I hope by some miracle that the title of this post doesn’t happen, but it probably is.
I promised myself I wouldn’t get too personal on this website. It was about my work and writing. And I apologize if there are any typos in this. I’ve been a ball of anxiety for the past week. I’m also exhausted. But the last month and a half has been some of the most stressful weeks of my life.
My Mom went into the hospital on September 2nd because she was feeling weak and they were going to be running test. Just to figure out what was going on, right? She wanted to me to go see the Backstreet Boys on September 6 in Lexington. I didn’t get to see my birthday show because it was postponed due to weather, so I was gone overnight with one of my best friends. I put my cat Maddie in a lush pet hotel, and I talked to my Mom just before the concert started.
The next morning, I couldn’t get a hold of her – she was in dialysis. When she got back to the room, something was off. She was becoming delirious. What happened next resulted in her blood platelets dropping down to 3 (Supposed to be 150-450) and she had to be ventilated. The platelet issue is why she was having crazy bleeding a few weeks before.
She ended up in ICU on a ventilator for two weeks. My best friends were with me at the hospital. They got over 40 pounds of fluid off of her through dialysis. She hadn’t missed any days, but had that much fluid on her. She got off the ventilator. Her blood pressure was doing good.
Then she had five mini-strokes. After not speaking for a day and a half, she began talking against and everything looked okay.
She got sent to a regular room. She had some wounds that had started develop, but it seemed under control. She got better and was released last Friday to go to a nursing home / rehab facility with all intentions of coming home.
This rehab facility is not one I wanted her to go to, but because of long COVID, places like that are full so she had no choice. She couldn’t come home. She wasn’t ready. I thought this place was going to be okay even though the reviews were horrible.
The second night, a nurse smarted off at her and left her in a dirty diaper all night. She had wounds and did not need to stay in a dirty diaper like that (because she didn’t have the energy to get up and use the bathroom). The same nurse did it again the next night and I emailed in and spoke to an administrator. They said they would investigate it.
The next day I couldn’t get her on the phone so I drove down and her speech was slurred. I was worried maybe she had another mini-stroke. She seemed like parts of her were weak but I was reassured everything was fine. Her vitals were fine. (Vitals do not matter when you have a stroke and I knew that.)
Wednesday evening she called me upset because nobody would bring her some ice (she was on a puree diet b/c of the mini-strokes) and her mouth was dry. She could have small pieces of ice. She called the nurses station with her buzzer for over two hours. She dropped her phone while talking to me and I could not get anybody at the nurses station when I called.
I wanted to go down there, but you are not allowed in after 7:30pm.
I called and let the phones ring for over 20 minutes until I called another section and got a hold of a nice lady who walked over there. What did she see? Nurses/RNs sitting there, not answering the phones or calls from my Mom’s room which was right across the hall. My Mom had been screaming.
When the lady called me from my Mom’s phone to tell me that, I called the administrator at 10:00pm at night. That same night, the dietician ordered them to remove all the food and snacks I had brought my Mom from her room. It was things like pudding, jello, microwavable mash potatoes – things she could have.
When I found that out, I was furious. I had a work meeting at Noon so after that, I asked my Director if I could take the afternoon off to spend it with my Mom and put some people in their place. I went down there and went off. I was angry and I let every single person know it. I got her stuff back and thankfully, my Mom had passed her Speech Therapy swallowing test – she could have food!
I ordered Zaxby’s for us and we ate. She was happy to have real food (even if it was fast food – at least it wasn’t McDonalds). Her occupational therapy came in and she was so limp – way more than she was before when she did therapy in the hospital.
And as they moved her, all I saw was blood. LOTS OF BLOOD. I freaked out because of her platelet issue, so I went to tell the nurse. Her response: “I’ll be there soon.”
No, you are not. I went back and called 9-1-1. As soon as they heard what I was doing, they rushed in before I could take photos and changed her to remove all the blood before the EMTs came. When the EMTs did come, the lady EMT told me that the charge nurse said that the doctor had just been in and she was fine.
No doctor had seen her. They had just told me an hour earlier that the doctor would not be there until the next day in the morning. I packed her things and we left to go to another hospital – not the one she was at last time because it was full with COVID and Flu patients.
As she got into ICU, her blood pressure was really low – too low. They began her on medicine and giving her blood because she had lost so much. It was then that they saw how bad the wounds were. They had asked me to leave the room so I didn’t see them until today.
She was admitted and sent back to ICU and after seeing the doctors this morning and wound care, the doctor came back to talk to me – her body was failing. The wounds were too bad and had become calcified, meaning that there had been localized deposits of calcium in dead or degenerated tissues. It’s very common in dialysis patients.
And she was septic.
Basically, they told me I had to make some decisions because my Mom wasn’t going to live much longer. What the hell do you do when you get told that? Me? I have panic attacks. I took three of my anxiety pills (they aren’t strong at all) and tried to breathe.
I was just telling one of my best friends the other night that I was worried she would never come home and wondered if I was selfish in the hospital when I wanted them to do everything to save her.
And now I feel more guilty of being selfish because she’s in pain.
I don’t like to make decisions. I don’t handle big ordeals like this well. It goes back to my Granny dying just before I turned sixteen. She helped raise me and I found her dead one morning before I went to school. It was the real start of my battle with depression and anxiety.
The doctors said it wouldn’t be tonight or tomorrow, but that she would never leave the hospital. I saw pictures of the wounds today and almost threw up. I contacted the State offices to report the facility and there is an investigation going on – a real investigation. I may contact a lawyer because that place does not need to be in business. If I didn’t call 9-1-1, she would have died last night and I would have never gotten to say goodbye.
Right now, I’m sitting at home in my PJs on my computer after being in the ICU all day with her. I had to come home to feed my cat and I can’t look at her bed knowing she probably won’t ever come back. What do I do with all of her stuff? Her hats (she loves baseball hats). Her clothes. Her things. What do I do with all of this cookware? I don’t cook. I hate to cook.
Being an only child sucks. It’s all placed on me and I can’t handle the pressure. I can handle work pressure, sure. I just can’t handle this.
If you’re in the Marietta/Powder Springs area and want to know the facility so that you and your loved ones can avoid it, please contact me. I will not name them here for fear of a defamation lawsuit (Oh, I know big words!).
I didn’t write this for attention or sympathy. I did it as a form of therapy. Writing has always been my therapy to get past situations in my life. Writing fan fiction helped me overcome something that happened to me when I was younger. It’s what I’ve always gravitated to. I may not be the most eloquent speaker in front of people, but I can write.
So tonight, I had to write.