Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Mother and the Stroke. Miracles Happen Everyday

My mother, after just three weeks, is home and continuing to improve and restore all that was lost from the  damage that a stroke had done in just one horrible afternoon. I know it was the Priesthood Blessings that were given that made everything fall into place. Decisions by myself, by my mother, and also the inspiration that was given by the blessing to the doctor that  listened and called Cottage Hospital.  Dr. Wonderful, himself at Cottage Hospital, was there on the floor and able to work over the phone. The doctor gave the instructions and amount prescribed for my mom. A druggist was readily available to mix the formula. The shelf life of the "clot busting" injection is only ten minutes, so it had to be done at the hospital and he only had to drive up the hill. I'm very grateful for the timing. And, what about all the helicopter medics? There again, all were blessed to have them. One medic just had been through this same exact crisis with her mother. She knew what to do.
My mother was able to go to the fourth floor after her few days in the SICU. And this was much earlier than most stroke victims and there again as we walked-out after visiting mom on the fourth floor, stood the missionaries in the lobby. They went to my mother and asked to give her a blessing and she gave them consent. This too, is another time she was greatly blessed for her faith. She didn't stay the night on the fourth floor but was transported right over to the Cottage Rehab Center. So fast, so amazing, and my mother had no faith prior in a "higher power" of any kind before all this happened. I pray daily that she sees all of this and knows she was spared for more time on this earth to do the things she needs to accomplish.

My brother, Scott and his wife, Sherry worked so incredibility hard on the yard and mom was surprised to see so much of her place beautifully ready to greet her home. I am grateful for not only their work, but Sherry taught us so much about "care-giving" as she is taking care of her terminally ill, sister Janice.

I'm not as uneasy about helping mom as I was at the beginning. The first night, I found she had rolled off her 45 degree, angled pillow and had another pillow over her face. I quickly turned on the light and rearranged  her in her bed. She called me the mean, mean nurse. Honestly, I didn't hurt her. The next day I wrote my friend that is a caregiver to his folks and has been for a while because I needed his counsel. His job is extremely hard with his mother who is stricken with multiple seizures and so many doctor appointments. My friend's father is elderly and needs assistance, also. I was blessed by this dear man who prayed for my mother, he was a former pastor in Fillmore. What a sweet service from one so weak in body but not in faith. I asked my friend, Michael, "How do you do it, Michael?" and he wrote me, "Sometimes, I DON'T!" with happy faces after that. I needed that. But then I asked, "What if I hurt her?" And he said, "If she says, 'Ouch!' then stop doing it." And, there I laughed... because it was so simple and just the answer that made me feel so much more competent.

The medications keep changing and now doing the blood pressure is a "breeze" to do. I'm learning to lift my feet a bit higher and now I'm missing the tripper rugs. Mom knows to lift her feet already.
I know nothing but positive will come from this experience. I've already learned so much and I have so  much to go through, still. overcome. Lori, my sister, is here with me and we are taking turns caring for our mother. I am the Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and half of Sunday shift. There again, I'm blessed to be able to attend church. Faith and prayer work. I didn't sleep for a few nights, but I can do that. How many hours were spent-up all night with my babies? The best part of this, is that it gets easier as my mother progresses and she is going forward. We are so happy that the doctor assured us again and said she will make a full and complete recovery.
 I am in awe of the wonderful modern advances in medical technology. I felt at the time of her blessing that I could make the right decision. The doctor at the Emergency Room at our hospital did not in anyway want to give her the "clot-buster" He also said, "That if was his mother he wouldn't administer the injection." He did it because I requested it and then my Steve wisely said, "Ask her." "She can hear everything we're saying." My mothers right finger was pointing and she was quietly saying, "Do it, do it, do it." Ask my mother.... The chances out of ten are: two will not make it and die, seven will stay the same, and one will come back and be better, but the chances for full and complete recover with the massive stroke that she suffered, may not be as we could ever wish. The doctor also mentioned that from our hospital, giving the injection has been unsuccessful, as in, the persons died.

I've seen a new side of myself. My answers to prayers have been so important. I've seen a great recovery and I'm am able to juggle some things that only and absolutely only are from my answers from my prayers and asking for the Holy Ghost to help me. Thank you dear Relief Society teacher to help me remember this with our great lesson we had for all of us.

I'm praying to stay on the right track, and that means more than just one track, attitudes included. I'm going to continue in prayer, reading the scriptures, and providing service. I know all the other desires, like being able to do my genealogy, will come soon. I want to be able to listen to the Spirit often and always know the direction I need to take.
All of this recovery will take time, but the helpers are in place. My mother has occupational therapy, speech and swallowing therapy, physical therapy, and hard work and this will all make recovery come to pass. I am anxious for her to be all the way back to normal, but seeing so much in such a short time, is unbelievable to all that meet her and especially her doctors and therapists.

 My mother's inspiration for getting better is to make stain glass windows. The rehab center at Cottage Hospital had one in the Meditative Garden. This one was her favorite and the other is just at the entrance/foyer of the hospital. It reminds me of  Lake Cachuma, between Santa Barbara and Solvang.

My gratitude for all these blessings are immense. I'm so thankful. Just writing that short little sentence doesn't seem enough, but Heavenly Father knows my heart.


Breeda said...

Thank you Mom! I have been so touched by your loving service. You are a wonderful example of love and service!
Thank you!

Our Aitken Love said...

I agree with Bree you are wonderful Mom. Thank you for your continual example of love and service even when its tough. I love you.