My mom is in the hospital tonight. Her health has gone rapidly downhill over the last few days, and when she was admitted this evening her kidney function had dropped to 6%, she'd gained 20 pounds of fluid weight in two days, and she was suffering from congestive heart failure.
I've been trying to think as calmly and positively as possible, and not to panic over this news. I know the hospital is the best, safest place for Mom to be, and I'm grateful to my sisters for insisting on taking her there. I know they'll almost certainly start her on hemodialysis in the morning, which should fix a number of ills. And I've done everything I can think of to do -- except to ask you to pray for her. Please pray that she'll make it through the next 24 hours. And pray for our family, especially those members who are not taking these tidings well.
Faith isn't just something you believe in when things go smoothly, but something you keep believing in when things go wrong. I don't know how this is going to go. But I am making the active choice to be positive, to look forward with hope, to anticipate happier days ahead. (You could certainly pray for that as well.)
ETA (Thursday, July 7):
Mom's still in the hospital, and will probably be there at least four more days. They had to start her on emergency dialysis not long after she was admitted. This morning she needed a blood transfusion. Her doctors are concerned about getting a UTI under control (which was probably what started this whole incident in the first place, and caused her kidney function to go downhill so quickly). My siblings and family members have been over today to visit Mom, who has been fully cognizant, eating meals, etc. One of my brothers was able to give her a blessing. Tomorrow morning she'll have surgery to install a more permanent hemodialysis port in her chest.
Thanks so much to all of you who have offered prayers and other support. You have no idea how much it means to us. I know there are many many things wrong in the world right now, but there are also so many people who do what they can to help make things right, and they renew my hope.
ETA (Friday, July 8):
This morning Mom successfully had a port put in for hemodialysis. She was resting afterward and they were just about to take her to dialysis treatment when her blood pressure dropped precipitously. Once they had her blood pressure stabilized, they took an EKG to try to find out what was going on. Unfortunately, they can't really proceed with dialysis until they find out what caused her BP to go so low. So now we're playing the waiting game until her doctor has a chance to analyze the EKG. During all this, Mom's been fully alert and able to answer all her doctors' questions, even with the blood pressure drop.
ETA (Saturday, July 9):
Mom went through dialysis today. She had another incident of atrial fibrillation (which is apparently what caused the blood pressure drop yesterday), but they caught it immediately and she's now stable. Until the doctors can figure out what's causing her to go into a-fib, she's going to need to stay in ICU -- so it looks like she'll be there a few more days.
ETA (Sunday, July 10):
Well, Mom had a stress test and a chest X-ray. Her heart looks fine. The best the doctors can figure is that the a-fib incidents are from stress caused by all the extra fluid in her system. So she did another round of dialysis today (we were told she'd undergo dialysis every day she was in the hospital, so this was unsurprising) and they took 5 liters of fluid out of her (yes, 5! That's over a gallon!).
ETA (Monday, July 11):
More dialysis today... AND, better yet, they moved Mom out of the ICU! So that's good news. Hoping the improvements to her health will proceed apace.
ETA (Tuesday, July 12):
Another a-fib incident overnight. However, no dialysis today, which Mom was happy about (we talked a few times on the phone today) because dialysis makes her feel really cold. We'll see whether the day without dialysis is also a day without a-fib. I pray her doctors can figure out what's triggering them.
ETA (Wednesday, July 13):
Mom is home! She called me just before taking a much-needed nap (nobody sleeps well in the hospital). Hemodialysis will continue over the next few days. Her doctors will need to work carefully together to maintain her health, especially since a-fib incidents combined with chronic kidney disease dramatically increase the chances of stroke, but she's home.