Monday, March 19, 2012

But she did say *no*.

I miss my kids, husband, and my friends.

And my mother.
I mean, we have her, physically. But mentally I just wonder where she is.
She is right in front of me now-- I have a little laptop with me in the hospital. I hear the respirator with it's whooshing giving her every breath she takes, I hear the bed, electronically programmed to rotate her mattress right and left to keep her circulation going. I hear her pressure boots inflating and deflating every few minutes, also designed to help circulation in the legs. Then there is the blood pressure cuff which I hear clicking in tempo. I hear the airway machines beeping in other rooms, and sometimes in our (her) room when mom coughs or sneezes. Those beeps are tones that I hear in my sleep now. There are different intervals to each type of tone-- breathing "jump"-as I call it- gets a major third down. A bigger, extended breathing problem gets a major third up, then two quick major 2nds.  A few times her airway tube has come off. That is scary, because she can't breathe. I put it back on a few times myself. Once, after a doctor had been  here to change her central line, the tube was loose and coming off after each time she coughed. I put back it on a few times, resuming the flow of oxygen so my mother could breathe, but it kept coming off (sounding the four tones going up). I alarmed the nurse that there is a problem with the tube. She fixed it and normal whooshing was resumed.

I am reading her a book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. I hope she is enjoying it... I am, anyway. I ask her if she likes it and I get a definitive nod "yes". I have run out of stories of my own, so I thought this might be good.

She did open her eyes a teeny bit today (10 seconds maybe? Less?), and I *think* she noticed me (hanging over her to look in her eyes). She even smiled a bit once, but I wonder if it just was a reflex.

We got grim news from the cardiologist. Unless she has open heart surgery, she won't survive. She is not a candidate for that at the moment because of her unconscious state. Let's also not forget-- about six months ago-- when the cardiologist told her the heart valve was deteriorating and she'd need open heart surgery to fix it, she had said a resounding *no*.  In order to do it, we'd have to have her consent, and for that, she has to be conscious and alert. That night, after the cardiologist appointment, when she came home, she said to my father "78 years is not bad..."

As for me (I feel so trivial writing about myself after what is going on with my mother)...
I am in a fair bit of pain from my leg (it's actually legs, I'll get into that here in a minute). The nerve pain is getting to me this time... I am taking high doses of Lyrica, and it just isn't doing it. My left leg, the effected one, hurts on the inside of the leg-- inner thigh. It was so intense today I could barely walk, even with the crutches. For the past few days, though, I have had bad nerve pain on my right leg, the one that is supposed to be OK. It started having nerve pain on the plane trip over here, I had never experienced it in my right leg before. I am so scared that there will not be any medicine that can help my nerve pain, and I will eventually be an invalid. I have a friend who has a disease that effects the nerves in her body and she is riddled with debilitating nerve pain (never having had any injuries or surgeries), and we have the same pain doctor, and he hasn't been able yet to take away the nerve pain. THAT scares me. This friend is homebound.  I know we aren't the same case, but this new nerve pain on my right leg is scaring me.

I am sad and depressed. I am in my hometown, and I don't feel like calling anyone. I have friends here and there, and although I have been in touch with the closest ones, I don't feel like I can talk to anyone. I just want to cry all the time. But the good friends... I am thinking of three in particular (hey guys!) are here and so compassionate and such amazing friends. I am so grateful for them!! It's good not all of us left town. :-)

I am falling asleep. All prayers-virtual or not- and virtual hugs accepted.

And thank you, my friends.


  1. Reading your every word, praying for everyone and hoping everything will be Ok. I know how you feel and I know how it is to cry every night. I still do. My heart is with you all.

  2. thank you so much for taking the time and much of your emotional strenghth to keep us updated on how your mom is doing. she should have a complete refua shlaima with all the cholim of klal yisroel. you should feel good with a complete refua. I'm sure your mom feels your presence at her side. rochel.

  3. Hugs and prayers. Virtual hugs, but the prayers are real.

  4. Oh love! Of course your leg hurts... it is hurting for your heart so you won't feel it too much.
    This is such a challenge to experience - I am sending you all the love I have for you. Which is

  5. Dear, dear Sarah,
    You are not sad and depressed. You are grieving… And grief is very, very painful…
    May you feel Hashem’s presence during this difficult, difficult time, and may He comfort you.
    Lots of love, hugs, and tefilot,

  6. Hugs and love. We're with you.

  7. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts.
    Edna Oxman

  8. "ditto" to Ken's comment

  9. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Elli Sacks

  10. my prayers are with you!!!!
    Gedalia Mazal

  11. Thank you everyone. We need a miracle. Pray hard...

  12. praying for your mom every day and sending you strength. ה' ישמור אותך.

  13. keep strong and will be thinking positive thoughts. How did your fsmily get through all the sirens without you?

  14. Send you love, Sarah. I am just now caught up on your mom's illness and I'm so very sorry.

  15. Keeping you all in my thoughts!

  16. Sarah-
    Hugs. And you are in my prayers.
    Chana Vecht

  17. Hi. Was hoping for another update. Missing you and wishing I could comfort you in person. I think of your mom as such a vivid, strong personality. From your description, it sounds like she's really fighting to stay with you. How precious that you are able to enrich her life right now with the mitzva of kibud av v'em that you are bestowing on her.

    Drove Dovi to a bar mitzva tonight here in Beer Sheva. He looked so handsome in his striped button-down shirt. All of Beer Sheva's 7th graders were in Jslm today to celebrate their bar-bat mitzvas. Davening at the Kotel, big ceremony in Teddy Stadium. Hillel and Dov met each other along the way.

    Love, Miriam