Why is life so messy, why is pain a part of us?
Alma is struggling still. Tonight, even though she is talking plainly, and moving her arms and legs, she is so miserable. It is almost 3 in the morning. An oxygen line is tight against her neck, draped around her ears, and going into her nose. A blood pressure cuff is wrapped around her left forearm. An IV is attached to her left arm, another in her foot. Pressure cuffs on both legs to prevent blood clots. And a catheter. She lies in bed, wanting to just move around, change positions. But there is too much tubing. She is propped up in bed so she can breathe better, but constantly slides down. She struggles to lift herself up again, but can’t.
It amazes me that this sweet lady walked into an Emergency Room under her own power to be treated for an upper respiratory infection, and now… she lies in an Intensive Care Unit, her kidney and liver are failing, she requires oxygen continually, her upper body is swollen, and she will require physical therapy to get out of bed.
Did we make the right decision to go to the ER? Should we have self-treated? Should I have taken her to the Medical Center instead of an outlying branch? I know I’m second guessing myself. The decision was made, and now we must live with the consequences. I know part of what I’m feeling is coming from my own exhaustion.
First thing yesterday morning, Alma had a scope to check the gallbladder and liver. No problems were identified. But, the liver is not functioning properly, so what is the problem? Infectious diseases doctor is running extensive tests to determine. She has been allowed to start eating a diabetic diet, but the food they brought her tonight was awful. It looked like plastic toy food. She couldn’t force herself to eat it. Maybe today will be better.
Yesterday, Alma and I talked about what happened Tuesday, before she was moved to ICU. Her blood sugar was 500, her blood pressure was extremely low. Toni and I were trying to keep her focused on us, telling her to keep her eyes open. She told me she really didn’t know why. It was too much of a fight. It would have just been easier to let go. That was a scary day. I never want to face a day like that again. I see it every day with my hospice patients, I counsel their families through it. Now I find my words inadequate. I don’t know anything, even with all my training.
I just want her home. I just want things like they were. But, the truth is, it will be different. I just have to trust that He holds us in the palm of His hand.