Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mom's heart stops in the MRI and now narcotics won't touch her pain

Since my last post Mom's been through a lot - the worst part is that, even with narcotics, her pain is increasing and she's often in great pain.   I went to see her on Presidents Day weekend and found her pretty uncomfortable.   I and the aides did what we could to help her and when I left town, she seemed fine.  Because the pain came and went, we thought it was her sciatic nerve; massage and change of position relieved the pain.   That changed after I left town.  By Wednesday evening, she called my brother to ask that he come take her to the ER. A call to the doctor and more pain meds helped.   By Thursday the Nursing Home called me to say that she's in such pain, that she's suffering so much that they must send her to the ER.  I agreed, of course I agreed.  Once there, the ER doctor ordered an MRI.  Mom died in the MRI tube before it could be completed.

They revived her quickly with some chest compressions and -"some shot" as my brother tells me.  Her doctor tells us that her heart beat was erratic - not in regular sinus rhythm - and when they sedated Mom is caused her heart rate to slow so much that it stopped.  They only resuscitate her because they did not know if she or her family signed a DNR (do not resuscitate order).   That evening she was resting comfortably.. but the next morning was hell..  Mom woke up in great pain.  She yelled, she asked what they were doing to her; she called them all devils and demanded to return to the nursing home.  The pain began again and they've increased her pain medications 3 times.   The nurse tells us that the amount of medication she's getting now could slow her heart or cause long term issues with her memory or cognition.   

So, now I'll rush home and hope we'll find something to make her comfortable or that she'll find some peace.   By writing "find some peace" I guess I mean that she'll pass away.  I DO NOT WISH THAT MY MOM WILL DIE!!  But, to see her suffer is so awful.  It's as excruciating for us as it is for her.  I'd gladly take her pain for myself if I could.  She told my niece - a CNA - "no tubes, no surgeries, leave me alone". She won't tell us because she doesn't want us to worry and get all emotional but she'll tell my niece  -perhaps it's just too emotional for her too.   I realize it's only a matter of time. She's 90, something will cause her death sooner than later but I'm not ready for her to go.   I've been preparing for it for 5 years but when the reality is right here, right now, I don't want it to happen.  Perhaps her suffering is for us - making it easier for us to let her go to find peace.    I can imagine life no visits to nursing homes, life without depends or wheelchairs or dentures on the bedstand but I can't imagine life without my Mom.   I miss her already.