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11/11/2012 10:25 AM

My Mom

faeriechic27
Posts: 6
New Member

Hello everyone!

I apologize in advance as this may be long and possibly make no sense at times. My mother was admitted to the ICU at our county hospital Friday because her oxygen levels were in the high 60s-70s. She is on 3 liters of oxygen 24/7. They did the normal blood work in the er and found that her hemoglobin was low and they wanted to do a blood transfusion. The ER doctor said her other results came back ok and that her chest x-ray looked "like crap, as usual"(so professional, I know). I forgot to mention she has a tracheostomy as well.

She had been having some weakness and felt more sleepy than usual. I noticed that I was having a hard time waking her up. All day friday she became more sleepy. She would barely answer any questions or she would wake up look around and then go back to sleep. The doctor said that her CO2 levels were in her normal range so they felt a blood transfusion would help her breathing issues, etc. I expressed my concern about her increasing sleepiness and after some choice words with the staff they did more tests and decided to life flight her to the university hospital. Once they got her on the cot she desaturated and came close to losing her heart rate as well. They finally got her back around and decided to transfer her by ambulance.

So, they get her to the hospital and find her co2 levels have climbed to 150, from 85(her normal). They did a chest x-ray and found that her right lung showed a complete white out. They did a bronchoscopy and found a huge mucus plug and a collapse of the lung. She is on a ventilator now and her oxygen levels are in the high 90s and her co2 levels are slowly going down. She is still critical and has pneumonia and a uti(she has kidney stones that were to be removed this week, before this happened). They are worried about the start of sepsis so they have started her on antibiotics.

I guess Im just looking for support from someone that understands the struggle of COPD. I really needed a place to vent and talk with those who really understand. Thanks for listening.

Angela

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11/11/2012 11:27 AM
goopy
goopy  
Posts: 7854
VIP Member

Hi Angelia

Oh my ur mother had it rough soo glad the first Docs decided to send her somewhere else she might have died if she had not gotten help. Wow thats a lot for u to deal with by yourself have u anyone else that can come stay with u for emotional support. I sure hope so. I am glad u came here I have severe copd also but have gotten by soo far without vent but everyone knows I dont want to be put on one. I also wear 02 24/7 at 2 liters cause I retain co2 also so I try not to ever go over 2 unless its a crisis. There will be others on to welcome u we have a great bunch that will help u as much as we can. Hang in there I hope ur mothers starts improving now and can get off the vent now. welcome huggs Smile


11/11/2012 12:55 PM
faeriechic27
Posts: 6
New Member

Thank you for your reply!

Unfortunately, I am all alone in this. My father passed away almost 2 years ago and the rest of my family really isn't close. I have a couple aunts that live near me but they really don't help much. My mom and I only have each other, and I am so afraid that will be taken from me.

The hardest part is that I can't go and be with her. The hospital is 2 1/2 hours away and I am not able to drive anymore due to lymphedema in my right leg. Even if someone took me, the ride there would be too painful. I feel so helpless and scared. I know she is a strong woman with great faith, but a body can handle only so much. She had septic shock in April of this year and I fear that she may still be weak from that. I'm scared she won't make it this time. I seriously don't know what I will do if I lose her. I call the hospital constantly for updates, but all they say is that she is doing ok but is kind of agitated. I wonder if that is because of the high co2 levels still. I know its going to take time for the antibiotics, ventilator, and other things to work. I just wish it was a quick fix.

I am interested in why you say that a person can only have so much oxygen if they are a co2 retainer. I think that the county hospital was giving her way to much and making her worse. Do you think that the high oxygen levels made her co2 higher? I think at one point they had her on 10 liters of 80% oxygen. It seems that she got worse after that. Do you know what the normal co2 levels are for you? How do you feel with them being high?


11/11/2012 01:05 PM
floridian
floridian  
Posts: 1822
Senior Member

Hi Angela, so glad you reached out to our group. Sounds like you could really use some support. Sorry to hear your mother is going through all that. I'm sure it was very scary for both of you. Hope you stay with us and can let us know how she does. We get alot of caregivers here. It's really hard to have to see a loved one go through what they do. I joined about a year ago now. I am in the mild stage but have other medical issues as well. Will be praying for you and your mom. Take care and hope things improve for your you both.

11/11/2012 01:42 PM
vikingfan
vikingfan  
Posts: 7635
Group Leader

Angela my heart goes out to you especially being all alone in this. It sounds like she is on her way to getting better. Her sats are where they should be and thats a great start. We can't really give you medical advice but we can share what we have been through ourselves. We will all be praying for you and your Mom and please keep us posted or let us know if you have any more questions.

Sue


11/11/2012 03:00 PM
butteryone
butteryone  
Posts: 496
Member

First off, never apologise...we are all here for each other and all her to help.

It must be so hard for you to have your mum so far aay and not be able to get to her.

I hope and pray that she gets to feeling better soon.

Big hugs to you xox


11/12/2012 01:14 PM
faeriechic27
Posts: 6
New Member

Thank you to everyone for your kindness and support. It is amazing the amount of support I feel from all of you. Just a little update on my mom. So, she is stable now. They have brought her co2 levels down to 55 from 151. They are turning the ventilator settings down and allowing her to initiate the breaths herself for a few hours out of the day. She is starting to come around more now and is answering questions and not as confused. I am grateful that she got transferred to the hospital when she did. They did give her a bigger trach tube so I am hoping that will help her breathe a little easier.

The doctor said that she does have significant copd. She has areas of atelectasis in both lungs, but her right lung seems to be the biggest problem. Im wondering if she would benefit from a bipap or cpap machine at night time to help blow off that co2 since this is not the first time it happened.


11/12/2012 02:22 PM
floridian
floridian  
Posts: 1822
Senior Member

Hi Angela, so glad to get the update on your mom. I know you must be relieved to hear that they have her stableized. Have you been able to talk to her at all? If not, sounds like you will be able to soon. Will continue to keep you in my prayers. God bless you both!

11/13/2012 03:59 AM
vikingfan
vikingfan  
Posts: 7635
Group Leader

So happy to hear that she is improving. Make sure you are taking care of yourself too. I know when going through this type of ordeal we have a tendency to forget to eat and we need fuel in our bodies to keep us going.

11/15/2012 04:14 PM
faeriechic27
Posts: 6
New Member

Thank you again for the kind words and support. Just another update on my mom. They are doing vent weaning trials now and she is up to 2 hours off of the vent 3 times a day. They are moving her to a long term acute care facility tomorrow to focus on the vent weaning. I haven't been able to talk to her because they have her trach cuffed. The nurse was in her room last night and held up the phone to her ear while I talked to her, she relayed the messages my mom was writing to me. I know this is the next step for her, but I hate that she is so far away from me.

I haven't really been doing good at taking care of me. I forget to eat and have been having some digestive issues because of the stress. I am making it a point to at least eat something small so that I can keep my strength up for her. She is not confused anymore and is in great spirits. My mom is a true fighter and I wish I had 1/4 of her strength. I know her positive attitude and drive to get better will help her improve. The physical therapy team had her standing up and pivoting into a chair for an hour the last couple days. The doctors are amazed that she was able to do this. Thats my mama!

Post edited by: faeriechic27, at: 11/15/2012 04:17 PM

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