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Jennings Heilig

Please spare a thought...

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Positive vibes being sent. I hope you get there in time to say thanks and cheerio.

 

Steve.

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Wow.  Just got to Kalamazoo.  I’d never have believed it, but she’s awake and lucid and off the vasopressor drip.  Her lactic acid was >20 yesterday this time, which is why I decided I needed to get on a plane NOW.  About an hour ago that was down to 3.2. Her RN and I were saying neither of us has ever seen anyone bounce back from a lactic acid of >20 before.  Still a long way to go, but she said just now she wants to live a while longer.  Energizer bunny, I’m telling ya.  To have come from Rutherford County, NC white trash dirt farmers, she’s a pretty freaking amazing lady.  My mom started, built, and ran her own independent financial planning firm after a long career as a credit union manager.  She “retired” five days after her 77th birthday, and after she “retired” she started two non-profits to do backpack lunches for the needy school kids in town, and another called Bridges Out of Poverty.  She’s organized a youth theater production that’s going on its third year, and has a life of its own now.  She knows just about everybody in a three county radius, and everybody loves Nancy.  Even when she comes to them with her hand out to get money and donations for her charities.

 

Thanks for all the positive vibes - they help!  

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So glad to hear your update  Jenninsg , that is great news .. My mum passed 20 years ago, and there are times when it feels like yesterday , and I'm so glad you've been spared that 

 

colinR

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Posted (edited)

Wow that's great news Jennings. I agree that's a very impressive recovery. Your mom sounds like a great lady and I hope she makes it out of the hospital. Glad you got to be there with her

Edited by Bstarr3

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Best wishes, Jennings.  My son was born in Bronson Kalamazoo.  They're good people there, so she's in good hands.  Here's to hoping to a full recovery.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the kind comments and thoughts folks.  It’s been a long couple of days.  I’m a former hospice nurse, so I know what this process looks like objectively and clinically, but it’s different when it’s your mom lying there.  

 

Friday night was really rough.  Mom has used CPAP for years, and the hospital brought their industrial strength unit in last night.  The thing sounds like a freaking freight train, and the pressure profile is very forceful.  She only slept a few minutes at a time, and woke constantly complaining of being dried out by the machine.  So yesterday morning I went home and brought her new CPAP machine back to the hospital.  This thing is a miracle.  It’s literally *silent* when operating, it warms and humidifies the air being delivered, and the mask and hose are extremely light and flexible.  About 0600 they had given her a Xanax, and I got there about 0830 with the CPAP.  Once I put it on her she went right to sleep and slept for two and a half hours straight.  I think that’s the most sleep she’d had in probably two weeks or more.  

 

Yesterday was a truly amazing day.  Mom was lucid virtually all day, and there was a trickle of people she told us she wanted to see and say goodbye to in and out all day.  Mom spent literally the WHOLE day telling stories.  About the family, about she and dad, about her career, about her charities.  As far as I can determine, every fact, every date, every place, and every person she mentioned was accurate down to the last detail.  She took a couple of short naps between visits, but that was it.  I even learned some things about our family that I didn’t know before!  She was ecstatic to see some of her dear friends with whom she worked as a financial planner and later in the two local charities she started in “retirement”.  She doted on her nurses and doctors too.


Eventually the internal medicine doc came in at our request to formalize her wishes and stop all curative treatment and diagnostics.  She just wants to be comfortable (which she is).  She’s an amazing spirit.

 

I think today will be the day, but only time will tell.  It’s always hard to say goodbye, but I know that she’s completely at peace and is ready to go.

Edited by Jennings Heilig

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