Updated: Oct 4, 2018
October 8th will mark my Mom and Dad's 35th wedding anniversary, they did not want anything fancy, just a nice thanksgiving dinner and well a little adventure down to Las Vegas of course with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Debbie at the end of the month but sadly for us life has taken a turn none of us ever imagined could happen.
I've been posting a little about my mom on facebook and instagram but due to the situation and how fast things were moving there was very little time to provide an update that would answer all of the questions. And while I never imagined that my business blog would turn into this, its the only platform I have right now to update everyone nation wide. I know you have all been praying and we cannot thank you enough in advance for all your prayers, we are going to continue to need you to pray. Here is a brief outline of what happened and a little bit about where we are going.
On Tuesday September 25th, Mom came home late in the evening from work not feeling well. Our whole family over the past summer had been fighting some kind of version of a cold. When one was getting better, another was not feeling so great, so really I kinda wasn't surprised she was not feeling well. She went to bed but the next morning woke up in horrible pain in her neck and shoulder, she was nauseous and very weak. She just rested most of the day, and finally by late afternoon early evening she felt well enough to go to the clinic.
The clinic suspected it was just a virus and prescribe the usual rest and fluids. Now between Wednesday and the early morning hours of Sunday are unclear but from what we can gather from the family, she rallied a bit Thursday and Friday but then again wasn't feeling well Saturday. My Dad Wayne was out of town on business and my brother Curtis was due home from Mexico late Saturday evening. Mom was at home with my nephew Erik. Now these are not unusual circumstances for us, but I too ended up at the clinic on Thursday to get checked out because I was not feeling well, my doctor as a precaution put me on some good drugs, because of this I wasn't around to help my mom out with Erik, which I normally am around to do.
Curtis came home from Mexico and I got a message from him at 3am Sunday morning asking to come help with Erik in the morning because Mom was not feeling well. I said of course and asked if everything was ok, (our family history indicated text like that at 3am are not a good sign), about 10 minutes later I got another text that Mom was not ok and she needed to go to the hospital. I flew out of bed, changed, got my dog and bolted for the house.
When I arrived at the house, my mom was in incredible pain, I thought she was having a heart attack. So I called 9-1-1. They came and assessed mom, they ruled out her having a heart attack but her blood pressure was incredibly low so just based on that they had to take her in. They rushed her to the Rocky View hospital. I called my Uncle, Curtis called my Dad and we were kicked into high gear.
( Now calling 9-1-1 is not unusual for me I do it occasionally for work, but personally, for my own family, I have done it a time or two. With our family history and the years we spent caregiving for my grandparents, my family has a system and a plan. We have had to use it a couple of times in the last few years)
I arrived at the hospital to find a team of 10 people swarming my mom, she was hooked up to every machine you could imagine, on every drug you could imagine, but her pain had gotten worse. She was rushed off to a CT Scan and by that point my Uncle Paul had arrived. He stayed with me through the whole process. I thank the Lord he was there because what came next none of us saw coming.
At first they thought the pain was from a rip in her aorta but rather the CT scan showed a mass of some sort in her back on the right. With all the symptoms she was displaying and her incredibly low blood pressure, the next words out of the doctors mouth are something I never thought I would hear.
Flesh eating disease. ( I really wish is could see the look on all your faces as you read this)
Dumbfounded and shocked the doctor takes us to the family room for a private conversation. There really isn't another explanation for what it is, so she is needing immediate surgery. Plastic surgeon, Thorsastic surgeon, chest surgeon, all three are called and all three are needed for this surgery. At this point we have no clue how bad and they won't until they get in.
I speak with the Plastic surgeon, lovely man, kind and caring. I know my mom is in good hands, it looks like its going to be mostly her right side, all the way from the bottom of her jaw line down to about the middle of her chest, but again he said they won't know until they get in.
Its now 7:30am and my mom is off to surgery, my Dad is on the road home, and both my Uncle and I take to the phones calling those we need to call.
By 11 am my Dad has arrived at the hospital, by 11:30 my mom is out of surgery. The surgeon comes to find us. They took all the tissue from the middle of her chest going right all the way round to the middle of her back and all down her right arm. And by no means are we out of the woods yet. They are getting her settled in ICU once the rounds are done we can go in and see her.
BUT... there is a strong possibility they will have to go back in to check to make sure the infection is not spreading any further.
When I finally get to ICU to see her, I am horrified and shocked, she is in a medically induced coma, is on three very heavy antibiotics. Because of her condition we have to wear mask, gloves and a gown before we can go into the room. We get all dressed up and go in. Its really hard to explain exactly what she looks like so I'm not going to try but to say is that she does not look good and is very sick.
They monitor her for the next 4hours and by 4pm my brother has arrived and the ICU doctor calls us in for a very serious conversation. She is not doing well, still with all they have been giving her, so they do need to go back in to check for infection, but there is a real possibility that she will lose her right arm, but also that this is so serious there is a likely possibility this is fatal. There is nothing that prepares you for the gravity of that and there are not words to explain the emotions that run through you in that moment.
By 5pm we chat with the plastic surgeon, he is much more optimistic about things, he doesn't think the will need to take the arm but like they have been saying all along they won't know until they get in. I begin to pace the halls in prayer. Lord please do not take my mom or her arm!
By 8pm mom is out of surgery, they have saved her arm but removed more tissue in her chest. She is look better and doing better, but we are definitely not out of the woods yet. We all head home for the evening to bed. Sleep well, we will see if that will happen.
Our future is very uncertain for all of us, my Mom, Dad, Curtis and me. We can only see things minute by minute hour by hour at the moment. We thank you all for your prayers and offers of support. I will update as best I can on here with things we need. For right now our immediate need is meals. So if you could please sign up on the link to help us out that would be great. https://mealtrain.com/947k16
And really lets be honest here, Mom is the only reason any of us are still alive, none of us can cook very well, and if you are my closet friend you know all about my kitchen mishaps. Thank you again and we love you. Please keep us in your prayer.