Linda

Jul. 16th, 2011 08:50 pm
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Went to see Linda at the hospital today. I'm actually very encouraged. When we got there she was awake and aware. She's still on the ventilator, so she couldn't speak, but she could answer yes or no questions and flip her brother the bird. :-) She is still very sick, but she is improving. They still don't know if this was caused by Valley Fever, but at this point it's kind of academic. They don't want to keep her on the ventilator going down her throat. If it stays there much longer it can cause a lot of damage to her vocal cords etc. However they think she's going to need to continue on a ventilator for a while yet. So, they need to do a tracheostomy. When my sister Cheryl talked to Linda about the possibility of a trach, Cheryl thought that Linda had shook her head no. I wasn't sure at the time how drugged up Linda was. I wasn't sure that Linda understood that the tracheostomy was temporary and she would be getting off of the ventilator as soon as her lungs were strong enough. I had several conversations with Linda about going on a ventilator, but it was always about the possibility of me going on one permanently (this was when I had pneumonia and wasn't sure if my lungs were strong enough to recover). I needed to make sure that she understood all the ramifications. So I went to see her today. I think she was mentally competent to make the decision, but because she was on medication the hospital needed someone else to sign consent for the tracheostomy. I talked to her about it. She seemed to be okay with the idea, not enthusiastic (who would be), but okay. I told her that as far as I was concerned she was the boss. If she still thought she wanted the tracheostomy, I would sign the consent. Which is what I ended up doing today. Linda has a long way to go yet, but she is getting better. Slowly, but surely.

Thank you everyone for the good wishes.

My Sister

Jul. 13th, 2011 11:56 am
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I haven't been very communicative lately. Too much. Too fast. I'm not really through grieving for my father, then Betty dies. Another family member was operated on (everything went okay she is healing nicely) and now my sister has been in the hospital too long. She came down with pneumonia and the doctor says it may have been caused by something called Valley Fever. Something I've never heard of before. They haven't confirmed the Valley Fever yet, she most certainly has a very serious case of pneumonia. So serious that she has been on a ventilator has been kept unconscious since she went to the emergency room. I just got a phone call from the hospital saying her doctor needs to talk to a family member about our "options". I am to put it lightly freaked. I will most likely be the one to make any decisions. My sister didn't leave a power of attorney or assign anyone to speak for her when she is ill and unable to speak for herself. I say I will probably be the one to decide because, well, because there is no one else. My father is gone. My mother is a basket case (completely understandably). That leaves the kids, Cheryl the youngest who has been the one the hospital has been communicating with because she's closest. She has made it clear that she isn't up to it. My brother won't help make the decision, so there's me. Linda never made her wishes clear on what she wants in situations like this. I hope I make the right choice for her. Everyone should feel free to comment, but don't anticipate a quick reply from me. I do tend to shut down during these kinds of things. All that goes through my head lately is I was always the one that was supposed to go first.

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