Today I watch my mother fight for her life. For the past two days I have watched her fight for her life. She doesn’t know she is fighting for her life. Not even the people around her know. At least not to the extent they need to. We watch, We wait, We wonder. The hum of the machine, rasping, swishing as it creates a rhythm of pumping air into her lungs. Within minutes of being in its presence it takes hold of you. You find yourself, breathing in sync with it. It holds everyone captive.
She looks miserable. The mask is like something out of a sci-fi movie. It is binding on her face. She has no choice but to open her mouth as the air rushes in. Pushing her chest up as it fills her lungs, then lowering it back down into her shallow and frail body.
She is thirsty, she hasn’t eaten in two days. Trying to communicate through the mask takes on a language of its own. She tries. She tries hard. She gets frustrated. Sometimes she even finds it funny. We are all connected to the monitors. She is connected so that the medical staff can see her oxygen level, blood pressure, heart rate. We are connected to the same monitors because that is the only way we can watch the fight. It is the only way we know who is winning.
While she is fighting she continues to be herself. She knows what is going on. When she does talk she is having the usual conversations that we would normally have. The difference is she is being supported by a machine.
We ask if she is comfortable. She says yes, but you know she is not.
I ask her a couple of times if she was in pain. “Does it hurt when you breathe” No she says. It’s hard to believe that someone can be so sick and not in pain. I know it can be other things, infection etc, but it’s just hard to believe that your lungs can be compromised and have no pain.
We continue to wait. All we can do is wait.
A Moment of Hope:
At our last evening visit. She is able to hold her oxygen level at 95 when they take the mask off to give her medication. This is a huge step.
She is still uncomfortable with the mask. Nothing has really changed from where she lays. We have gained strength from our connection to the monitors.
We pray that this is God’s way of telling us he is working on it.