A Blog From Birmingham

by Becki D on October 25, 2009

Alright, so as most of you know, I am in Birmingham, AL right now.  And I need to vent!  That’s not really what I had in mind for my blog when I started it…but you know what?  It’s MY blog and I’ll vent if I want to!

Yesterday was probably one of the most stressful days of my life.  I had a good visit with Mom in the morning, and then yesterday afternoon my brother, Dad and I met with a woman who I will call ‘A’, from UAB’s Palliative Care center.  We also met with the Doctor, but that was after being put through the wringer with A for a little over an hour.

I am sure that ‘A’ is a nice woman, and that she had the best of intentions.  But it felt like she spent all that time trying to convince us that Mom doesn’t want to live anymore and that we should not feel guilty about ‘giving up’ on her.  She said a lot more than that – she talked for over an hour, in case I didn’t mention that already.  But the summary was that modern medicine has been extending Mom’s life beyond what’s natural and we should go ahead and treat her like we’re living 100 years ago when people just got put into a bed and their families tried to make them comfortable until they passed.  No really, she said exactly that.  I am absolutely positive that Ms. ‘A’ is getting kickbacks from the Grim Reaper.

Apparently ‘A’ had  a conversation with Mom a day or two ago, and Mom told her that she didn’t want any more medical treatment.  So ‘A’ took us back to Mom’s room so we could hear her say it ourselves.  However, ‘A’ is a professional at talking in circles, and Mom is extremely medicated right now as she still has a chest tube in her side and is in a lot of pain without the drugs.  Mom’s only partially lucid.  So ‘A’ tries to lead her around to saying she doesn’t want to fight anymore, but Mom is not lucid and is feeling much better now that she’s not in pain anymore and wasn’t getting it.  So it came down to telling Mom that the Doctors feel like she is not going to get better and does she want to stay where she’s at, or go somewhere more comfortable?  And that’s when Mom started crying and said, “So you’re telling me that no matter what I am going to die here??”  Oh yeah.  Hearts broke left and right.  Also, I would like to kick ‘A’ into next week.

Then the Doctor came in, and was all fakey fakey…but he at least was a little more direct in talking to us and said that basically, the hospital has made no progress on Mom’s illness since she’s been there.  They don’t know what’s wrong with her, they haven’t been able to heal her, and there is nothing further that they know how to do.  He said he feels like they have been torturing Mom rather than treating her.  He asked her if she felt the same way, and she said, “No.  I do not feel like you have been torturing me.”  But the Doctor still recommends that we move her to Palliative Care and out of ICU.

I feel like we spent the afternoon being convinced that we should stop fighting for Mom, and that Mom wants to stop fighting.  I also feel like A and the Doctor made Mom feel like we all want to stop fighting for her, too.  The bottom line though is that at the end of it, Mom did say she wants to be moved, she does not want to be put back on a ventilator if it comes down to that.  So today she will be moved to the Palliative Care floor.  And as long as that’s what she wants, I’m OK with that.  Mom is being prayed for, and I know that God does not need the ICU or anything to make her well again if that’s His will.

As you can probably imagine, I am an emotional mess.  I am so ANGRY.  Seriously, I am fighting myself to keep from being a witch to everybody.  I am mad with no target for my anger.  So I want to yell at people walking on the street, doctors standing in the hospital hallways, my brother, everybody.  I would also love to lay down and sleep for a day or two, but Lauren hardly lets me sleep for more than 4 hours at a stretch.  Did I mention that she’s sick, too?  Oh the fun!

Pray for me, that I keep it together and don’t give in to the anger.  Of course, pray for my family.  And please, if I seem snippy to you – well, I probably am.  But I don’t mean it!  Take me with several grains of salt for a while, eh?



{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Misty OQuinn October 25, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Hey Becki. We are thinking about you and praying for you. Tell Mom that if she does not feel like it is her time, to start fighting, this is her life, not the Doctors or “A’s.” When I met her she seemed like a fighter. Make sure she knows that you guys are not ready to just let her go if she still has life to live.
As for you, you have every right to feel the way you feel, don’t let anyone tell you other wise. They are your feelings. You know God as well as I or anyone and you know that EVERYTHING is His will. If he were ready to take her, she would already be gone but he still wants her here on earth, if for just a few more minutes or several more weeks, months, years. He does everything in his own time and we (nor the Doctors) are to question or determine that.
I know it is hard but try to stay strong for her and yourself and family. ENJOY the time you have with her and when God is ready………
In my thoughts and prayers,


Laura October 26, 2009 at 9:42 am

Be sure to tell those doctors and nurses that you mom is a fighter and that they better keep fighting, too! They sound totally defeated, like they need to be reminded that God is the one who gives us strength to do what we need to do and that if they look to Him, He will give them the wisdom and strength they need to care for your mom the way she needs to be cared for. Please do not give up. You have every right to be angry if you feel like the people caring for your mom are trying to convince you of something that you know is not true. I know your mom has been sick for a very, very long time but I do believe that she can be restored. Hang in there Becki!! Don’t stop fighting.


beckid987 October 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm

You guys are awesome. And 100% correct!!

I did, and continue to tell Mom that she does *not* HAVE to die, and that we’re still fighting for her.

And you know what? She continues to do better than the Doctors said she was going to be doing! She still has the chest tube in her side draining the one lung, and we are all scared for it to come out because the last time it did, her lung collapsed again. So the big decision right now is when they are going to take it out.

But in the meantime, they are going to start Mom on PT (very light in-bed PT) and they are going to reduce the steroids and try lowering the oxygen to get her more independent. They would like to be able to take her back home by ambulance sometime next week and get her on in-home hospice care. So that is definitely an improvement from Thursday when they did not think she was going to make it through the weekend!

With God, all things are possible.

Love you guys!


Judy B-Colorado October 27, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Hey Guys,

I wish I was there to kick a few docs backsides. Our prayers are with all of you. Please tell mom (my beautiful sis) that we love her so very much, I am willing all the love and strength I can to her. Please take care of yourself and your Dad ( the little one to).

All our love and prayers – Judy


Pennie October 29, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Becki…..Seems to me we need to have an “ass-kicken” contest down there!!!!. Don’t give up fighting for your Mom…My Beloved Sister…. we are thinking and praying for all of you. God will give you the strength you need Becki, your Mom is in the best hands she could ever be in…GODS HANDS. My love to all of you from …
Pennie, Debra and Bailey


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: