Tuesday, December 29, 2009

late visit

We went over to see Mom a little after 10PM. Uncle John was there, sitting in a chair by her bedside. Mom was quiet, the ventilator breathing for her, making her look as if she were experiencing an interminable series of hiccups.

Later on, a nurse came in to work on Mom, and we noticed that Mom's vital signs were improving: lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, etc. This apparently had to do with the nurse's adjustments to the ventilator; they're still trying to wean her off it.

Tonight I learned that ventilators come in two major types: those with "volume-delivered" air, and those with "pressure-delivered" air.* The latter type is stronger, and is consequently better for allowing air to reach deeper into the lungs. The former are often used in hospices and transport vehicles; for Mom to survive on such a ventilator, she'd need to be substantially more robust than she is.

There wasn't much for us to do except sit or stare or hold Mom's hands. As has been my wont, I periodically drifted off into a light nap. Another nurse came in to say that they were planning to wash Mom and change her bedding, so we left around midnight. For me, at least, there seems less and less to be said.

*For what it's worth, Wikipedia offers an extensive study of ventilator types and subtypes.


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