I've written about my GM and the character that she is and a little about her recent ins and outs of the hospital. She's back in. Just when I thought things were under control, she signed a POA for me, she's been nice (for her) not just to me but to her other caretakers. Well, last night the other she fell and slapped me across the face.
Each visit to the hospital, I kept missing the cardiologist. So, I hadn't spoken to him and was only aware of the battery of tests that they were doing on her in that regard. Well, I met one of the team last night and they want to replace a valve. That's open heart surgery. It's what is causing the respiratory problems because the blood flow is backing up and going into her left lung. They are treating it with meds but they need to fix the cause which is the valve. As I asked a few more Qs, and discuss what if we don't do the surgery, are there any other options etc. I am told that I have no decision making powers. She rescinded those powers and informed the hospital and signed their paperwork that I can only visit. I was stunned into silence and then I broke down. I started crying right there in the hallway with the nurse and the Dr. I asked them if she had signed DNR papers or if anyone had discussed it with her. They told me that the patient had to bring it up. I told them that she had always said she did not want a machine to breathe which was why I was asking for alternatives to the surgery because my understanding was the surgery required that she be put on a ventilator. All this through tears. Again, I asked if she had been explained that. According to them, she had. They consider her lucid because she knows her name, what year it is, who's president and that it's an election year.
So, I went into her room and asked her about the surgery. She didn't have a clue, "what surgery?! The want to do something to my heart but no surgery. I don't know what he told me. Go ask him." I tell her I did, but that she had informed them that I was only to visit and nothing else. "Well, that's because you hate me, look what time it is and now is when you come to visit, I haven't seen you in days." I asked the nurse and Dr to come in to review the procedure with her in front of me. They explained it. She said OK, you are going to fix my heart. I said, and to do that they have to use a ventilator. And she countered but only for the surgery, then they take it off. The Dr said, maybe not. She freaked out. Started yelling at everyone that they were stealing from the insurance co, that she needs to be left to die in peace, naturally without a machine breathing for her, that it was all my fault and that is why she wants me to have nothing to do with her. Adding to her ranting was the ringing of all the monitor alarms and two nurses scurrying pressing buttons trying to keep them silent. The Dr. continued to probe my GM with questions to be sure that she understood what she was signing and she signed the DNR order as she was ranting at me and all who could hear that it was my fault that she was so miserable and now she had to worry about them making a mistake and putting a tube in her; that's how much I hate her that I make her think about these horrible things. Once the paperwork was done. I was asked to leave for the 2nd time in as many days so they could try to settle her down.
I left, exhausted, just plain drained with silent tears falling down. When I was almost at the door of the ICU, the nurse came over to me and gave me a big hug and said they treat the ones they love the most the worst. It's age, its not you. I gave her a big hug, thanked her and told her that my brain knows this but the rest of me can't deal with it today.
As I walked to the car, I saw the full moon a friend had told me would be out and about these days. I smiled through the tears thinking of my friends who are my rock, thinking they were smiling and supporting me thru the full moon watching me. Then I howled as I have done with one of these friends on occasion. I startled quite a few people in the parking lot, some shrieked, some laughed and one man yelled, that sure explains a lot don't it! It sure does! I yelled back and then I heard him howl as I got in my car. I was still smiling through the tears as I drove past him and his group. I had the windows down because I wanted to feel the night air on my face. He said, Hang in there girl, lots of us crazies out tonight! We were both laughing as I drove off thanking him for the warning and told him to be good.
I'm tired and I'm mad and I just don't want to fight with anyone anymore. I want things to not be so hard for a while. I'm tired of feeling like I'm always trying to go uphill with the breaks on! I'm getting on a plane tomorrow to see 18, I haven't packed and I have no idea what is going to happen with my GM while I'm gone. Please gimme patience and strength to get through all of this.