Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wednesday. Oh. Yeah.

I have been in a Wednesday update pattern.

Work: can't discuss. Not because it is fabulous.

Mama Drama: Today I had a conference call with nursing home staff. It was a documentary CYA call, and they were upfront about the purpose - they had to go over the care plan since her last hospitalization.

She's 79 pounds. She barely eats. The C-diff rages on. She refuses PT and they can rarely get her to get out of bed at all. The social worker guy (I like him) got on the line to ask if she has an advance directive. I snorted. Maybe an inappropriate response, but an honest one. I am guessing that back when my father did his, she did one too, but I have never seen it. If there is one, it's in an old coffee can hidden in the garage. She gets mad if anyone asks. Been there when my father died - told him that story, how she lied about the existence of it and I had to drive across the state and the next day, after she conceded the authority to me and I gave the word to not use extraordinary measures, she "found" it folded up very wee small in her wallet. He never wanted extraordinary measures. I knew this beause we went for a walk with the dog, back when he was still walking, and he asked me to be sure that I took care of it - if he left it up to her, "she'll have me stuffed and propped up on the goddamn mantel."

But in her case, she hasn't given me any guidance. She won't talk about it. So I am calling it based on her condition. I am her health care surrogate, and no, if she goes into cardiac arrest, I don't want them breaking the rest of her tiny fragile bones doing CPR. Anything else they can do, yes, but the ribs she cracked in June were still unhealed in September, her pelvis is fractured, and nobody is going to start doing chest compressions on someone that frail.

It's on me. For the third time in five years, I will be called upon to give the ok to let one of my immediate family members go. Husband, father, mother.

On top of all of my personal and professional shit, I mean. And I walk this tightrope without a net. So I focus on what I can do. Focus, do what I can do each day, let the rest go, and pray.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sending you good vibes and thoughts from the top of the state. I wish you much strength and peace.

caroline said...

ay, chica. I've a friend who writes and edits pathology textbooks for the medical school market. I'll ask her what might work on C-diff on the off chance it's something your mom hasn't already been given. If the c-diff can be cured and she still is in the same condition then it might be that's she's decided to check out, how some ever difficult that might be for her, for you, etc. I send you many hugs. That you're here and moving forward a day at a time is a beautiful miracle in itself. In fact, I think that's a t-shirt that'd fit you perfectly. "BEAUTIFUL (youdamnbetcha) MIRACLE". really.

Catherine said...

She's had multiple rounds of vancomycin without results. There is a very scary strain of antibiotic resistant C-diff that is often fatal, and though nobody will say it out loud, I am afraid that is what we are dealing with here.

crgilvr said...

Catherine is, unfortunately, probably right. Vancomycin is the antibiotic of last resort. Sorry you're going through this! Maybe there's a market for bankruptcy paralegals?

sallyjo said...

I think it's out of your hands now. You've done more than I could have.
k