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To all you grieving your moms...


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Iam really having a hard time here. I am reading your grieving posts about you moms and I know shortly I will be there too.

Well, my mom was taken to the hospital yesterday. They thought she had a stoke. My sister took her to her orthopedic doctor to get a shot for a damaged rotator cup that was giving her much pain.

While at the docs. my sister could not understand anything my mom was saying. Even though she is in a wheelchair she could not stand when she went to the bathroom. She was like dead weight. The doctor gave her the needle directly into her rotator cup but commented that something is not right with her.

Renee (my sis) took her back to the assisted living and the doctor there told us to call an ambulance as he thinks she had a stoke.

I came to the hospital and I could see she recognized me with a smile, but I could not understand what she was saying.

They said her oxygen level was low (not sure if is was low or high) they had to incabate her.

Well.... after they did that, she blew up like a ballon. My mom is only 4' 8" and weighs about 110 lbs. She looked like Jerry Lewis lying there or a beached whale. Very unrecongnizable. She eyes are swollen shut. They have her on morphine and avitan. So she has been out since about 2:00 yesterday. ER made it sound like she was very critical and may not make it through the night. They placed her in ICU and we stayed there till 6 in the morning. She was stable the whole time so we finally went home.

Now this is what is going on. First of all, we have not spoken to the doctor who is in charge with ICU and knows everything that is going on. We waited for her for 3 hours in my moms room for her to finish her rounds and she was ready to come to us, there was an emergency.

One thing I forgot to mention. When they were incubating her in the ER, they had the curtains closed and we had to wait outside till they were done. It took an extremely long time and more nurses kept coming in. At one point there was 7 doc. and nurses in there. They said everything went smoothly. :roll:

Now back to ICU. They are all baffled as to why she is blown up. She is blown up with air not fluid. When you touch her it feels like she has rice crispies under her skin. Wierd feeling.

She had a head CT and a full body with contrast CT. We have not officially received the results from the ICU doctor. But we heard from the cardiac doctor that everything is clear and she probably did not have a stoke. :roll: Her oxygen level was very low and that could have caused damaged to her brain which made her slurr etc. So why incubate her, why not just give her oxygen?

The pulmonary doctor gave her a bronascope to see if there was a tear somewhere in her esophasis. That came out clean but he thinks it is futher down. He feel that when the incubated her the damage may have been made at that time. Her being old, her system is very weak, and this does happen. Therefore, when the incumbate her it made all the air escape. :roll:

Anyway, they are hoping it will go away in a couple of days. They have to give her somekind of port in her leg to take blood and stuff, because she is so blown up they cannot fine a hint of a vein anywhere.

This is what pissses me off, if one more doctor says to us, "Why did you let them incubate when she has a living will DNR..." ERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

You see mom is 94 but she is full of spunk. The life of the party at the retirement home. Until she fell about 2 years ago and broke her hip, that is why she is in a wheelchair. But dances up a storm in her wheelchair during entertainment time. She is a riot!!

My mom has all her functions working and recognized us. I should have said no. :shock: NO WAY!! Not until we know there is no hope.

I have been having some guilt feelings about this whole thing. Maybe she did not really need to be inabated, then that blow up thing would not have never have happened. Maybe now she would be felling much better and on her road to recovery.

We put so much trust into doctors at these scary times we rely on them and tend to listen to what they say, because they are the experts. But then again we have to realise that they are always Practicing medicine.

To all my cyber family out there who actually read all this through. Thank you for listening. I know it is so long, but I had to get this off my chest. Even if it was just me reading it.

Please send prayers for my mom to at least come out of this even it is just for a short time. I need some kind of recognition sign from her and if need be I want to say goodbye.

I have 2 other friends who are fighting for their life right now. :( One is Stella, my 95 year old neighbor, dying of LC. (just diagnoised last week), I know she is 95 G-d bless her, but that does not make it easier, and a friend who we have known for over 35 years, she has stage 4 brain cancer. Was in remission, now all back.

Sometimes life just is not fair. I feel like I am being pulled in all different directions. :shock: I don't have the time now to be with them enough because of my mom. I wish I could split myself into threes's.

Please take care, so sorry for all the grieving you are going through. I can't imagine not having my mom around... :(


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I am so sorry to hear about your mom. :cry:

It is a terrible helpless spot you are in right now. If you feel that she is not going to make it I would have a "talk" with her and tell her everything you feel in your heart. I did a lot of reading after I lost my mom and the hearing is there till the very end.

Please let us know how she is doing.

Hugs, Shelly

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Maryanne, I am just so sorry to hear that you are having all these bad things happening to you at onse. I pray that your mom, as well as your two friends, recieve God's blessings and get better. I know what you mean about the thought that because you are old you are all "used up." This isn't true. I have seen so many people in their 90's that live a very full life and have so much to offer to others. Often, these seniors are an inspiration to others. I know it is always hard when we j=have to make critical decisions about our loved ones health. I had to do this with my mom and it took me years to find peace with myself afterwards. I'm also praying thet God will grant you strength, as you already have so very much on your plate!!!

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Dearest Maryanne,

Remember the rule.....BREATHE!!! Before you do one other think ~ step back and take several deep breaths and exhale slowly.

Now....I am so sorry about all this going on with your mother. But please do not waste time second guessing yourself and how things have gone so far. You take another breath and look over the situation and decide where to start. Maybe it will be to track down the ER doctor/s responsible for her initial care. Maybe it will be to confer with her PCP as to how to proceed. I guess the main thng is to get your mother situated feeling as good as she can in the appropriate place right now. And I know you are up to that challenge. You are a get done kind of gal...I can tell by many of your posts. So you take that bull by the horn and wrestle it to the ground, Maryanne!!!

And how unfortunate about your 2 friends at this time. Again you will need to take a deep breath and make up your mind you can only do so much for them at this time. Maybe that will be sending cards each week, or even a visit every other week or something. Or maybe it might be a phone call. But please do not feel badly about not having more time. You know, we can only do so much with what we got!!!! Sometimes we just have to let go of some things. That was a very hard lesson for me to learn.

I will be thinking of ALL of you, Maryanne. I know you are up for this. Allow us here to provide the prayers and support you will need.



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Thanks everyone for your prayers and good wishes.

It felt really good to see my brother and sister-in-law today. They drove 24 hours from Florida. I haven't seen them for close to a year.

Mom did not have a stroke. We found out the mom has extensive pneumonia in her left lung. The ICU Doctor spent over an hour with us showing us all the X-rays and CT and that Bronchial tests she had. The pneumonia is very very extensive, that is why she was having trouble breathing. Her CO (carbon oxide) level was too high so she was not getting enough oxygen to the brain. That is what caused her disorientation and slurred speech.

They had to incubate her of she would have passed. :shock: But, unfortunately, that did some damage to her trachia when they inserted the tube into her throat. :shock: The tear does not show up in the X-rays, They will not know the extent of the tear until they take the tube out and they can look down there.

The other thing is, that she can get an infection from the tear being open. She said if that happens, it would be almost impossible to fight that off at her condition and her age.

Right now she is still knocked out. They are going to try little by little to ease her off the respirator. If they find that is not working they will have to put it back in which could possibly cause the tear to become larger. :shock:

She still is very blown up, but it is starting to decrease. Her eyes are no longer swollen shut. :D So that is a good sign.

They have to wait for the swelling to go down, so they can get a good picture of her chest.

So now it is just wait and see. We just pray that even if she pulls through this, when she is fianally awake she will know us and we hope her speech comes back. We do not know if there was permanent damage to her speech center or not.

They said if once they take out the tube and there is a problem that she cannot breathe, they will reinsert the tube immediately, but they cannot keep it in long for damage to her esphosagas. They will have to give her a permanent trach. :shock:

Being 94 and fragile, we don't know how she will take to any of this. We have to wait and see. She has pulled through so many situations in the past. So maybe by some miracle she will do it again.

I just hope we do not have to make any decisions. I could not handle that. I know some people are saying hey, shes 94 let her go if you have too. I am lucky to have a mom for that long. So many have lost moms at such a young age. I know Iam blessed. But it does not make it easier.

I spoke to Stella on the phone (the one with advance LC) and she could hardly talk. If it wasn't for my mom I would be over there. I have to find the time, as I would never forgive myself if I didn't. Her birthday is Sunday, which we are going over there, I just hope she makes it till then.

MaryEllen (with brain cancer) her operation isn't until Monday. She only lives around the corner, I have no problem visiting her.

Anyway that is my update for now.

I am not going to update everyday, just when mom starts to wake up and there are new developments hopefully positive.

My moms name is Helen, you can mention that in your prayers.

Thanks all,


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Dear friend,

We read the posts ......... they were NOT too long. We care and have all of your family and friends firmly in prayer.

You are a good wife, daughter and friend.

God will give you the strength to get through this time.


Pat and Brian

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So glad that things seem to be doing better with your mom! It sounds like she's a real tough cookie! I am so glad to hear that she did not suffer a stroke. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

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Maryanne, the rice crispies is called "subcutaneous emphysema", it happens when air leaks into just under the skin. This usually happens when someone has a chest tube put in or something like a central line placement, but I have never seen someone with as much as you decribe. It usually just takes time for it to go away. I know they told you everything went fine with the intubation, but obviously it didn't! I hope that your mom is doing much better today! It really is for the best if they keep her sedated until they are ready to extubate(take the tube out).It's not a very comfortable thing to have to go through. Usually the can leave it in for 2 weeks, and if a person is not ready to come of the ventilator, then they go for the trach. Which, by the way, does not have to be perminent. It just depends on the situation.

I will pray for you and your mom. I just ask you to keep in mind her quality of life after all is said and done. I don't think anyone (hospital staff) thinks that just because she's in her 90s you should just let her go, they just don't want to see her go through a lot of stuff that can be very uncomfortable if she won't have a good quality of life afterwords. Does that make any since? To me she sounds like a 30 yr. old! :D I think you all are doing a great job with dealing with everythink. Just do what she would want and you can't go wrong. God be with you and your family,

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Wow Maryanne.

When it rains it pours!

I am sorry I didn't learn about what has been going on with your mom until now. Poor thing. And poor you.

I understand that you are being torn in all directions. You are a caregiver of the best kind. Try not to "take on" the critisms of the doctor that asked why the intubation. You and everyone else does the best they can at the moment. Do you have siblings there to help with the decisions? I hope that Joel is a source of strength for you.

Helen and Stella and your other friend will be in my prayers.

love, Cindi o'h

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Hi all,

Need some prayers.

My mom is having her breathing tube taken out tomorrow and they are going to replace it with a trach. She will be under, and they hope that she will pull this minor operation. She does not have a strong heart as she has arota stenosis, which means she has a weak value going to the heart.

She has been out of it since last Monday as they are keeping her drugged up. Her pnenomnia is clearing up so that is a good sign.

My sister, brother and myself will be with her all day tomorrow. She is getting the operation about 10:00 tomorrow morning. They are also going to give her a feeding tube in her stomache.

The good news. finally her face and neck are back to normal as the air from the boched up incubation that gave her damaged to her esophogas.

Anyway, tomorrow will be a long, tireing day. I hope I have good news to tell you all.

take care


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