Mom was a Teapot Tuesday recepient back in February....she LOVED it so much - those cards become her prize possessions!!
Hello everyone - this is very long and for that I apologize....
I don't even know how to begin. My wonderful, kind, funny, beautiful, loving mother passed away August 10th. Many of you may know that she broke both her legs in November, 2010 and then again in November, 2012.
She was in rehab and had a huge fracture blister on her left ankle that stubbornly would not heal. Many of you sent her lovely cards and she was even featured in a Teapot Tuesday in February (?).
In June, she had her lower left leg amputated due to the wound not healing and we were told it would never heal on it's own due to the poor circulation in that leg (only one of the three arteries were pumping blood; and it was the artery behind her ankle that was doing all the work).
Just before the amputation she had an "episode" of chest pain - according to her it was fierce for a few minutes, then subsided. They took her to the cath lab where it was found that she had a 95% blockage in her main artery. They inserted a stent and said she'd be fine....and she was for about 6 weeks.
Fast forward to July 19th - we went to the orthopedic doctor to have some of the stitches removed from her leg - which healed beautifully I might add. When he asked how she was doing, she mentioned that she had a "little bit" of chest pain for a couple of days and felt short of breath. He immediately sent her to the ER and she again had a catherization.
Let me add here that my aunt, mom's sister-in-law, was turning 90 on july 21st and we were all to go to a big party. Since mom had not been out ANYWHERE but the doctor/hospital since November, her health care providers approved the use of the medical transport van to take her to and from the party - about 100 miles round trip. Mom was adamant that she was going to make it to that party come hell or high water.
The hospital and doctors all knew about this party and opened the cath lab special for her on the Saturday July 20th to do the procedure. I sat there, alone, in a dark waiting room for the results, which were not good. Mon's stent had failed and now the blockage was at 98% - with no surgery options due to severe hardening of the arteries; no new stent due to the location of the blockage. So basically, the doctor came out to tell me that my mom's life was going to be ending sooner than later and quality was over quantity.
Mom took this news great and said that she didn't care what the doctors said - she was going to beat "this thing" - She went to the party and had a marvelous time. She ate with a terrific appetite and enjoyed every minute of the party.
That Thursday, she was taken to the ER and ended up in ICU with chest pain and shortness of breath. Friday morning, my sister and I didn't think she'd last until noon. But last she did and everybody was there to see her. She went back to the rehab center and had a fabulous two weeks....
Anyone who was important to her managed to come see her; she got a perm; she got into a whirlpool bath tub (first time in a bath tub in over 37 years!) using a hoyer lift.
On Friday August 9th I met her at the doctor - her lungs were clear and they did a cardiogram which showed no changes since ICU - she was in GREAT spirits and joked with the doctor. I met her back at rehab and we had a Dr. Pepper and sat outside (her most favorite thing of all) - my husband came and we practiced with her with a platform my husband made so that she could get up onto it in the wheelchair and slide over onto the front seat of our van. We were supposed to go to Chuck E Cheese on Saturday for our grandson's 5th birthday party. She was thrilled that she could get into our vehicle and "go somewhere". We sat outside some more; took her back in; kissed her goodbye and went home.
At 2:00 am, the rehab called and said she was on her way to the hospital with severe shortness of breath. I beat the amulance there and when she got there she looked awful; her heart rate was 143 and she was all sweaty and struggling for air. They put a mask on her face that was from her hairline to her chin and from ear to ear. It pushed air into her lungs.
They took her to ICU and eventually her heart rate came down to 109 and she napped a bit. My husband and one of my brother's and his girlfriend came. My sister was out of town.
Mom woke up and complained that her arm hurt and her chest hurt. The nurse took me outside and said they were keeping her comfortable but no life saviing measures would be taken, which we understood.
I took a moment to use the restroom and when I came out, my husband led me to a bench. He was sobbing and said the reason that her arm and chest hurt was that she was having a major heart attack and would not survive.
They called us to come back in and they had removed the mask and were giving her Lorazapam and morphine to make her comfortable.
I removed my shoes and climbed into bed with her; they pulled her over a bit and I cradled her in my arm. I kept stroking her hair and talking to her, telling her about all the great things she did for me as I grew up - she took me to see the Beatles' movie "Hard Days' Night" when I was about 11; all the things she did to make holidays and birthdays special; shared her love of old movies with me; how to cut up a chicken; iron a man's shirt; that she was THE BEST mother ever; that we all loved her and that she raised us right, that I had two best friends in my lifetime - one gave birth to me and one married me.....and my mom fell asleep in my arms and passed away.
I miss her so very much each and every day. There hasn't been a day since she's been gone that I haven't cried. I talked to everyday on my way home from work (a 40 minute ride) and now I feel so lost; I took her to all her doctor appointments, spent every holiday with her; every Deer Widow's Weekend since I was a child; stamped with her, laughed with her, cried with her and loved her so very, very much.
Thanks for sticking with the story thusfar and most of all, thanks to anyone who sent a card to my mom during her rehab stays. She so appreciated each and every one of them and looked forward to getting mail. She would call me everyday to tell me that she got cards and where they were all from. They truly brightened her day. I am hoping to do the same for someone else and pay it forward.
Everytime you stamp, an angel gets its wings
Read more: Another mom update