Grieving our Sweet Klara

I know I mentioned a little but haven’t really told the story


Mom and Dad had come home on a Tuesday, possibly turning their phones off or not charging them properly and they died, not really sure what. But the next day (Wednesday) about noon they got a call that she had spiked a high fever (107? yea, I know, really high) gone into cardiac arrest the night before and they’d tried to call, that she had been taken back to the cardiac unit – as opposed to the cardiac floor – ; that they had done CPR on her and gotten her back (obviously) and had been put back on a ventilator. Now all of this happened the day that seemingly the surgeon who had placed her gtube and done her Nissen had happened to catch her that morning when he came by vomiting, as she had been doing for quite some time, a couple of weeks maybe, and everybody had been just dismissing it, even though we had been told she wasn’t supposed to be able to do that with having had that done. And that’s exactly what he said and that he was going to have her checked out. It turned out that it had slipped – as so many of them do – and it’s a much bigger deal to go back and have them redone than it is to do it the first time. So….but it was done the first time because she was aspirating. So she had built up fluid in her lungs and was having to be suctioned, which was causing her oxygen levels to drop, a vicious circle we were in now. And also in addition to the cardiac arrest they said she also had an actual heart attack on what was the good side of her heart, so it was now damaged. But they were also saying her what had been the bad side of her heart was actually still worse than what they’d said at her cath by her numbers, that clinically she was still actually pretty bad, that a cath is done under optimal conditions, so those numbers are skewed. But that’s what they used to not send her back to where she had the surgery done on that side, that they had been saying needed to be redone or at least looked at. They also said a cath isn’t really the best thing to see that anyway, that more and better can be seen on an ECHOcardiogram and it was showing what they were saying, now that they were doing them, which they weren’t before but that now she was too sick to go there, anyway. That we had to do deal with this fluid build-up. All this after we, of course, headed down there after getting the phone call. But they weren’t getting the fluid off. She just continued to get more and more swollen. They did start giving her breathing treatments before they would suction her, which did help the oxygen levels from dropping as much when they would do so. But she was swollen so much I asked about putting in drainage tubes to drain it off. They said that would require surgery and she wouldn’t be able to handle it. But was she going to be able to handle not having it anyway, so why not give her a chance or give her a chance to go ahead and try to go back? They said they didn’t have an air transport that could do it. Well, maybe they don’t but does that mean there isn’t one. All they had to go was give the okay to allow us to try but they weren’t prepared to do that at that point. The director of the unit works 10 days on/off shift. He actually lives in St. Louis, so he goes there on his 10 days off so not like he can just run over and check things out. He is the one who gave us all the original information, however; it’s just that he was getting ready to leave right after that, so was gone before they realized they weren’t getting the fluid off. So then by the time he got back she was a lot worse, which that’s a whole other situation then, such that he said she for sure couldn’t handle the trip back to where she’d been. But then by that point for sure if she didn’t do that or they didn’t do something, like even the surgery for the drainage tubes, it possibly wasn’t going to matter anyway, although nobody wanted to quite think that yet. Although he did want to have a meeting that Friday to discuss her situation.  This would have been slightly over two weeks from when all this happened. It did seem as if he didn’t want son/her dad there which was okay with him; he felt she could handle the situation and ultimately it was her call anyway. He would go along with whatever she wanted to do as much as he might want to do something differently; she was the mom and would have the most responsibility. So the rest of us went. He then told us he had talked to the other place and they had finally agreed to take her, which had been another issue, even though they’d mostly talked about her not being able to go, but that was with this doc being gone because the only way she could go at all was basically with him going; nobody else felt comfortable and certainly not his main assistant when he’s gone because she was expecting herself, which was another whole issue, because she seemed to be just too emotional to really be able to handle her situation. But he still said he didn’t really feel comfortable himself with the wherewithal that he would have, that he really needed more equipment than he would have. I still think there was a way to have gotten it but not sure in the way that he was capable of and I didn’t know how or really actually if at the time but beyond that he still didn’t really want to put her through it; he still felt as if it wouldn’t actually end up helping and would only make things worse. But then he didn’t want her to go in the first place so that wouldn’t have stopped me. And it didn’t stop her then but that was then and this was now and this is hardly half the story; they’d been through so much that she was so tired besides her being tired but did she not want to go? Anyway he talked her out of it even though she’d said before we went she was going to fight for her to go and even after what he said. I think possibly what really did it is the actual cardiologist, who was in the meeting as well. He was the one fighting for us to go the last time and he didn’t talk the same at this meeting. The transplant surgeon was also in the meeting, who was also in the last one and not in favor of us going then and seemed as if he’d influenced the cardiologist this time. So she agreed to turn off her life support and that’s all I’m going to say right now. Maybe more later.


About donnainthesouth

I'm a transplant, born up north but raised in the middle, now I'm down here where you don't see too many snowflakes; I'll probably post just about as often (here at least)
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