Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Little Bit of My Childhood Passed Away

RIP Davy Jones.

I'm quite sad about this. It makes me think of my mom, too, who is only 3 years older than Davy Jones and her mortality. I haven't seen her since Monday and I just feel so sad.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ear Tubes

So my son who never had chronic ear infections as an infant, though he has had three over the the last six months (and one sinus infection), is getting ear tubes on Thursday. He's getting them because he has "mild to moderate hearing loss" in both of his ears. I saw two different ENTs, the second opinion being a pediatric otolaryngologist. Both agreed that the tubes are the way to go, especially for a child with a speech delay.  I'm told he hears as though he has cotton in his ears. Muffled. So my husband and I agreed that it was for his benefit to do the surgery (with the pediatric otolaryngologist) and it's scheduled for this coming week.

This is the Mayo Clinic definition about the surgery: Ear Tubes

Little Man's speech therapist feels that the loss hasn't hindered his progress, but she also is interested to see if the tubes help with his diction. I'm not sure how it will help his speech—or even his balance, which is somewhat poor—and if the tubes will aid his development. Hopefully it will. But at the very least, we'll be fixing his hearing and that's a good thing.

The main things I'm worried about after this procedure are

  1. Little Man being in pain
  2. Little Man being scared
  3. Bathing him after the tubes, because he'll need ear plugs to protect his ears

I am somewhat prepared for the post anesthesia reaction since he, sadly, had surgery when he was 11 months old for an unresolved Hydrocele. It was rough. He was screamed and was inconsolable for quite a while. At the time, he still drank formula and he needed two bottles to settle down, after the fast and the surgery.  Little Man is older now and understands SO much. I guess I have to explain to him what's going to happen and hope for the best.  And have something for him to eat when he wakes up, if the nurses allow it.

I hate that he needs this, but I hope his hearing is much improved after the surgery.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Mom

I know I wrote a brief update last week about my mom's hospitalization and how the last few weeks have affected me—and my whole family. But it was brief and I have a lot of thoughts that I feel I want to get off my chest. Though writing them down, publicly, is somewhat daunting.

Six years ago, I'd never have thought my mom would be lying in a bed in a nursing home, trapped in her own body. Unable to speak. Unable to move. Destroyed by Parkinson's Disease. Six years ago we took a mother-daughter vacation to Walt Disney World. We danced along with parades and ate ice cream at midnight after seeing Circe du Soleil. 

This is what we looked like:

My mom will never travel again.  That makes me so sad, because she loved to explore new places and see the sights. She loved seeing Broadway shows... but I don't think she'll do that either. Not unless she surprises all her doctors with an amazing recovery and isn't ashamed to go to a show in a wheelchair. And that's assuming a lot of things.

I blame myself for a lot of how my mom deteriorated. I saw it but turned a blind eye to things and let my dad say that she was OK. That she had seen doctors and, despite the weight loss, they didn't seem too concerned. But when my dad went to Houston on business that last Thursday of January, I knew things were much worse than I thought.

Due to the Parkinson's Disease, my mom lost her ability to swallow. The food and Ensure shakes she was eating/drinking went into her chest cavity and brought on Pneumonia. She had two surgeries in less than a week and the result is a most-likely permanent feeding tube and the risk of aspiration from being unable to swallow her own saliva.

It's not easy leaving her alone there. But I have an active 2-1/2 year old son to keep up with. He has a lot of his own challenges—the most recent is hearing loss from the fluid in his ears and possible surgery (tubes) to fix it. So I am quite overwhelmed by it all and haven't found the balance yet. I hope I do soon.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Brief Update

My mother was in the hospital for 13 days.  She is currently in a subacute rehab facility and I'm not 100% confident that I made the right decision pressing for that location. She communicated that she was disappointed by her care. I'm hoping things will improve but if they do not, I will look to see where she can be moved. I am extremely worried about her future. I do not see how she can improve at this point. She cannot talk. She cannot swallow. She cannot move her body. She is mentally fine but with all the physical issues, it's taking an extreme emotional toll on her.

And I don't think I can manage it all without having a nervous breakdown. I have a 2.5 year old to take care of and dog and dinner and myself and my husband... I'm not sure how I'll do it all. And nobody else can really help me with this. Everyone else has their own lives and I can't ask them to put them on hold indefinitely. So my poor mother only sees me for an hour here and there and she is alone and unable to communicate.

I know I am doing my best and trying to advocate for my mom, but it's overwhelming.

I am soon off to an ENT for my son and it's like the day is never-ending. I would have napped but I was afraid I wouldn't have woken for the appointment. I am THAT exhausted. It's a good thing that I'm not working full-time now or I'd have lost it completely.

More thoughts later.