Posted Pearl Harbor Day, 2020 (12/7/20)
There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you. –Deuteronomy 12:7
Hi all! A solemn and appreciative Pearl Harbor Day to you. Today marks 79 years since that infamous day that was key to the US entry into the Pacific WWII theater. Far too few of these brave sailors and soldiers are left with us today, but the scars still remain. To every member of all branches of armed forces…I…WE…appreciate you. Sooooo many veterans have dementia, you are a huge subgroup of our population at the Digital Cornbread table and we deeply love and honor you! Mom has an acute respect for those who died in Pearl Harbor. She and my stepdad visited the site while on their honeymoon in “Hawayah” and she and he spoke often about how amazing, sad, spiritual, and profound the tour was.
Today will be mostly an update. First, thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers! If you missed it on social media, Mom’s bodily battleship was struck last Wednesday morning at approximately 6am by a sneak attack: a substantial grand mal seizure torpedo, to be more precise. The Mayo Clinic defines this affliction thusly:
“A grand mal seizure causes a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. It’s the type of seizure most people picture when they think about seizures. A grand mal seizure — also known as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure — is caused by abnormal electrical activity throughout the brain. Usually, a grand mal seizure is caused by epilepsy. But sometimes, this type of seizure can be triggered by other health problems, such as extremely low blood sugar, a high fever or a stroke.” (Link)
Things went grim quite quickly Wednesday from a biology standpoint. Her blood pressure was up and down. Her pulse the same. Her oxygen saturation, ideally in the mid- to high-90s, was in the 70s (!!!)…a very grim sign indeed. They got her stabilized…then “called in the family”. Sigh…we all know what that means. 🙁 Mom was moved to a palliative care room and we were allowed into the facility as the end was apparent….and that we did.
From Wednesday until this morning at 11, we had at least one of us there the entire time. I stayed 2 different 18 hour shifts including overnight one night. Me and my two siblings each got an overnight alone with her just to hang out and hope/pray for the best. In my evening, I wore out the Spotify playlist and played every piano version of old hymns and old Christmas carols available…20+ hours worth. Mom loved it. We got a lot of quality time just holding hands and “talking”. What a blessing through tragedy!
There are many other stories to tell and I will try to squeeze in more posts this week to fill you in. 🙂
Friday…2 days post-event…she was doing good enough to go back to her old room, but she had a fever…so the nursing team allowed us the weekend with her to see if she improved. We stayed and she did. Then, at 11:45am to the minute they put her back “in the hole”…and the visits ended. 🙁
As sweet as saying hello was, saying goodbye was more bitter. Knowing that she is officially alone again is even harder. Knowing she could…and likely will… fail quickly and alone made it harder still. We are considering a host of options…but until we get our collective ducks in a row, we wait. Is she better? Statistically yes. But the reality is she took a lot of damage and will not recover.
Hard stuff. Upper-level adulting stuff…way beyond my ability to take or comprehend…but the Lord strengthened us. Mom still has so much joy in this hardship. She still makes me want to be better. And for now, we rejoice at the new time of visiting after 9 months without… and we prayerfully hope.
So, as of 11:45am CST, we all had to leave mom in the harbor, taking on water, but holding her own…and we are sick over it. Mom survived COVID and this seizure (for now). She is a true fighter! But, sadly, just as the naval fleet of ships treaded water as long as they could in Hawaii, mom can only take so much, and this one was a direct hit. I hate this disease and I hate COVID, but we sure love mom…
A note on the nursing home: They treated us exceptionally well. They treat mom well too. They are very strict in trying to keep the pandemic at bay…and have still lost over 30 to it, including at least a three of the Sweet 17. 🙁 If you think the pandemic isn’t real, you are mislead. These are real folks dying…please treat it seriously no matter your political stripe. Please.