home.

The nursing home called Wednesday morning saying Mother was in distress again. Julia and I went out there. She was in pain again. The lab called with critical results from her last lab work. Dr. Brooks ordered her to go by ambulance to the hospital.

We waited two hours for the ambulance. The ambulance service says that the insurance approval never came through. Now Tenncare and the ambulance service are accusing each other of the blame for this mix up.

Julia and I gave up and drove Mother to the hospital.

I will go to horrible, horrible Thursday. Mother's kidneys had shut down. From the time she entered the hospital on Wednesday till we left Thursday night, nothing entered the catheter bag. She was in excruciating pain. If Mother complains of pain, she is really in pain. They did not want to give her much pain medication because it would relax the kidneys and lessen the chances of them starting working.

I am trying to throw that day out of my mind. MOther, lying there dying, and in such pain.

Friday morning around 7:30 I called her room. Julia was there and reported that Mother was sleeping peacefully. I asked about the urine output. She said she had not looked. We really had no hope but I asked her to look. She came back to the phone amazed, there was urine, not just in the tubing, but in the bag itself. Her kidneys were working some.

When I got there about 8:30, Mother was awake and in no pain. She was also alert, so different from the day before.

They did take her to dialysis Friday and she tolerated it well.

On Thursday I had called Anne and Beth telling them they needed to come. I picked Beth up in Tupelo Friday and when she saw Mother she said Mother was better than the last time she had seen her.

Anne was coming Friday but now is coming Sunday.

We are not out of the woods on this yet, but we have hope now whereas on Thursday Mother's death seemed the only possible outcome.

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