Title of picture

Lake Cowichan view from our dock.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Peace Arch May 7 - 15

Mum and Freya
Sunday, May 7th

It was my day to spend with Dad and cook dinner. We had a lovely Pork Rib Roast with scalloped potatoes and fresh corn on the cob.  Dad actually ate quite well. It was quite sunny but a little cool with the wind. Ray left after dinner to come home and I stayed until John came back from his day off at 9:15 pm. Kind of a long day for me. Dad went to bed at 8:15.

Monday, May 8th

I took the day off ... yeah! but stayed home and caught up with laundry and house cleaning as well as some personal grocery shopping. Managed to sit outside for an hour or so in the sun.

Tuesday, May 9th

I took Dad to run his errands and then off to vote. Another sunny with some clouds but not very warm out. Made pork belly in my Instant Pot with Ray's favourite, homemade chow mien. Turned out fabulous. (Don't know why we never heard about pork belly earlier! :)

Wednesday, May 10th

We woke up to a cloudy morning. I met the electrician at Dad's at noon to install a 50AMP plug for our motorhome. We also have scheduled 3 motion lights to be installed at a later date. Ray and I had been invited to Dianne and Steve's in Fort Langley, for our last dinner with them before they leave on Friday for their work camping position at Tunkwa Lake for the summer. Great visit, and great dinner Dianne. Your pork tenderloin was awesome ... your barbecuing of said pork tenderloin was also awesome Steve!

The two chefs "dancing" in the kitchen ... actually Dianne keeping Steve's hand "out of trouble"!

Unfortunately while we were enjoying the last of our dessert, we received a call that Ray's mum had fallen at the care home and was taken by ambulance to Burnaby General Hospital. We left immediately and headed back to the coach to let the dog out for a bathroom break before we locked her back in the coach. She was not very impressed with us. While we were driving, the emergency doc called us ... Mum had had quite a severe stroke and had a large blood clot on her brain on the right side so had a severe deficit on her left side but she could still talk fairly coherently. Did we want to administer the "clot busting drug"? Mum had signed a DNR and does not want extraordinary measures however, the stroke was not going to end her life just make it more miserable with lack of movement so Ray gave the order to proceed with the drug. Also we asked the doctor did you ask her what she wants?? They just assumed she did not have all her faculties being 92 years old, so he asked her and she agreed. We arrived within an hour of his call and saw mum in emergency. She did not respond as quickly as they had hoped and she was moved into ICU. She was quite easily understood talking but the left side of her mouth was quite slack. By 9:30 she was having some progress being able to move her left leg and toes. We left the ICU as she was stable for now and went to bed at 11:30 pm.

Ray was in such pain with his back that even his "heavy medication" was not helping and he ended up not getting any sleep all night. I managed to get 5 hours before we were "all up and at em", Ray to the hospital and I had to go to Dad's to meet the tree pruning guys at Dad's to oversee the work to be done. Isn't it true everything always happens at once. I really wished to be at the hospital supporting Ray and Mum but I was needed at Dad's. I also had to take him to a dental appointment at noon in Delta as the dentist already rescheduled as we were supposed to be there a day earlier but it had been missed on Dad's appointment calendar.

Thursday, May 11th

The guys from the tree service arrived shortly before 9am. The scope of the work was to prune all of the trees along the side of the driveway to fit our motorhome and clean out all of the low shrubs and branches in the middle garden to improve security for the front of the house as well as visibility getting in and out of the driveway. All of the shrubs and trees have grown substantially in the 30 years since they were planted and are in need of thinning of dead wood and branches. It was amazing to watch how quick they got the front garden cleaned out. Unfortunately for the guys, all six of them, it poured rain all afternoon and they called it a day by 2:30 pm to return first thing tomorrow for another full day of work.

Before Pictures:

Kristi cancelled her office hours today and came over first thing this morning to be with Mum as well, making sure that her care is being done right and with Mum's wishes. Good thing as they wanted to put a nasal gastric tube down her throat to administer her medication and Kristi put a stop to that and told her to do suppositories instead which is much more pleasant than a tube up through your nose that stays there and makes you feel like gagging! She cannot take anything by mouth yet until they do a swallow test. Also, Mum gets dehydrated fairly easily and has been hospitalised for that a couple of times since Christmas so Kristi made sure she was put on an IV. In the 12 hours since she had been there, that had not been done.  Ray's brother Ryan, missed the 3pm ferry from Nanaimo and won't get into Vancouver until 7 pm but he did manage a visit with her. Ray will take over at 10 am hopefully missing the rush hour traffic. This morning at 7:30 am it took him 70 minutes instead of 25.

Dad's Congestive Heart Failure is quite prevalent this morning as well.  His ankles are swollen and his chest is gurgling quite loud. He's not feeling top notch either. Poor guy. Kristi left the hospital  at  6:45 pm after spending the day with Mum. She called a colleague of hers to discuss the neurological findings that Kristi had read and watched all day and found out that Mum is doing remarkable well after the 24 hours. The fact that she can move her arm and leg on the left side is huge at this point. We do have to watch for a bleed though from the clot busting drug. Kristi is going to stop in to Dad's to have a quick visit and then probably take the 10:45 ferry back to the island. What a day for her but we are so thankful that she was here to make sure Mum was being taken care of properly and explain to us what is going on.

Friday, May 12

Friday I was at Dad's again as the pruning continues and Dad also has an emergency dental appointment for 1:30. He has a huge hunk of his front tooth that has broken and is just hanging there compressed between his other front tooth and the dentist is worried that if they don't take it off he could choke on it. More fun!

So after 6 guys working for 2 days we have a wonderful result ... new bark mulch was spread as well.

After Pictures:

Large rhodos taken out in front of the windows. (New roof scheduled for July)

The tarp shed will be moved out and the motorhome will fit right beside the house now with 50AMP Power.

Ray's mum had a very successful Friday. Ray's brother was there first thing in the morning before returning to the island and Ray took over at 10 am and stayed until noon. Ryan's neice Raychelle arrived for a visit as Ray left.  Mum was up in a wheel chair and ate a good lunch. This was the first time they let her swallow anything since her stroke Wednesday night. She is regaining movement on her left side with her arm and leg. Mum should be moved sometime today to an actual ward for physiotherapy. It is still too soon to know if she will be able to go back to her assisted living apartment or will have to be moved into long-term care.

With all of this going on, Ray and I decided to stay in our motorhome in Dad's driveway for the summer. Too much is happening with our parents and we do not feel that we should leave them at this time. If everyone is stable in July we may be able to take a couple weeks off and go to the Merritt area to do some fishing.

Saturday, May 13

Woke up to some clearing. Ray and I were off to the hospital and arrived by 10am. Mum was in good spirits and was progressing quite well. We were back home by 1 pm to relax for the afternoon. Ray's back is hooped and I am just plain tired. Instant Pot meal of country spareribs, yummm.

Sunday, May 14 Mother's Day

Ray and I again spent a couple of hours at the hospital. Once we were back I headed up to Dad's as it was my day to look after him and deal with dinner. Dad bought Chinese Food so I would not have to cook on Mother's Day. Thanks Dad. Ray came later after resting at home for a couple of hours.

Monday, May 15

Today I left for the hospital at 5:30 am to get there before the traffic. We have had no communications from the doctors as to mum's status, prognosis, test results etc. Getting pretty frustrated. So I went to spend the day and get her sorted out. When I arrived I found out she had had another stroke starting late afternoon. They apparently took her for another CT scan at 11 pm to confirm the new stroke. Never did they even call us that she was worsening or that she had another stoke. Unbelievable! I was very shocked to see her condition when I walked in at 6 am. After making my displeasure known with mum's nurse on duty, mum's internist, who just started with her file that morning, made sure he came to see me to discuss her case. I think we will have more info this week as Dr. Hui also covers ICU if mum should end up there. Mum is back to being unable to move her hand, arm and leg on the left side. She still has her full faculties though and can talk although a little slurred with the left side of her mouth slack.

It was a very busy morning starting with another CT scan at 7 am, and with physio in, speech pathologist to assess mum's ability to swallow again ... whether she can have food, the internist, and being tested for her neuro signs every 2 hours. Her outcome at this time does not look very good for the ability to regain her movement this time. I have also arranged with the nurse to get her an air mattress like she had in the ICU which is way more comfortable for her as she is just skin and bones and has had a sore back for the last month. After feeding mum lunch a friend of hers came to visit so I was able to leave at 1:30 to get back home to rest.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear about Ray's Mom. Hope she rallies....
    The bush pruning looks great...wow, it sure opened up the area!