Family Illness

I don’t really even know for sure what the date is today, yeah I could look on my phone, but it doesn’t matter really. I know that it’s Wednesday, and I know our Wednesday schedule, as far as T goes. I wasn’t really even sure when I last posted, because its been a crazy week or so. The reason being for the confusion is that my my mother in law is very very sick.

She was put into the hospital last Monday, I think, for issues due to hepatic encephalopathy (I have to get autocorrect to finish that last word every time!). She has been in the hospital once before for it, but doctors could never really pinpoint what was really going on. My father in law had said that she wasn’t as bad as last time, so I had planned on visiting Sunday. There were issues with her hear and the complications with her liver. Since things were getting more serious, I changed my visiting day to Thursday. I needed to see her sooner so I could give my hubby an update. He asked if he needed to come home when I had talked to him last Wednesday. I told him that I would go see her tomorrow and let him know how things looked.

Thursday morning, I get a call from my father in law. Always a soft spoken scruffy oil field man, he never called this early. I knew something was wrong, and feared that I had messed up by telling my hubby, C, not to come home last night. I answered and heard, “Jodie?”. Yep, something is definitely wrong. My father in law tells me that she needs heart surgery and a liver transplant, but she won’t survive one if the other is not done first. She has anywhere from a day to 2 weeks to live. I ask him if he has called C, he said he can’t. I had to be the one to do it.

By the time I get off the phone with my father in law, I am in tears and shaking. I call C, and the first words to come out of my mouth are “you need to come home.” I explain part of what his dad had told me. He was 6 hrs away at work. He said to give him a few minutes to make a few phone calls, and he will be on his way. I can’t imagine having to drive 6 hrs in that state of mind. A few hour later he had called and asked what he needed to expect when he got here, I didn’t want to tell him because it would make the drive so much longer, but I finished explaining everything that his dad had told me. In the meantime, I had called one of his brothers, and was trying to get ahold of the other.

Expecting the worst, but hoping for the best, we finally get to the hospital. She has a hereditary gene that can end up messing with lungs and liver function. That basically caused her to get cirrhosis of the liver. The doctors say there is nothing they can do. Her body won’t survive the heart surgery with her liver like it is, and she won’t survive a liver transplant with her heart being the way it is.

While we were at the hospital, T and his cousins were all playing. They didn’t realize what was going on, they just knew Nana was sick. The doctors sent her home on Friday. Her husband had asked them to stop meds, obviously they weren’t working. I tried to explain to T on Saturday what was going to happen, but he still doesn’t understand. We are basically waiting.

They gave her a day to 2 weeks, that was last Thursday. I know that today is Wednesday, so she has held up for almost a week so far. We are thankful for everyday we still have her!

The past few days she has been awake and aware. She has been eating a bit, and cutting up with everyone. Because we know that hepatic encephalopathy causes confusion and memory issues, we know what to look for. Last night we saw signs of confusion. That means that the ammonia that isn’t being filtered by her liver is going to her brain. Since she has had a few good days, and now the small confusion issues, we know that her ammonia levels are rising again.

I know for sure that T doesn’t understand what’s going on. I have never had anyone very close to me pass away. My mom didn’t have to explain this to me when I was little, and I have never had to tell T what’s happening. I don’t know if he will understand when it’s all said and done, I don’t know how to tell him, I don’t know what to do!!

If you have any advice on this subject, I would greatly appreciate it! Who has had to explain death to a 5yr old? Did they get it? Did it take a while? What do I do??

Now I am off to get some laundry done because we haven’t been home expect to sleep and shower.


2 thoughts on “Family Illness

  1. When I knew my friend was going to die, we began to explain to the kids that she was v,v sick and getting very tired. As time went on they saw she was exhausted and when she was “too tired” they understood as she was having no fun. It was not them who had the problem when she died.

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