I can't remember a worse week since, oh about March of 2005. That was the week my daddy died. Easter 2005 to be exact. This week, Thanksgiving 2010 we lost my mom.
Mom's legs started hurting sometime the past few weeks. She had an extreme tolerance for pain and didn't think it was bad enough to mention. We found this out after she went in the hospital. I did find out she had mentioned it to her friend Louise at some point... but never to any of us kids.
On Friday November 19th my brother took her to the doctor and to have a sonogram on her legs. The results showed blood clots in both legs. A heavy dose of strong blood thinners were in order. By Sunday it was evident they weren't working enough so into surgery she went for a procedure on just the left leg which was in the worst condition. Three and a half hours later the outcome of that was a stint was inserted behind the knee. The worst place for a stint due to all the movement the knee goes through. Surgery went well and she felt much better.
Her appetite and spirits were good and on that Tuesday I went by on my way to work and just stayed all day. We talked, visited, napped and visited a little more.
The doctor thought she was doing well enough to leave and do Thanksgiving dinner at home with the family. She mentioned to my mother-in-law how much she loved dinner with the family, gathering in a circle (what we call "circling the wagons" and saying the blessing. But, by Wednesday evening she was very nervous and anxious about leaving the hospital. So, she stayed. My oldest brother, sister and I took a full plate and a dessert plate to her after dinner and she was all smiles and was eating from every plate in front of her. The plan then was that barring any complications procedures would be done on her right leg on the next Tuesday.
Since all was going so well, hubby and I left on Friday morning and drove about 2 hours west to Cisco Texas to help some friends at their land and planned on staying all weekend. My oldest brother was with mom all day on Friday until about 7:15pm and she was great. However, she called him about 8:45pm and was experiencing intense pain in the left leg. Wayne called my brother Steve and sister Sheila and they headed to the hospital. They started trying to contact me at the same time.
Ray and I were in two cars and my friend was not about to let me drive myself back to Dallas. During the drive back I talked to my pastor, Dr. Scott. I had been in touch with my church family all week and Scott was very familiar with the situation and prayed with me on the phone.
By the time they arrived at the hospital it was clear that there was something terribly wrong. They rushed her back into surgery. The original surgeons associate was pretty sure the stint was clotting. His words were, "he would attempt to use the medications to clear the clot. That would take about 3 hours. IF that didn't work the family would have to make a decision on the next step. An arterial bypass, which would add another 5 or so hours to the surgery or amputate the leg. WOW.
The family finally got in touch with hubby and I (a whole other blog) and we headed east back home. When we arrived at the hospital about midnight, the surgeon was just coming out of surgery. He was again pleased with what was happening. The drug was again clearing the clotting. They would take mom to her room, she would be out of it till morning. All was good again.
We headed to the house to get some sleep and crawled into bed about 1am. At 5am my brother Steve called and said the hospital called and we needed to come back. When we arrived they informed us that mom's blood pressure and heart rate had dropped at which point her heart had stopped. At that time they worked on her and got a heartbeat back. They were moving her to ICU from her room so we all moved to ICU waiting. Minutes later the head nurse came in to tell us her heart had stopped again. He asked us what we wanted to do.....
Mom and Dad both had DNR orders in their living wills. We said for them not to do anything.
and that was it. My momma was gone. Her heart just gave out. The procedures were just too much for her.
When my daddy had his head injury in 05, we had a week to adjust and wrap our heads around what was going on and what was going to happen. This was not, it just was not even a glimmer of a thought at that point in time. She lived through her own severe head injury with 4 weeks in intensive care. Then this.
My mom's favorite verse in the bible is Psalms 23. Written in her bible were the words, "do not fear the Shadow"... I'm sure meaning the shadow of death mentioned in this verse. I know my mom is happy. I'm sure that the first time her heart stopped, she caught a glimpse of Daddy Buck and that was that. She wanted to go back when they regained her heartbeat.
Its been 5 days now. The business of the planning for the funeral is over. The visitation, which was an amazing outpouring of love is done. The funeral service, an amazing tribute is past us.... now we go on with our lives?
So I go step by step, day by day; one foot in front of the other. Helping my family with the support of my friends.