Thursday, December 31, 2009

better and worse

Mom definitely got the shampoo treatment. Her scalp, which had looked flaky, scabbed, and generally unhealthy when the doc took off Mom's helmet earlier in the afternoon, looked much better when we saw her at 10:45PM. The entire surface of her scalp remained covered in spots and scabs, but almost all the flaking was gone, and the exposed skin was pinker and smoother. Mom's hair looked a lot better, too: less wild and matted. (She doesn't have much hair, to be sure, but back when she was still interacting with the world, she did care about what little she had.)

The bad news is that Mom remains diarrhetic, and while we were with her, her pulse-ox (a measure of oxygen saturation in her blood) plunged from the high 90s to the low 80s, and stayed in the 80s. This caused one of Mom's machines to warble in alarm, and attracted the attention of both the resident and the respiratory tech. The doctor played around with the controls, but the tech-- who Dad says knows her job quite well-- scolded the doctor and reoriented the settings such that Mom's pulse-ox reading went back to the mid-90s and stayed there. The current settings on Mom's ventilator are, if anything, a step backward: she now has to rely more heavily on the ventilator to breathe, and to make sure enough oxygen perfuses through her bloodstream.

Dad and I had planned to leave at midnight, but Mom's crisis compelled us to wait for her to stabilize. We didn't leave the hospital until around 12:30AM.


1 comment:

Max said...


What an ordeal it must be for everybody in your family. I can't think of anything else to say, but I wanted to drop you a line in time for the new year.