Page 3 - NWC Winter 2012 newsletter
P. 3
We received a call from the hospital at 1am to say "you better come".
The reality of this call made me numb. Could this be happening?
My mother, who was rolling around the house two months ago in her wheelchair holding
my daughter was going to die? This can't be real.
Once again mom did her part. She lived. Her condition got worse. She was wilting.
Wilting in front of our eyes. She was given a suction tube (yonker) to suction out her
mucus. When I saw her struggling to find it as it was positioned on her stomach, I asked
the nurse who helps her, since she has bad arthritis. ?. "Oh, I didn't know that". Imag-
ine. We also found out by sheer luck that at night the nurses were administering sleep-
ing aids to help with anxiety. Essentially this was leaving her to drown in her own flu-
ids. No wonder her heart stopped. The order was placed to stop all sleeping aids. A week
later they were still being administered. The nurse said to me "I wasn't at that meet-
ing, so I didn't know".
I watched an ENT come into the room, and tell my mother "I'm here to explain the proc-
ess of the tracheostomy to you". She had no idea. She shook her head back and forth vio-
lently. "No!!" was what she was saying. He then proceeded to chastise her for wasting
his time, and that she had to be offered a standard quality of care. He left the room
pissed off. I wanted to punch him. Punch him in the throat. So hard that he felt the
pain my mother felt while he roughly squeezed her windpipe. She winces. Her body comes
off the bed. He doesn't stop.
My blood was boiling. After telling the head doctor of the week what transpired she
said "thank you for letting me know". That was it?
Time passes. Mom does not improve. Breathing tubes are still in. She still holds on.
Somehow. How can one person take this much?
It was a Saturday. My father was on his way to visit and brought a bag of photo al-
bums. You grasp at anything at this point with the hope it will give her such small
pleasure. He enters the room, and my mother is being moved, hooked up to a zillion
wires, and the ambulance crew is about to wheel her out.
How can this happen without telling the family? How? Are they cold hearted savages?
Dad hollers, "take her to St Josephs, I'll pay anything!". They show him paperwork and
tell him that the decision is not his. She is going back in this state to St Catharines
General again. Smack in the middle of the outbreak.
I think I fainted. Is it possible to faint with eyes open? The nightmare was getting
Back to St Catharines. Sent into isolation. Alone, weak, contagious.
And we are told a thousand times that "visiting hours are limited".
Another faceless doctor tells my sister over the phone "she will receive the appropri-
ate care required". That was it. Doctor Blah Blah. Every week a new doctor. One who
doesn't know her story. 4 months have passed. She has now been moved to a room that re-
sembles a closet. No window. And now they feel that a feeding tube placed into her stom-
ach is the way to go, since so many "curve balls" have come.
Curve balls. Another surgery. More risks.
I wish I was one of those people that can hang onto hope, no matter the circumstance.
However I believe they do it for selfish reasons. I am a realist. My mom is going to die
in St Catharines General if nobody cares. Not breathing outside air for 4 months. Not
seeing her grand daughter for 3 months. No food, save for the feeding tube in her nose
for the past sixty seven days. all she can tolerate is a small sip of water. And she
coughs like mad. A man that I met at Hamilton General (who had lost a son and had a wife
in ICU) told me "You know it takes six months for the health system to kill someone". I
am a believer. I want there to be a battle cry for my mother. I want her to be the
poster patient for the new caring clean St Catharines General. I WANT them to heal her.
So so badly. I pray. I pray while I drive. While I watch my daughter play. Every day.
I need help. God knows I need help.
Sincerely, Tracey Robert.
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