Tuesday, May 13, 2008

We're Home

We're home. We pulled into the driveway about an hour ago, and I am EXHAUSTED!!! I have so many things running through my mind, so this will probably be somewhat incoherent. But, I wanted to give everyone an update...

--First, THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for our travel. I know they were successful because we not only traveled 3,500 miles safely, but we also didn't kill each other in the car. And, that is nothing short of a miracle in itself!!! I mean it is NO fun traveling that many miles in a car under any circumstance. It's cramped, uncomfortable, and the trip seems never ending. But, on top of the general problems, add two boys and all of their stinky smells, and you just might wish you traveled with a bottle of Febreze. Or, a clothespin for your nose. Or both. We had some interesting and slightly amusing things happen both in route to Naples and in route to home, but I'll post about those later. For now, suffice it to say that I now suffer from a fear of enclosed spaces, especially when I have to share those spaces with boys who have eaten beans and cheese.

--Also, THANK YOU to everyone who wished me a happy birthday. Despite the circumstances, I had a great birthday. After all, I got to spend it with my mother and and my brother. My mother, true to her style, coordinated my birthday party from her hospital bed. We had food catered in from Bucca Di Beppo. It was very good, and I ate way too much. My mom even made sure that I had a birthday cake. It really was very nice. I still have a lot of celebrating to do now that I'm home. My very good friend Melissa has a birthday tomorrow, and we need to plan a big par-tay to celebrate!!

--And, I want you all to know that each of you were in my thoughts and prayers while I was gone. I am so blessed to know each of you. I love you all!!

--But, I know that you probably want an update on my mom. My mind is still really spinning about all of this, and I need to pray about many things, but I'll try to give you the cliff notes version for now. My mom was in terrible shape the first day we got to the hospital. She was drifting in and out of consciousness and was very incoherent. I'm not sure what all I've blogged about before as way of background about my mom. If you already know this, please bear with me. My mom was an addict for most of her life. She was also an alcoholic. She became a Christian about eight years ago, and PTL she has been clean ever since. Unfortunately, as we know, sometimes we continue to have consequences from things we've done in our past, and that is what has happened to my mom. Her liver is failing. Initially, we thought she could take some special treatment that might cure her liver problems, and we're still hopeful that the treatment will work, but we know now that her liver is in much worse shape than we thought. Her liver isn't processing things correctly, particularly ammonia. So, her ammonia levels were through the roof, and those elevated ammonia levels caused her to go into hepatic encephalopathy (which is way more serious than her doctor told us at first). The hepatic encephalopathy was causing the following symptoms when we first arrived at the hospital: headache, inflammation of the spinal cord, edema of the fluid around her brain, sleepiness, lethargy, confusion, depression, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, and numbness in her fingers. Pretty scary stuff. On top of all that, she was dehydrated and her red blood count and potassium was low. The low potassium levels prevented the doctors from giving my mom the medicine to help decrease her ammonia levels. Hepatic encephalopathy can cause coma, and my mom's blood pressure was 55/34, which is really close to being in a coma.
She had an emergency colonoscopy Sunday morning because the CT Scan of her abdomen the doctors did Saturday showed inflammation in her colon. But, the colonoscopy on Sunday showed NO problems at all!!! PTL!!! The doctors did get my mom's ammonia levels down, and they released her from the hospital on Sunday. My mom had a pretty good day Sunday. But, my brother just called, and it looks like she may be going back to the hospital tomorrow.
It's probably evident from my incoherent description of my mom's medical conditions, but I am having difficulty processing all of this. I realize that my mother's health is very precarious, and I also know that my mom would like to have me around more. My brother lives near her, but he is also in bad health and is not really able to take care of her. Suffice it to say that I need a lot of guidance on what I should be doing right now. I am praying about it, and if you have a few more prayers in you for me, I would appreciate it!!
Believe it or not, there were some good things that happened on our trip, and I will blog about those later. Right now, I am EXHAUSTED, and I am going to bed...right after I read all of your blogs!! Have a great night.


Julia said...

I will definitely be praying even more. Did we have the same mom by the way? You are very strong, and it is very encouraging for me to hear that your mom is a believer. Thanks for the update, glad you're home!!!

Caroline said...

Oh Heather i a so glad to hear an update. I will print this post off and continue to pray over your requests. I am glad to hear you had a good birthday.........and thay you guys did not kill each other in the looooonnnnngggggg drive!!! PTL PTL!!!!!!!!

melissa said...

glad you're back. I'm praying that your mom will be comfortable and comforted knowing that she rests in the palm of the great I AM. He has you there too by the way. Love you!

Kristen said...

Heather, I will be praying for both you and your mom! I can't imagine what you're going through, but there must be some comfort in knowing she is now a believer..God can provide her with more strength and peace than we ever could!
Hope you get some rest :)

Kristen said...

Heather, I will be praying for both you and your mom! I can't imagine what you're going through, but there must be some comfort in knowing she is now a believer..God can provide her with more strength and peace than we ever could!
Hope you get some rest :)

Josh & Sarah said...

Finally just got caught up on here. Will continue praying for your mom and for you, too! Love!