Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grief and Change

Online people, those like me who seem to share just freakin' everything with perfect strangers on our Facebook feed or here, probably boggle the minds of folks who feel more private.

But it's such a complicated thing.  I even read an article about how FB helps people deal with grief and loss, because of connections that were lost years ago but people who have shared the horrific experiences of life in ways that even your immediate friends may not have.  It's an understanding issue, in part, I guess, because everyone's bad times are their own, the first time they've lived them, and we never know how we'll handle it. 

When my dad died, I didn't really know him very well.  My sisters went to his funeral.  When Andrew's dad was diagnosed as terminal, that hit me hard, but it was still Andrew's family, Andrew's major grief, and I was busy with the kids, who were just a bit over one and it was a bit hectic. 

This Christmas, dragging my mother into the ER because if I hadn't, she would have died within a few days, was tough, but I felt like it was productive.  They helped her.  I was there, and if I wasn't, someone else was. 

Now, she's been in a rehabilitative home since then and she was doing much, much better.  But this weekend, something has happened and I don't know where it's going.  People usually don't die from a freakin' sinus infection, which is what she apparently has, but it's impeding the necessary oxygen, which her body, because of her severe COPD and 50 years of smoking cannot get on its own. 

They sent her to the ER yesterday-- something I was in the midst of trying to set up already from here after I had talked to her on the phone and was worried.  At some time during that, she crashed and they intubated her.  She's also sedated, but apparently, she's also been fighting the intubation so they've had to restrain her, too.  My neice, who has had to deal with this issue very recently with her own father, is the only person who was there.  My sister is on her way, and she will evaluate what we're going to ask happen next.

See, my mom has a DNR order.  And we all agree with it; but for some reason the hospital didn't have a record of it.  The respirator, apparently, is something they shouldn't have done based on that DNR.  While I don't believe my mom lost consciousness, I think she may have if they hadn't acted, and that's directly in violation of the DNR. 

So there you go.  I feel totally helpless and angry at the hospital and had to yell at my husband last night and my eyes are puffy and feel like they have sand in them.  I'm not really in a mood to do anything other than brood.  But writing helps, putting out the story a little bit.  I don't know how it ends, but if you extend any story far enough out, it's a tragedy. 

We'll see how this current act ends.