Hello everyone.  Little by little this email list is getting longer as more people become informed about what happened to my mom.  There is something very therapeutic about writing these emails. I feel like I am talking to each of my close friends, yet I don’t have to relive the conversations over and over again.  It’s a bit surreal to tell these stories about my own mother, but to tell them multiple times is just too difficult.  Anyway, thanks for following and thanks for your support. I really do think it helps us all, especially my mom. She was so happy today when I told her how many people (your names I read aloud) were thinking about her and asking about her progress.

So, today started off really well.  She had a restless night, but she was strong in the morning and breathing well so they cautiously removed the ventilator.  I can’t even describe the transformation. My mom literally went from looking like a patient “on the edge” to looking like, well, “my mom”.  Her swelling had died down and she had color in her face. there were no giant tubes obstructing her mouth and forcing her to talk with her eyes. Her voice was very faint, but she was conversing.  We did most of the talking, but she certainly chimed/whispered in when she had something to say.  We even joked about the nurse from yesterday who ate a bowl of stupid for breakfast.  I think mom mom actually laughed.

We told her a lot about what had happened to her. She listened with patience, but with anxiety. We got through telling her about the accident and the first two surgeries.  She had had enough after that.  We eventually told her about the third surgery and assured her that she’d make a full recovery in time.  It’s hard to express the look on her face as she took all this in . . . . a mix of complete bewilderment, confusion, surprise . . . I mean, I guess she looked like you’d expect. A sort of face that said “what the fuck?!?!?!?”. Yes, really, what the fuck indeed.

(I’m not typing on my iPhone today so this update is a bit longer, obviously).

As we talked (or, as I talked), her breathing became increasingly strained. Between the painful coughs and her general fatigue, it became harder and harder for her to take breaths.  The docs came back in to have a closer look and realized that some swelling had begun in her throat.  They gave her some kind of gaseous mixture of air, oxygen, painkillers, and anti-inflammatory meds (sounds nice, right?) to help ease things.  She began coughing more, which is good to get the gunk out of her lungs, but bad because it’s super painful.  It got harder and harder over the next few minutes and before I knew it an army of doctors were in the room and they made the call to put the tube back in.  It was really disappointing.  They told us not take it as a set back.  They said we were in a kind of war. When one strategy does not work, you regroup and try again. The war will be won, but maybe not today. Blah blah blah . . .  it was still a bummer. We had just had
her back for less than an hour. Joking. Smiling. Making fun of the dumb nurse. Then, suddenly, we were asked to leave and my mom has been asleep with the tube in her throat ever since.

In the end, we netted out equal. She has to go under for her last surgery tomorrow so the tube was going back in regardless.  What’s good is that when she WAS with us sans tube, she WAS my mom. 100%, or close to it.  So, that was the first real proof that what the docs are telling us is true. Full recovery is on its way, in time.

So, tomorrow she’s going to have the fractures in her face repaired and god willing that should be the last time she’s in the OR. We are probably looking at a few more days in the ICU and once the tube comes out for good, she can move to a private room.  This will be a good day, trust me.  After spending several days in the ICU I can tell you that this is NOT a place for a relaxing stress free recovery.  This place is a revolving door of tragedy. Just as you see one person recover and transfer out, the empty bed is lonely for only a few hours before a fresh case of drama comes rolling in. It just does not end. I know our time will come soon when we are the recovered family that suddenly is no longer there. I’ll be really happy on that day.

Thanks again for all your support. I miss you all.

Andy