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I went in to see my Mom and saw a difference, to the better. She was no longer sleeping flat on her back with her arms to her side and her legs straight. She was slightly on her side, one arm dangling from the bed, the other across her body, her legs bent to one side. She had moved. Great. This means that there is no brain damage. She can move her limbs. I bent towards her, wincing at the sight of all those tubes going into her mouth, nose and neck. This was exactly what I did not want her to go through. But as long as she was getting better, all will be forgotten in time. I bent towards her and started talking to her telling her that I was there and that everything will be ok. She moved her face towards me with a light frown of concentration. I was ecstatic. She is responding to my voice. The orderly came in and asked me to go see the Head of ICU who had left word for me to see him when I came in. I went downstairs and met him. He explained what happened yesterday and that, although she is responding well, although the signs are good, yet that I should be prepared, because of her age and her now compromised heart, that things might still go south without any warning. Of course I understand, and I told him do. He said that he will come up with me to her bedside as he is trying to wean her off the ventilator. When we got there, we were joined by the two junior doctors on duty, and he gave them his instructions about what to do to try to lower the assistance given by the ventilator, so that she starts breathing on her own. A very difficult balance, with so many factors to consider. But I can see that they are doing their best, and that’s all that anyone can ask for.
My friend had gone home to pick up some more clothes and stuff for moving in with me. I really do have a sister. The plan is to have her daughter bring her to the hospital where they pick me up and we go have lunch on one of the boats across the road from the hospital, and that we should walk back.
In the meantime three of my cousins called to ask if there is anything they can do. I told the last one to call that I would like to see her doctor husband who is here for a very brief visit, if possible, as I would like him to give me a check-up. I have been having some chest pains over the past few days, what with the lack of sleep, the irregular meals,and the horrendous stress, it is no surprise. After lunch my friend and I were walking back from the restaurant to the hospital, which is a pretty short walk, and I was so out of breath I was starting to get dizzy and had to stop to catch my breath. This is not a good sign at all. I must schedule this check-up soon.
My days seem to be made up of a great many conflicting emotions. This feeling of weakness and worry about my own health has now been offset by the joy that my Mom is finally taken off the ventilator and is now breathing on her own, and is showing definite signs of deepening awareness. Although the doctor has warned me that things could go wrong very quickly, I cannot help but be optimistic and feel a ray of hope that things will turn out well.
My niece arrived from London, came and visited with her grandmother and feels that maybe my Mom did, on a certain level, know that she was there. She asked me to keep reminding my Mom that her granddaughter was there to visit her from London, and I promised that I would.
At the end of the day I managed to finally talk with my cousin the cardiologist and we have set up a date for Monday afternoon for my check-up. Badly overdue with all this stress and the rather frightening symptoms. But I think it is nothing that lack of stress would not cure. But how to get rid of stress, that is the six million dollar question!
The day ended on a good note, with a call from my niece which smoothed out some wrinkles and set some records straight. Family is so important, it supersedes, sometimes, even the need for anything else. If one did not bend the rules for the sake of a loved family member, who would you bend them for? But thank God things have worked out as well as can be expected and now the rough seas are settling down again into calm waters.
I hope to God I sleep tonight. Just to make sure will take one of the herbal sleeping pills.
To be continued ….