Saturday, March 1, 2014

Continuing--Days 9 and 10

Thursday of this week was a tough one for me. 
I realized that exactly a year ago Amy would have had her last "normal" day at home and my life and her life would never be the same after that. The next time she was home, she had holes cut in her with tubes connecting her to machines to keep her alive. 
Friday was the day that we had taken her to the ER and she was transported to a larger facility an hour away by ambulance. 
So today would have been Amy's first full day in the hospital and we thought she was getting better and going to come home soon. Her Daddy was leaving for a ministry trip the next day and all seemed to be going well.  

I feel the need to continue Amy's story of the last few weeks of her life.  I started writing about the first days of her hospital stay in posts Nov. 22Nov. 27, Nov, 30, Dec. 3, and  Dec. 6.  
I really didn't realize how hard it would be to recall what we had gone through and so I haven't wanted to think about it for quite a while, but now I am remembering and reliving each day as it happened last year.  

As I previously wrote in the posts above, we had been in the hospital for 8 days now. Amy had been intubated, the tube removed and intubated again. Now they were talking about a tracheotomy if she didn't start breathing more on her own. 

Day 9-Tess had stayed overnight and when the doctor came in that morning, he told Tess that Amy was improving each day and no tracheotomy was needed!  Her i.v. port was changed and so was the catheter tube. She was given the shot in her belly to prevent blood clots and also the one to prevent ventilator pneumonia.  I wonder now, how much that hurt her to have all the tubes taken out and put back in again, to get shot after shot.  Did I show enough compassion? Did I comfort her each time? I don't remember. It just tends to blur together after being there for  so long.
Emily and I didn't come in until around noon.  Amy was doing well. She was breathing on her own quite a lot and that was encouraging.   
Our dear pastor's wife came to visit and she stayed for a few hours talking with us. It was such a comfort to me. 
After she left we washed Amy's hair and a kind nurse washed her blanket for me. Amy had a blanket from the time she was an infant. When hers wore out, Tess gave her the one she had when she was a baby that I had saved. She had that one until just about a year before she died and it was so threadbare that I knitted her a new pretty one. She always slept with it up by her face.  We took it on vacations and anytime she would be away from home overnight. I put it in her casket with her and now it lays with Amy under the frozen ground and snow. 
Emily left early evening and Amy and I had a peaceful evening. Her 31st birthday was the next day, March 9, and her daddy was due to come home that day also.We talked about that and her birthday. I told her we would have a big party for her when she got home. 
I told the nurse not to reposition Amy that night, but to let her sleep if she was sleeping. 

Day 10-She did sleep well and I gave Amy some new lotion and perfume that I had brought for her. I cleaned her up and made her smell real good. Everyone who came in told her happy birthday. I had a pink ribbon on her pillow that said, "It's my birthday!" She was treated like a princess. 
The doctor came in and after looking at her chart and examining her, he kind of threw up his hands and said,"Science is only 15% of treatment and the rest is judgement, and sometimes that is guessing."  She was borderline with her breathing. Even though she was on CPAP a lot of the time, she was still needing the ventilator to help her breathe. He did not want to make a decision as to trache or not. It was a Saturday anyway and nobody does anything in the hospital on the weekends! 
That afternoon Amy got a call from each of her siblings and also my parents to sing, "Happy Birthday."  We had a few visitors come and that evening her sisters came. I told Amy goodbye and that her Daddy would be there the next day to see her! That was probably a mistake because Tess read her a couple of chapters in her book, and then some friends called and sang happy birthday to her again, Tess read some more and she still wasn't sleepy! She put a Veggie Tale on for her to watch (we brought in a portable DVD player) and then finally put on a CD to listen to and told her, "We need to sleep." Tess thinks she went to sleep around 11:00.

I would not have been able to cope with Amy being in the hospital for so long if it had not been for my "girls." My daughters were wonderful in constantly driving for me, so I could unwind, staying every other night or every 3rd night so I could sleep in my own bed. Making sure I walked to the cafeteria to eat warm food and just being there to comfort me. I will never be able to thank them for the support they gave me and the love they always gave to their sister. 

Tess and Emily have grown closer since Amy died. Being 7 years apart, they never really "played" together, but Tess was more of a mother and babysitter to Emily as she grew up. Tess left for college when Emily was 11 and didn't spend a lot of time home after that. 
They have different personalities. Tess takes after her dad, is quiet and reserved,  and Emily takes after me, speaks her mind.

Amy was the glue that held our family together. When there were problems, arguments, divisions, Amy was always there, wanting our love, smiling, loving us in return. She always made us humble, she loved us when we were not loving. She smiled even if we were not smiling and she loved to laugh when someone got yelled at! She was precious. She was Jesus to me. 

Emily and Tess on her wedding day

I will continue to post every few days until I have the story of her hospital stay completed.


  1. Cheryl, I know thinking back it hard, but I know that you were always so tender with Amy and I know that she knew more than anything how very, very much she was loved by her daddy and mother and her sisters and brother. It could be seen in her eyes how very much she loved you all and in her smiles that she knew she was loved! Thinking of you!