Friday, February 25, 2011

The Plot Thickens

Like  a good novels, the kind that you don't want to put the book down,  last month has been woven with more twists and turns than a Dashiell Hammer mystery.   Things have seemed to build up to a  moment  where a revelation hits us and, although it is a shocking surprise, we suddenly see that this point in time has been building throughout the plot. Suddenly we see that the build up that was leading us down one avenue was an optical illusion.  In order for the twist to work, you have to deliberately mislead your audience, but the build up, once revealed in its true light, has to also be true to the revealed twist.  God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he!Swirling a MysteryMystery Image by qthomasbower via Flickr

The story begins when my 90 year old MIL was found unconscious in her bed in independent living.  Apparently, she was unconscious for about 24 hours.  My husband and I went shopping on Saturday at a thrift store and were very excited over our haul.  MIL always loves a tale of a good bargain.  I had called her a couple times on Saturday but got no answer.  For the first couple calls, I thought it was strange.  But her not answering the last call I made in the evening did seem a bit strange in a very annoying kind of way.  However, my husband and I were on our way out so I put that thought out of my mind.

We called her again on Sunday to tell her we were coming over.  While we were getting our act together, security at her complex called us to say that she was being rushed by ambulance over to the hospital.  She has spent 10 more days unconscious on a ventilator and the doctors were working very hard to pull her through.  It was touch and go but MIL has now arrived at skilled nursing where she will recover from wounds incurred while she was lying in one place for 24 hours and PT/OT since she was laying in bed for a couple weeks.  

Among other things,  MIL will need to work on short term memory, working memory and basic orientation.  She is getting an assessment this week and the Speech Language Therapist will be working on cognition with her.  

I think she was lacking oxygen to the brain for a period of time.  I ran into the security guard and we put together a timeline.  He is trained as a fire fighter so he knows something about basic first aide.  He thought she was breathing OK when he walked in.  At first, he thought she was asleep since she didn't answer her door during their daily checks.  She was laying with her book on her chest.  He pinched her and there was no response.   That's when he got concerned and called the EMTs who came.  Suddenly, she seemed to take a downward slide and her breathing became more irregular.  So they put a breathing tube in and called the rescue squad.  So maybe at the most, she lost 30 minutes of oxygen.... maybe less. 

This is very important as the brain needs oxygen.  Lack of oxygen destroys brain function.  Right now, MIL can't move her legs and has problems controlling her hands.  She has problems swallowing.  She doesn't know what month it is and can't repeat it back after you have just told her.  Everyday I ask her about the date and she can't remember.   She does remember my husband and myself and her friends and family.  I am trying to help her remember her past life by reminding her that she was a nurse and where she worked as a nurse.  I will bring in pictures to help her.   But for the most part, MIL is living in the present.

It's funny that my last post was all about memory. 

I have my journey through my cortex and now, MIL has her journey through her cortex.
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