my mom has been in the critical care unit of the hospital since early Saturday. she has a rather severe case of pneumonia, in both her lungs, and is having a difficult time keeping her blood oxygen saturation levels even remotely close to acceptable levels unless she's wearing the BiPap. today they determined it is viral (which explains a bit about why the iv antibiotics hadn't made a bit of difference), and started her on new meds to try to get it under control. I'm hoping that will make a world of difference, because when I visited yesterday she was in pretty poor shape.
I stopped by the store on my way out there, filling my cart with things I thought she'd like to have. sesame bagels, a vitamin c juice, dark chocolate/cranberry/nut trail mix. crossword puzzles, magazines, lotion, lip balm, face cleansing wipes, throat lozenges, a small potted violet. I also threw in a ball of yarn and a crochet hook. well, as soon as I saw her it was clear that many of those things were not going to be put to use. not yet anyway. just sitting up, talking quietly.... those things wore her out and took much needed oxygen away from her.
so I sat there, held her hand. talked to her a bit. I braided her hair and rubbed her feet, opened the lip balm, wiped her neck with one of the cleansing wipes. I mothered my mother. I worried. I got mad at all of the tubes running in and out of her and tried to will her lungs to open up and take in that oxygen instead of ignoring it as they were. the nurse reminded us to keep her still and not talking, said if she couldn't get her oxygen levels up the next step would be a ventilator...
I ate a not-quite-mediocre salad from the cafeteria, sat there talking to my mother's husband and my grandfather and his wife (who drove eight hours from Memphis as soon as they heard she was in the critical care unit), trying to make small talk over the worry in our minds.
today, in the last couple of hours really, I've been getting updates from my grandfather's amazing wife (who has been in my life since I can remember, I just didn't grow up calling her grandma) and they've all been good. so I suppose those new meds are working. I am feeling so relieved, and not quite so much like there is a boulder resting right on my heart, as I was feeling this morning. tomorrow I'll go back out to spend most of the day with her, holding her hand and giving her all the love I can.