What an awful week.
Mom had her heart valve replaced and had one bypass last Thursday. The surgeon reported that she did well coming out of surgery and 24 hours later her recovery looked pretty normal.
Since Saturday, though, things have gone poorly. Her blood pressure remained too low (although today it looks pretty stable.) Her oxygen was too low (okay today). Her blood sugar keeps jumping around. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes she needs insulin.
And after monitoring her urine output and her kidney function, they decided to put Mom on dialysis today. Also of concern: she hasn't had a bowel movement since her surgery and they're worried about obstruction. Her lungs also need help.
My friend and critique partner Susan Davis wrote "I'm praying for you. I remember how awful it feels when you realize the loved one may not get better." Her father died almost two years ago, so she knows. She knows.
I know she's not at death's door. I know there is a good chance she'll make a full recovery. I don't dare say "excellent" any more.
But ... yesterday was the first time it hit me. Mom could die.
I knew there was a slight risk of death from the procedure. But failure to do the procedure meant almost certain death, and Mom's quality of life was decreasing on a daily basis. I absolutely felt surgery was the right thing to do.
But as her systems shut down and they take appropriate steps to bring them back to full functioning, I face the possibility: This could be it.
I'll never want to lose my mother. Many people my age (mid-fifties) have already lost a parent, and I know I'm blessed to have her with me. But barring the Lord's return, that day will come.
But, oh, not this year. Not now. It's too soon. I can't bear to lose my daughter and my mother in the same year.