Saturday was a little hazy at best.
Brother has opted for day off from hospital and mum, which is fair enough, we do however pick some clean supplies up through sister and her friends to clean the house later after a visit with mum,
Mums friend pops around to see how we all are, makes sure we’re all eating (we lie tell her we are fine that the eating thing is going well)
Mum’s ‘carer’ pops her head in, and me, brother, friend and carer sit and chat about the days events leading up to Thursdays ambulance drama, the contents of that conversation i still find disturbing, but then i only remember snip snap pieces,
the conversation had turned to what would happen if the worst happened, and a comment from her carer was ‘can i wash her?’ i want to scrub her feet they are disgusting’ and another was ‘i wish i hadn’t called that ambulance she wouldn’t be suffering’
to be fair
A) mum wasn’t suffering on ANY level she was up to her eyeballs on her meds sedated and pain free, pretty sure she was a happy as a ferret rabbiting.
B) the delayed calling of an ambulance would have meant that myself and sister would not have been able to say our own goodbyes
C) NO you cannot wash my mother or scrub her feet last rites is the hospitals job
and WTF are you asking us all these things????? Friend left Brother retreated to his bedroom, and i was left to deal with carer on my own, i don’t remember much of the rest of the conversation, i think part of me dosen’t want to remember it.
at 2pm me, sister and friend made our way up to the hospital to see mum, i left susan and freind to chat to mum and spoke to mums doctors and her nurse to see if there had been any developments with mums care.
she was still being cooled, her sedation meds had been changed and she was happier on them, she was on anti seizure medication and 6 different types of anti-bio-tics, i remember the name of the sedation meds, one was Rohypnol (commonly heard of as date rape drug :/) and the other was what killed Micheal Jackson Propofol, mums EEG results had come back, she hadn’t had a seizure whilst the test was running, which they felt was a step in the right direction, mum was double breathing on the ventilator, (the ventilator went peep when she did that) and the amount of glucose going through her system to keep her blood sugars even had reduced (on the friday she needed 250ml of glucose every four hours today it was only 150ml of glucose an hour) they felt that mum was possibly making some steps in the right direction, they said however they tried to bring mums sedation down that morning and her vitals went a bit mad, now that told me, they she was happy with the drugs and they shouldn’t try to withdraw them fair play!
mum was responsive again today peeped when spoke to her BP calmed when i stroked her hair, and she was peaceful, all be it very puffy now from the all the fluids going through, we asked about her nutrition bag and were told that actually they were freshly liquidized in the kitchens before they went up on her iv, today she had a protein rich one, and she seemed to like it.
she had been 3 days without a cigarette and was coughing a lot, and the nurse was regularly suctioning her lungs off to take all the mucusy crap off them, that stuff not only looked horried, but smelt horrid too! and for anyone that is a smoker i do have a picture of the crap that came off her lungs might make you want to quit!
mum was stable, was the main thing and we all left around 5pm, i went with Friend to her daughters, son’s birthday party, ment the baby and was quizzed like a condemned man (or at least it was how i felt) i was asked questions i couldn’t and didn’t want to answer, i could not give the answers they wanted and that seemed to make them question me more, friend saw i wasn’t coping with that and we went back to mum’s where we started scrubbing mums house to make it clean and just take our minds off the events unfolding we spent 4 hours friend and I scrubbing her kitchen and we didn’t even get half way through the kitchen. Carer popped back to ask how mum was, threatened to smack my sisters face in and was asked to leave
phoned into the hospital at 10 and was told mum was behaving well, took my meds and tried to sleep
none of us slept well on the saturday night.
the next two days kind of blur together, so please bare with me i promise there’s a reason for that.
Brother was woken with a phone call from the hospital at 8:30am, the three of us needed to go up the hospital urgently there had been a development with mum.
we scrambled for clothes, hair brushes, energy drinks, cash and a lift to the hospital, and managed to get there for 9:30 am, we were shown directly to the same room me and brother were in on Friday, we filled sister in on our plan to take the furniture from the room and how we were going to manage it, she said she’d grab the lamp, and that we would probably get away with it, due to the stress of mum,
Mums doctor and 1-2-1 nurse came in, it was terrible, this woman was of Indian decent (i think ) with an under bite roughly the size of a moon landing vehicle,
i saw her lips move and heard severe brain damage and my world completely shattered my dad already was severely brain damaged i couldn’t cope with a second parent with the same condition.
mums morning checks at 7am had shown that one of her pupils had blown, this is associated with the brain being damaged or a stroke, or just generally things becoming worse. Mum had been rushed off for a brain scan at 7:15am this morning, neurologists had been consulted on the scan.
despite the doctors best efforts mums condition had worsened her brain had continued to swell, her brain was how coming out through the bottom of her skull and started squashing her brain stem, (quick biology lesson the brain stem contains the body’s basic functions, tells your heart to beat and your lungs to fill with air), this was refereed to as brain coning to be fair at this point i didn’t care what it was called, but mum was now at best all but brain stem dead, they expected mums condition to deteriorate through the day and for her to have died by the end of the day, it was explained that when the brain had finally come through the skull it would happen very quickly.
i think it was this point that i cried the most during mums stay in hospital, i turned and saw my sister and my brother crying across the room and realized that i could not fall apart, they needed someone to be strong and as the oldest this was my job,
i went in to mummy pilot mode, i left them to speak to mum, i popped out to the visitors room and made the calls to the 3 people i needed for the whole family and mums friends to know what was happening and that if anyone wanted to say goodbye they should come sooner rather than later, i updated facebook as i had quite a following by this point.
One by one mums nearest and dearest filtered into the hospital and into mums room, some cried others ate, and stood or sat making sure that everyone was OK, and thanking them for coming. i was disappointed that not all her family came to say goodbye, but at the same time i understood their reasons, my slightly smaller adopted sister came, Aunt came, cousins came, an uncle came, mums friends came, everyone said their good byes and told her they loved her,
i explained to all that i wasn’t leaving mum not until the worst had happened, mums friend also refused to leave me, and i was grateful for her company, brother and sister left, both said that neither of them would come back they had said their goodbyes and i totally agreed with what they had to say, part of me wished i was the youngest sibling,
i had been starting to fill the role of matriarch in mums absence and it was at this point i found myself going from stepping in temporary to filling in full time for the woman that mum was, and let me tell you my size fives don’t fit in mums size 4’s
i spent the night at the hospital chatting with mum and friend wide awake, unable to leave the woman that had cared for me most of my life, i never slept that evening and watched mum even in her coma state fight the sedatives, go through active body functions, and just generally be who she was, my phone died at some point that evening, i hadn’t thought to bring a charger with me, (D’OH)
me and friend were asked to go to the news room around 5 am and be told again that mums condition was not compatable with life, me and my siblings had made the decision that if i was given the option to with draw her treatment i should agree to it. i was asked to sign a DNR (do not resus) and consent forms for her support to be taken away. i have to say that at this point i felt like i was murdering my mum, i know that looking back that this wasn’t what it was, and i was doing what mum would have wanted but in my highly sleep deprived state i felt that this was murder.
someone at some point had given me a blanket during the night because i felt cold, it was by far the best present that i had been given in around 4 days i loved it!
i signed the consent forms, at around 6am, was dragged back into the room again at 8am to be told that mums support was being withdrawn, they were awaiting permission from the coroner as mums death would be effectively unexplained.
the morning dragged on i was looking everywhere for a charger the nurses had a whip round and got us some money for the charging station in the concourse,
and just my luck the charging station was out of order when i got there, i managed to get a call out to my brother and my aunt was going to lend me her phone charger so i could charge my phone! fan-bloody-tastic 9 hours and counting until my aunt could come up phone had died 10 hours previous,
at 2pm i was again called into the news room the coroner was not convinced that this was the best plan and needed further information from myself before a decision could be made, mums death was currently looking to be being treated as unexplained as mums official diagnosis was death by brain injury from insulin overdose, and yet noone could tell us how that extra insulin got there.
i said of the carers, and my brother, were the only ones with access to mum on that morning and that any further information could be obtained through them. the police were now to be called, mums death was in essance being treated as a murder investigation. at 5pm we were told CID from Ipswich were on their way to interview us, at 7pm i spent 2 and half hours giving a statement as to my version of events from thursday, Friend who was also one of mums carers was then interviewed for a further hour and a half. my aunt had arrived by this time and i was able to charge my phone, the hospital had managed to find us a room to stay in that evening if i had choosen to stay over night again.
it came to 10pm, and my aunt said i needed to go back to mums i needed to sleep and more importantly i needed to eat. i still had yet to go through organ donation and other paper work relating to mums support withdrawal, i spent 45 minutes going through paperwork, being asked questions that again i did not have, i had the option to donate mums kidneys, so i gave consent, intent on speaking to my siblings before i actually allowed them to take them.
mums kidneys actually started failing that evening and organ donation no longer became viable, mums kidneys were donated to a diabetes research center, my aunt and friend made me leave mum at around 11pm the nurses told me that mum would be heavily sedated much as she was now and that her condition would not change until i got back to the hospital the following day.
i got a phone call as we left the hospital that CID wanted to interview my brother this evening, they turned up at mums at 12:30 am, confiscated mums mobile, her blood meter and all her meds, i sat with my brother as he did his best to give his account of mums last hours, watched him start to cry with frustration through the previous days dealings and now this intrusion on our privacy at a time we actually needed to just be by ourselves to attempt to make sense of the days news as it came,
i think i managed to get to sleep around 2am until around 5am, then fell back to sleep again until 7am, i popped across to the shop got something to eat which i just looked at…. i couldn’t physically eat anything in around 4 hours i would be turning mums support off and effectively suffocation her, i wasn’t sure how i was dealing with all this and still able to walk or talk and not be a babbling mess at the same time, what i remember of that morning is more of a blur as i couldn’t take the whole information in.
i know i texted my husband for the first time in 4 days and told him everything, i think i spoke to another friend briefly and i sat and i read through all the things being sent to my wall on fb. My aunt came and picked me and friend up from mums house and we made the final journey pretty much in silence with the odd few remarks, got to the hospital for 11am and went straight up to mums room, we spent an hour with her before the support was to be withdrawn, i chatted to her told her i was sorry and that i loved her and that i know that this course of action was in her best interests and that she would always be remembered and spoken of to her grandchildren.
mums support was taken away at 12:27 on the 18th June 2013, she died from respiratory failure at 13:07 she was 51 years old and myself, friend and aunt were by her side i stroked her hair and her breath actually smelled nice as she took her last breaths she smiled, i like to think it was thank you, or that she was seeing nana again whatever it was it was lovely too see mum smile for the first time in 5 days.
Mum died on a tuesday it was hot and balmy and she would have hated the weather, i couldn’t get out that hospital fast enough, aunt took me and friend to Tesco and bought Friend some lunch i couldn’t eat myself but bought something anyway.
i couldn’t understand how everything was still so normal a huge chunk of my life had just gone but life was still going on.
much of the rest of the day was a haze, me and the siblings chipped in and bought some vodka and some bulma’s lol my brother is such a girl and toasted to mums memory we shared a group hug, and some lovely memories of mum.
and that is mums final story her final chapter, next up dealing with the aftermath……..