Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Part four--Days 4 and 5

I decided in the last post to use my family's given names as it will make our journey easier to tell. Our son, James, and his wife, Laura, were working 2000 miles away for the winter months, that is why they are not mentioned. 

Day four began with snow, and I said goodbye to Bill and then Emily as she had to work.  My daughter's employers were very good to them during all of this to give them as much time off as they needed.  
I was able to make it over the mountain by myself for the first time, in the snow, with lots of praying.  Parking spaces, usually difficult to find, were easy today because of the snow. One small blessing.

I was so happy to see Amy! She had endured a restless night, with a breathing treatment at 11:30 and then her bed needed to be changed at 3:00 a.m. because her catheter wasn't working right.
She ate pureed eggs and drank apple juice and orange juice. Amy had another breathing treatment and then the Dr. came with some bad news. Amy was still very congested, she had a low grade fever and they decided to stop the breathing treatments and start suctioning through her nose. She hated that and would thrash her head back and forth and cry and cry. There was a lot of blood from her nose also and I was afraid they were really hurting her. 
Tess had to leave for work, and so they said their goodbyes. 
Memories.......... Fourteen years earlier, Tess leaving for college for the first time and Amy blinking and blinking, telling her goodbye. They were so close. Amy's best friend for 16 years.
Amy refused to eat any lunch and dinner.

The one area where Amy had control in her life was with her eating. She would clamp her jaws together and no matter how much we would try, when Amy didn't want to eat, she wouldn't eat! She was also very good at holding food in her mouth if it tasted bad and waiting a very long time to spit it out. I would usually get impatient with her and use a spoon (never my finger--I learned the hard way over the years) to get the food out in hopes that I could get her to eat something else. As Amy was always so very thin, I was constantly worried about getting her to eat when she didn't want to. 

I do believe that with all the suctioning of the tube going through her nose and down her throat it was making her nauseous and also very mad. She had just gotten that huge tube out of her throat and now they were causing her more discomfort.
Around 7:00p.m. Amy started having problems breathing again. After repeated attempts and failures with the suctioning by the nurses, respiratory was called in.  Amy's oxygen levels were very low so they started talking about putting the ventilator (breathing tube) back in. 

When Bill and I made the first decision to let the doctors put Amy on the ventilator, we decided at that time to never do it again. Even with a shot to calm Amy down and numbing the area, it caused her a lot of pain to have the tube put down her throat. We decided, if the occasion ever arose again, that she would need a ventilator, that we would not to do it.

We had no idea that occasion would be soon, for this same illness. The doctor had told us she would be doing ok with a few days of treatment.  Bill couldn't be reached as he was out of the country. I was stressing out big time and so I called Tess and cried and cried. I ended up calling the ER doctor from our home hospital (cried again) and talked to him also. Did I pray? I don't remember. I just know I felt very alone in that big hospital. Amy didn't seem to be in distress, but she wasn't taking deep breaths. She wasn't getting enough oxygen with each breath. Was I going to watch her slowly die? If I waited too long, would it be too late?

I finally made the decision to let them intubate Amy again. It was done a little after midnight. Now it was Sunday,  Day 4.

Tess and Emily came around noon. We just relaxed and took turns going to the cafeteria. We didn't want Amy to smell the food. She was getting nourishment through the I.V. but her stomach was empty and she could still smell! She slept off and on. 
Tess stayed the night and Amy slept 9 hours!
Day 5 
At 5:00 a.m. they came in to do another xray, blood work, gas levels, etc. I arrived about 10:00 and Amy was taken for a cat scan. 
Amy was assigned a new doctor for the week. He decided to double her nutrition intake. 
The chaplain visited again. She was an elderly little nun and so cute! She brought Amy a pretty pink crocheted blanket that had been blessed. She would always lay her hand on Amy's forehead and hold my hand while she prayed. She was a jewel. I wonder if she knows that Amy died? She came in everyday for 2 weeks, but then Amy was moved and I never saw her again.
The results of the CT scan: Amy had a lot of fluid in the 3rd lobe of her right lung and a possible blockage in the bronchial tube. 
Amy and I both slept well that night. It helped that we brought in her CD player so she could listen to music and stories. I also think we were both so very tired. It had been 5 days! I had no idea that it would be another 25 days until we were home again and that Amy only had 35 days of life in this world left. 

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