Wednesday, January 07, 2015

On Monday night my mother told me she might have the flu. She asked for a thermometer and she had a normal temperature. I made her supper and around 10 PM she threw up a bit- unusual but about once or twice when she has been at my house that sort of thing had happened.

I am a light sleeper and awake when my mother moves around. Sometime after 1:30 AM Tuesday morning I heard her walking around. She was unsteady and had the appearance of having high blood sugar. I do not know how to make her tester work, and she seemed unable to work it. She asked me to put some insulin in a needle, which I was able to do on my second attempt. But she rapidly became more confused. I waited a short while, thinking that the insulin would work. Around 3:30 AM I called 911.

The paramedics came and loaded her into the ambulance and I followed to the hospital. They called me back in a half hour or so, asking me what had happened. She had a very high sugar count- 1078. The highest the emergency room doctor and nurse had ever seen. Mother was having difficulty breathing- panting, and was only partly lucid. They asked me if they could put her on a ventilator and she was coherent enough to agree. They sedated her and intubated her.

I had been able to hold it together until then. It is embarrassing to weep in front of people. When I pulled my self together I called my sisters and advised them what was happening. Mother was taken to ICU where the doctor explained she was in critical condition and had a 70 percent chance of survival. He also suggested I get one of my sisters to come out, and Elizabeth made reservations.

I live .6 miles from the hospital, so made trips back and forth and finally went to bed after getting no sleep. This morning when I went in she had stabilized and at 10 AM she had improved enough so that they decided to stop sedating her and take out the ventilator. By late afternoon she was squeezing my finger and by 6 PM she had started to talk a little, although still very drowsy. The nurse and doctor were amazed at how rapidly she is recovering.

Mother will probably have to be in the hospital for a while (a couple of weeks?) and may have to go to a rehab place to regain her strength and mobility, depending on how badly affected she is by being so sick. In any case, it was a scary experience.

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