I, like millions of others, have watched my parents battle COVID. My mom’s battle was hard and I was in charge of getting all of the updates and then updating everyone else. Over these long paragraphs, I will share with you my Facebook posts and some other thoughts along the way.
I wanted to document how God worked and answered prayers through this whole process. That is why you will see where I specifically mark each prayer that was answered. Some of the answers were not how we wanted them at all, but God was still answering the prayers.
I wrote this as a reminder for myself and for my family to see God’s hand through this. God is still faithful and He is still a healer.
From Annette: Please be praying for my mom. She was taken by ambulance this morning to Mercy in Springfield. She and dad are both COVID positive. Mom is very sick and her O2 levels were dangerously low this morning. I will let you know when I find out more information
From Annette: Update on Mom
Andrea has been admitted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield. After almost 5 hours of waiting, she is finally getting a room. She is in stable condition.
She has pneumonia and is currently on three different treatments.
This morning mom’s O2 level was 75% and now with oxygen she is holding steady at 96%.
As of right now (this could change), Mom is supposed to be staying in the hospital until Friday. I will try to keep you updated as I find out information.
From Annette: Tuesday, 12/22 AM Update
Mom had a rough night in the hospital last night. Around 3 am, they tried to move mom and her heart rate spiked and her oxygen dropped. She had to be put on a re-breather as a stop gap measure (to get her O2 back up) and then was transferred to the respiratory floor.
Mom is currently on the Airvo machine (high powered nasal cannula). If you are unaware, that is a machine that uses humidity to put in oxygen at a much higher pressure rate than regular oxygen. She is currently on 50 liters at 95%.
Mom came into the hospital with Afib and they have not been able to stop it. I was told even patients without a history of Afib will have it with COVID, because that is just one of the things the virus does to people.
She is not struggling to breathe and is able to talk with her nurse a bit. The nurse told me that she is very sick and wanted me to understand how sick she was, but that mom is doing well. To be on the respiratory floor, you have to be very ill, but mom is doing well for being on that floor.
Mom’s O2 has been back to 95 for the past few hours, so they will be attempting to wean her back on the airvo today. I probably won’t know much more until closer to this evening. Please continue to pray, because things can change rapidly with COVID.
From Annette: Tuesday, 12/22 Evening Update
I just got off the phone with mom’s new doctor in the Step Down Code Unit (the floor before the ICU).
Mom has been diagnosed with Severe Respiratory Failure. She has double viral pneumonia. The doctor said her chest x-rays look like every other COVID patient and many times people call this COVID lung.
Mom’s Airvo machine is now on its highest setting of 60 liters per minute. The doctor said that what her lungs need now is rest so that they can heal. Keeping the machine at this high of a level will allow her lungs the rest to heal. Her O2 has been between 92-93 all day.
They are keeping mom on the standard COVID treatment right now of a steroid, an anti-viral, and a treatment of convalescent plasma.
Mom has been struggling today with her Afib. When her heart doesn’t beat in rhythm like is should, then she cannot keep up her O2 levels.
Tonight I am asking that all of you pray specifically for mom’s heart to stay in rhythm tonight so she can get the sleep she desperately needs. You also need to be praying specifically for her lungs to heal quickly.
WE CALLED AND SAID GOOD-BYE TO MOM: I cannot even begin to tell you how much heartbreak is still in those few words. I handed the phone to my boys and had them one at a time listen to their grandma gasp for breath and tell them how much she loved them and the final thoughts she had for them. I heard her voice in tears tell my oldest how proud she is to be his grandma. Telling him that the day he was born was one of her happiest in her life. She told him how proud she was of him and the young man he is becoming.
My mom then told me that she was proud of me. She told me how much my husband means to her and how she knew God sent Scott to me to care for me. She told me I was a good mom and was doing a great job raising our boys.
Then I prayed over my mom with a kind of power that only could have come from the Holy Spirt himself. I needed my mom to hear the prayers that was running though my heart and mind. I thanked God for the mom He gave me. I prayed to a God who I knew answered prayers. I knew that he will miraculously heal and still does. I know that He will carry you through the healing and let you suffer so you can fully trust Him. I also know that God will take people home to Glory to be with Him: complete healing.
I cried and prayed all of those things to God while pleading for my mom’s physical body on this side of eternity. I told mom I loved her and hung up the phone.
My youngest had melted into Scott’s arms and was sobbing. My oldest is 12 and walked away to process in his own way, fighting back tears. I just doubled over and cried. Then Scott stood, put his hands on us and prayed for peace.
I didn’t sleep really any at all that night. Awake, I prayed and waited for morning. To be honest, I couldn’t even open my Bible to look for any kind of encouragement. All I had running through my mind was, “He will keep in perfect peace, him whose heart (mind) is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
Answered Prayer #1: Mom made it through the night.
From Annette: Wednesday 12/23 Morning Update
I didn’t get a phone call or text message overnight from the hospital, so that was good news.
I called the hospital this morning to get an update from the nurses’ station on mom’s floor and the phone rang directly into her room. I wasn’t expecting to get to talk with her, so it was good to hear her voice. She sounded tired and weak, but much better than last night.
No official update from the nurses, but mom got her second dose of the anit-viral around midnight. She was able to get a few hours of good rest before they started coming around again at 3am for blood work and vitals.
Mom said her heart was back to “normal” so she could sleep. Again, without any specifics from the nurses I will just praise God for answered prayers.
Mom is still very sick. Keep praying for her heart to stay in rhythm and her lungs to heal.
From Annette: Wednesday update on DAD
My dad, Charles Cross, has called an ambulance and it heading to Mercy in Springfield, MO.
His O2 dropped and his blood pressure rose rapidly.
Dad has been holding his own and doing okay with his COVID so far, but last night was a very tense night for the whole family. I am sure he didn’t sleep well and with mom not home hasn’t been taking his medications as he should.
As I already said, COVID messes with your heart, so all I know right now is that he seems to be having heart related issues.
I don’t know any details and probably won’t know any most of the day.
From Annette: Wednesday 2/23 Evening Update: Mom and Dad
DAD: Charles Cross has been admitted to Mercy in Springfield for hypertension and facial numbness. Dad called the ambulance because his blood pressure spiked, but it was within normal ranges when he arrived at the hospital. Once there, Dad started to complain of facial numbness.
He is on stroke alert, because of that numbness and Dad’s history of strokes. However, his CT scan did not show any evidence of stroke. He is still waiting on getting a room in the hospital. He may get an MRI tomorrow to confirm no brain damage. The nurse said it was insanely busy today, so Dad might not get a room until tomorrow morning.
Dad’s lung x-rays came back clean and didn’t show any signs of COVID damage. The nurse said that Dad was very anxious when he arrived there, but has since calmed down.
MOM: This morning when I talked with Mom, she had a list of things she wanted me to go get from home and bring to the hospital. If you know mom, then you know this is a good sign.
Her lung doctor said that she is still on 60 liters of O2 a minute, but instead of being set at 95%, she has been weaned down to 60%. He explained that a normal “at home” O2 system puts out oxygen at 3-5 liters per minute. That just means that she is nowhere near being able to go home.
She is still VERY sick. The doctor’s exact words were, “she is not out of the woods, but she is getting better”. He said her color looked much better and she was able to talk in complete sentences and work on her laptop today.
COVID is a roller coaster ride. You can have good days and then one bad night can put you back down again. Today was a good day for Mom and I know that God has been listening and answering our prayers.
Prayers for tonight:
MOM: Mom’s heart has to stay in rhythm so she can rest. We were not sure last night if she would make it through the night, but God answered all of your prayers in keeping her heart calm so she could sleep. She still needs good rest and for her lungs to heal properly
DAD: That he can have a calm heart. He is very worried about mom and that causes him to have TIAs (mini strokes) or causes him to think that he has had them. Strokes are not new for him (or for us understanding them with him) so as long as COVID isn’t an issue, we hope that he can be on the road to recovery soon.
From Annette: Update 12/24 Morning Mom and Dad
Dad: Dad had an MRI this morning and it showed no sign of a stroke. His carotid artery is clean and they are running through all of the rest of the stroke tests. The doctor will see him sometime this afternoon or evening and then give me a call.
It looks like he will probably be released in a day or so. Knowing dad, I really think that he may have got off in taking his medications and ended up with an anxiety attack.
If you call him, and some of you please do, know that he will be telling a completely different story about his health and mom’s condition. I have been talking to all of the doctors and nurses and what I put here is what is going on with both of them.
I am not sure how to put this, but since dad has had multiple strokes, he does not process situations clearly. He will tell you what he thinks he knows, but many times what he says is not true. Please use these posts as your reliable source of information.
Mom: Mom had a very rough night. As I said last night, COVID is a roller coaster and last night she went back down hill again.
She had trouble with a piece of equipment and then went into Afib. She is still in Afib, but it is considered to be controlled. Her blood sugar spiked overnight to 187 and she was given two does of insulin. She did not sleep well and is very tired and weak.
Her airvo was turned back up from 60% to 95% overnight. It was just turned back down to 84% this morning after her O2 returned to a better range.
Mom needs rest. For that to happen, her Afib needs to stay under control and her blood sugar needs to stabilize.
Dad: That he gets a clean bill of health and we can get him home. We also need to figure out a safe way for us to get him home from the hospital. We have a plan, but it isn’t the greatest. Sheila is on quarantine and our family hasn’t had COVID yet because we have been extra vigilant about it.
Answered Prayer #2: Mom is better enough to sit a chair (blood sugar stabilized and strength)
From Annette: Thursday 2/24 Evening Update Mom and Dad
Dad: Dad was released from the hospital today. There was no sign of a stroke or TIA (mini stroke). I want to thank my cousin Scottie Houston for picking dad up and taking him home today. Scottie has recently recovered from COVID, so he was willing to bring home dad.
If you see dad in the Greenfield area BEFORE the 28th, STAY AWAY. He thinks that if he is feeling better, he isn’t contagious (lots of conversations about this with him) . From a distance, tell him to GO HOME.
Mom: After a rough start for the day, she ended up having a better day. By the afternoon, they had her sitting in a chair and her voice sounded stronger.
However, when they were moving her back from her chair to her bed, she went into Afib pretty bad. Her O2 dropped to 89% and they had to turn her airvo up to 80 liters at 70%. They hope that as she settles down tonight that they can wean these back.
Right now her O2 is a strong number and her heart rate (still in Afib) is the lowest it has been all day.
Mom: She still needs rest. She wasn’t too keen on her nurses last night. She knows those two nurses will still be working tonight and is already a little worked up about it. Pray her Afib stays under control and her lungs continue to heal.
Dad: Pray that he stays at home. He is not understanding that he could give this virus to others and then get them as sick as mom is now.
From Annette: Friday 12/25 Morning Update
Mom had another rough night last night with an equipment issue. Her airvo machine was allowed to run dry. During the night, she woke up to what was feeling like smoke coming through her oxygen mask. Her nose, throat, and eyes were burning.
From how it was described to me, the airvo machine produces a mist or “wet” oxygen that can come at a higher rate. When the machine runs dry, you get blasted with very hot, very dry air that gives the sensation of smoke and burning eyes and throat.
She tried to call for a nurse three times and finally got someone to come put water in the machine. However, that took well over an hour. During that time, mom was in pain and took off her oxygen mask yelling for help. I would go into more detail here, but I really won’t have to; mom took documented notes and is now typing up everything that happened so she can make a formal complaint.
If you can take any good news from this bad night, it is that mom took off her high flow oxygen for well over an hour. She struggled to breathe, but could breathe well enough to yell for help. That means her lungs are getting stronger.
Mom has also now been given breathing exercises to help her increase her lung capacity and strength. These are the same exercises she was given after her open heart surgery, so she knows how to do them and is working hard to beat her goals set by the doctor.
Prayers: Please say a prayer of praise that mom is healing. Keep praying for her lungs to heal and her heart to be in a steady rhythm.
From Annette: Friday, 2/25 Evening Update
After having a rough start to the day, mom ended up having a pretty good day. She was able to zoom with my brother as he and his family opened gifts. Then she talked with my boys about their presents too. She also got to see pictures of my sister’s family and little girl with presents.
Mom talked with two different charge nurses about what happened overnight and the staff was more responsive to her today. She even had one nurse who got her a larger bed. Now mom can turn over in it and can raise it so she can breathe better. Also, it is easier for her to get in and out of it as well.
Tonight’s update from the nurse was that her airvo has been turned down to 45 liters at 64%. Her O2 is a little lower at 91%. Her heart rate has now become much more steady and it at 94 bpm.
COVID is still a very dangerous virus. Mom’s doctor keeps telling us that she is not out of the woods yet. She is still VERY sick. Even with incremental progress, it is still going to be a long time before she will be able to think about coming home.
Prayers: Mom needs rest for her body to heal. Her heart needs to stay calm tonight.
*I am not sure you know how much we covet all of your prayers. I know that God is listening to them and answering them for us. Personally, I have had more peace than you can even imagine during this whole process and I want to thank all of you for praying. *
Answered Prayer #3: A good night’s rest.
From Annette: Saturday 2/26 Morning Update
Mom was able to get as good of sleep as I think you can get in a hospital last night. She woke up every time someone came in the room, but was able to get back to a light sleep afterward. I think that the new bed really helped with that.
Her O2 saturation is a bit low at 90%, but her airvo machine is still set at 45 liters and 75%. She had a couple more instances with the machine running dry, but that was before she went to sleep last night. They made sure someone kept checking the machine all night, so it wouldn’t happen again while she was sleeping.
Since Mom will be in the hospital for a much longer stay, they are going to be giving her the full 10 day treatment of her anti-viral (Remdesivir) instead of just 5 days.
Prayers: Mom needs for her heart rate to stay steady like it has been the last couple of days. She needs for her lungs to get stronger and heal.
From Annette: Saturday 2/26 Evening Update
Mom stayed just about the same all day. She was very tired today and sounded weak. We know she needs to rest to be able to heal properly.
Keep praying for her body to heal.
From Annette: Sunday 12/27 Morning Update
Mom’s numbers seem to be holding steady overnight. All except for her blood sugar. It spiked last night (over 300) and is still dangerously high.
She sounded worse today than she has in a few days. She is slurring her words and cannot think through sentences. I know that is her high blood sugar doing that to her. If the blood sugar cannot get under control, she could go into a blood sugar induced coma or develop an infection.
Prayers: Stabilization of blood sugar and continued healing for her lungs.
Answered Prayer #4: Blood sugar stabilized
From Annette: Sunday 12/27 Evening Update
They were able to get mom’s blood sugar stabilized this morning and she started sounding much better. Thank you so much for those specific prayers. I am convinced that prayer played a large role in that today.
Mom’s airvo machine is still set at 45 liters and 63%. Her O2 saturation has improved to 95%, so if it stays like that overnight, they may be weaning her back again. Also, she has had no fever, a controlled afib, and her blood pressure has been great.
Mom’s favorite nurse, Kay, was working today and called the doctor when mom’s blood sugar started to spike again this afternoon. It sounded like they were going to try and get a different medication to see if that will help regulate the blood sugar better.
Pray that mom’s blood sugar can keep being regulated. Pray for her body to continue to heal.
Pray also for all of the nurses that are helping mom: Ricky, Kay, Makenzie, Wanita, and Misty. I know there have been others, but these women have gone above and beyond for her.
Answered Prayer # 5 A good night’s sleep.
From Annette: Monday 12/28 Morning Update
Mom’s numbers pretty much stayed the same overnight with her airvo machine at 45 liters and at 63%. Her O2 saturation dropped a little to 90%.
Mom said she slept just about the best she has since she has been there, so that is a really good thing. Her voice sounded clear this morning.
Just keep praying for mom’s lungs to continue to heal.
Answered Prayer #6: Mom’s lungs are healing. She is off the airvo machine!
From Annette: Monday 12/28 Evening Update
Mom had a great day today.
Up until today, I have been hesitant to seem too optimistic here. Things with COVID change so rapidly, I wanted to be honest and not give anyone false hope. Today, however, the news was too good not be be anything but positive.
Mom was moved off her airvo machine today! She was moved to the high flow nasal canula and it is set at 12 liters while her O2 stayed in the mid to upper 90s.
It was such a huge step that her nurse brought her in a diet Pepsi to celebrate with her. The nurse even went on to tell mom, that she had the next two days off work, and mom may be moved back to the 4th floor before she gets back.
Over the years, I have witnessed God answer specific prayers. Maybe not in the way or time frame that I wanted, but the answers have come. Days like today, show that God is still in the business of healing. He works through caring medical professionals and then gives an extra touch of healing. We have seen and felt that healing touch over this last week.
Some of you may not even know my mom, but have been praying for her for a week now. I cannot even begin to know how to thank you for this.
Mom is still sick, but the progress she has made in this past week has been miraculous. Keep praying.
Prayers: Mom to rest and for her lungs to continue to heal.
Answered Prayer #7: Mom’s body is healing. She is able to get around and get a shower.
From Annette: Tuesday 12/29 Morning Update
Sorry for the later than normal post. More and more people are being added to the unit mom is in that the nurses are overwhelmed. It just causes the updates to come later in the morning.
Mom started this morning on 12 liters of oxygen and has already been weaned back to 9 liters this morning (saturation around 96%). She is moving around well enough that she will get a shower today.
Pray for mom to continue to get stronger and heal.
Pray for the nurses on 6b at Mercy in Springfield. They are overwhelmed. When one patient leaves the floor, they are getting almost 5 more in there.
Answered Prayer #8: Mom’s oxygen turned down: her lungs are healing.
From Annette: Tuesday 12/29 Evening Update
Mom has been making steady progress today. Her oxygen machine is down to 6 liters and her O2 has stayed around 94-95%.
Mom got a shower today and the nurse noticed several burn blisters on her back. During one of her bad nights, Mom’s airvo tube was allowed to stay under her back overnight and she was burned. The nurse called a burn doctor and has started treatment for the burns. She is being seen by the burn specialist tomorrow.
Mom is also starting to get mouth sores as well. That is pretty typical for the high level of medication she has been on for the past 8 days. She is also still very weak. Sitting up her her chair and taking a shower was all the energy she had for today.
The final bit of news for today is that Mom’s pulmonologist has taken himself off her case. He said she doesn’t need him anymore. He also told her she is going to be moved back to the 4th floor COVID unit (either sometime tonight or tomorrow). He said that she is better and that they really need the room.
We may be winding down our family’s battle with COVID, but SW Missouri is far from being done with its battle.
For Mom’s body to continue to heal.
The doctors and nurses on 6b at Mercy in Springfield.
From Annette: Wednesday 12/30 Morning Update
Mom didn’t get moved down to another floor last night. There are no longer any rooms available on that floor to be able to move her there (so many people sick with COVID).
Mom’s O2 is now down to 5 liters. That is the level for a home oxygen tank. Her saturation is 95%. These are all great numbers.
Mom will be meeting with the burn specialist, pulmonary rehab, and physical therapy today. Pulmonary rehab will be checking her saturation at rest and then moving her around and seeing how that changes. Even if mom could keep her O2 up at rest, there is a good chance that number will decrease when she moves around. That would just mean mom would have to have an oxygen tank at home. Most COVID patients who have been as sick as mom are on oxygen at home for months after being out of the hospital.
Physical therapy will be coming to check on mom’s mobility and also determine if she will be needing PT at home. That means they will have her up and moving around today too.
All of these are great things, because she is close to being able to come home. However, they will be taking just about all the energy she has to do them.
Praise God for His work in healing Mom.
Mom to have the energy to do all of her evaluations today.
The doctors and nurses in all of our hospitals. Mom came in with the “Thanksgiving” rush and it looks like there will be a much larger surge here in the next week or two from Christmas gatherings.
From Annette: Wednesday 12/30 Evening Update
Mom met with the skin team, physical therapy, and occupational therapy today. The skin team gave her a burn cream and specialized dressing for her burns.
The PT and OT professionals worked with Mom today. If you know my mom, you know that nothing will stop her when she has her mind set to do something. Those two individuals now know that too. Please read into this what you know about my mom.
Mom didn’t meet with the pulmonary rehab team, because usually they come in once discharge papers are being filled out for a patient. However, it probably won’t be too much longer until they come and see her.
Mom’s nurse yesterday and today, Erin, explained that they want her to get as much rest/healing as she can at the hospital. If she is stronger when she goes home, then it will be less likely for her to be back in a few days.
Mom to rest well tonight so her lungs can heal and for her burns to heal.
False Hope: It really looked like Mom was going to get to come home on Thursday, the 31st. If her oxygen needs looked good with pulmonary rehab, she would be coming home.
Answered Prayer #9: Mom has lung and body strength to be considered able to come home.
From Annette: Thursday 12/31 Morning Update
Mom is currently meeting with physical therapy and will be meeting with the pulmonary rehab team today. Dependent on what pulmonary rehab says, mom is either coming home this evening or tomorrow.
A week ago, I could not imagine typing those words out to you. I was certain Mom had at least two more weeks left in the hospital.
God has granted scientists the knowledge to make medicines, doctors the wisdom how to properly treat patients, and nurses the hardworking hearts, kindness, and compassion to see patients through the healing process.
God is also still in the business of healing people. We have seen that and you have been a part of the process and witness to it as well. Never forget what you have witnessed.
I come to this point and I am still sitting with the question: Why did God allow Mom to be healed, while others (some in our own family) died? I will never know the answer to this. Our understanding of “fairness” on this side of eternity is skewed.
What I know is that God is just, loving, compassionate, gracious, and merciful: He will miraculously heal and people will praise Him for the healing; He will walk with you or carry you through through the hurting, pain, and sickness and on the back side you will praise Him for it; or He will take His child home to be with Him in glory where you will praise Him face to face. No matter the result, praise and glory go to God alone.
As we finish out this time together, here are my final requests.
Praise God that He is the healer.
Praise God that you were a witness to His healing.
Praise God that you are now closer to Him, because of mom’s illness.
Praise God that in our worst times we know that, “He will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3
Answered Prayer #10 We prayed specifically for Makenzie on the 27th and today, she saved mom’s life. Even though Mom couldn’t understand what was going on right then, this is an answered prayer.
From Annette: Thursday 12/31 Evening Update
Two steps forward, one step back.
Mom did not get to come home today. She was really hoping to be able to come home and passed through all of her evaluations from physical therapy, occupational therapy, and pulmonary rehab.
Mom was very upset that her doctor hadn’t signed her discharge papers this morning after she passed all of her testing. While she was waiting (still upset), her heart rate spiked to well over 130 (130s-150s) and her nurse called mom’s cardiologist.
The cardiologist ordered an EKG and they found that she was having Afib with RVR. That means her irregular heartbeat was now dangerously fast. The biggest concern with it, is it could cause a stroke. She is now on medication to try and get her heart rate back under 120.
Mom’s pulmonary rehab report said that she would have to have at-home oxygen (1 liter resting, 4 liters active). Even if they can get mom’s heart back under control, she cannot be discharged without the take home oxygen. Since tomorrow is a holiday, the company will be closed. They will be closed all weekend as well. So right now, it looks like mom will be home on Monday.
Pray that mom has peace about having to stay until Monday. She is very ready to be back home.
Pray that her heart rate comes back down to a normal level.
Answered Prayer #11: Mom’s heart rate is back under control.
From Annette: Friday 1/1 Morning Update
Mom’s heart rate was able to come under control overnight. They had to double her heart medication, but she is now stable again.
Yesterday was Mom’s last day of steroids, so today she is coming down off them. She is sad about not being able to come home yesterday and is now feeling how sick she actually is. Steroids help you heal faster and also make you feel invincible. That invincibility is now gone and mom sounds down (even though her numbers are all still good).
Mom needs to have a day where she rests and heals.
Answered Prayer #12: Mom is getting the rest her body desperately needs. We have been praying for her to get rest and she is getting it. She has days where her body is healing. I didn’t want my mom to be so depressed, but God used this time to heal her.
From Annette: Saturday 1/2 Morning Update
I didn’t post anything from yesterday evening, because I could never get a nurse to call me back. No one should be upset about that, because these nurses are working as hard as they can to provide for their patients. The hospital is overwhelmed.
Mom is back to 3 liters of oxygen and her O2 is holding around 91%. Her heart rate is still a little high, but much more under control.
She has already had a lung x-ray today and is scheduled for an EKG as well. These are only to check on her progress and make sure she will be healthy to transition back home.
Mom to get rest and for her body to heal.
Also for her to not be as discouraged as she has been these last few days.
Answered Prayer #13: Mom’s lungs have almost completely healed of the COVID induced pneumonia.
From Annette: Saturday 1/2 Evening Update
Mom has been moved down to floor 4a in the hospital. If you have been calling her room phone, know that they are still working on finding and installing one for her. Mom’s cell phone is having a hard time charging, so contact may be a bit limited.
Mom’s x-ray this morning showed that her Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) has gotten worse. She is retaining fluids, so they changed her diuretic medication. It looks like Mom has a few more days in the hospital than she would like.
After Mom’s open heart surgery two years ago, she was better for a while. Recently, another heart valve has been leaking: COVID has only seemed to make her heart worse. Unfortunately, this is typical of what the virus is doing to both young and old alike.
Mom’s body to get the excess fluids removed.
Mom’s mental/emotional health as she will have to stay many more days than she wants.
Today was an emotionally bad day. Some of the darkest days I have ever seen from my mom. She had lost her will to fight and thought no one cared about her. It didn’t help that she had a nurse who didn’t seem to care too much about her, but ended up being pretty good.
Another very emotional day on my side of this entire time. I had to do something I had never done before. I called my mom and yelled at her, cried to her, and pleaded with her to continue to fight this. I pleaded with her to hold on to what she knew was true as opposed to what she was feeling at the time.
From Annette: Sunday 1/3 Morning Update
Mom hardly slept at all last night in her new unit. She also wasn’t told by anyone yesterday about her CHF getting worse. She was only told that her lungs have cleared up well from the COVID lung that she had.
I haven’t gotten a phone call from a doctor in over a week, so I called her nurse and asked to be given a call today. I have many new questions I need to have answered.
Mom does not have a room phone. There isn’t even a phone jack in her room. Her cell phone still isn’t charging well (asked the nurse about this too) so we are limited in how much contact we can have with her.
Mom needs to get rest today.
From Annette: Sunday 1/3 Evening Update
After having to use my “teacher voice” on the nurse this morning, I was able to find out quite a bit of information about Mom’s condition from her doctor and the nurse today.
Mom’s episode last Thursday (heart rate up to 190 at one point) caused her heart and lungs to not keep up together. That created fluid on her lungs and the congestive heart failure. Since then, they have been using diuretics to get the fluid out of her body.
Mom’s kidneys are still functioning well, so that should mean the fluid should be reducing at this point.
Mom was able to clean out her nose (sorry, really gross story) and afterward her oxygen was dropped to 1 liter and she sounds much less congested. Her heart rate is now under 100 and she appears to be stable again.
Mom needs her lungs to get stronger before they will send her home. When pulmonary rehab comes back, her active O2 needs to be 5 liters or under.
Mom needs to sleep well tonight (another patient was screaming last night).
Mom needs to have her O2, when she is active, under 5 liters.
From Annette: Monday 1/4 Morning Update
Mom’s numbers all stayed pretty much the same overnight. This morning, they finally called in Mom’s regular cardiologist Dr. Birchum (I am sure that isn’t spelled correctly) to check on her.
Dr. Birchum has ordered echo-cardiogram. I am not sure when that will be done today.
Mom is meeting again with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and pulmonary rehab today. Again, she needs her active O2 needs to be at or under 5 liters.
Mom’s heart rate to stay steady today.
Mom’s active oxygen needs to be 5 liters or under.
Answered Prayer #14: Mom didn’t need any oxygen at rest and only needed 3 liters during activity.
From Annette: Monday 1/4 Evening Update
Mom met with Dr. Birchum today and had an echo-cardiogram (echo) today.
Dr. Birchum explained to Mom why they were so scared last Thursday about her heart. Usually when Mom is in Afib, she can feel it happening and then do her breathing exercises and get her heart back into sinus rhythm. What happened Thursday was that Mom went into tachycardia. This is the scary kind of heart issue that can cause heart attacks and death. Mom can’t breathe her way through tachycardia. (There will be a follow-up visit with Dr. Birchum to try to get mom’s heart back into the normal rhythm again.)
During pulmonary rehab today, Mom’s numbers looked great. She didn’t need any oxygen at rest and only needed 3 liters during activity. Thank you for your specific prayers for that, because Mom’s lungs are doing great.
They were going to discharge Mom today, but Dr. Birchum changed mom’s heart medicine today and wants to have her stay one more night, just to make sure she does well with it. Dr. Birchum will go over Mom’s echo with her tomorrow morning and then HOPEFULLY, Mom will be heading home. Please be praying to that end, because Mom is more than ready to come home.
I know Mom was very upset/disappointed/discouraged that she didn’t get to come home last Thursday. She had some very low days, because of that. However, I am so very thankful for her nurse Makenzie who took action and kept her safe.
That the night goes well and Mom gets to come home tomorrow.
Answered Prayer #15: Discharge papers signed!
From Annette: Tuesday 1/5 Morning Update
Mom’s discharge papers have been signed! She slept very well last night and is waiting on Dad to come pick her up and take her home.
The doctor came in and talked with Mom about her echocardiogram she had yesterday. If you can believe this, her heart is in BETTER shape than it was in September. Her Nitrile valve is no longer leaking like it was then (still leaking, but not as bad).
Greenfield people, it would be great if someone could set up a meal train for Mom and Dad for a couple of weeks. Mom blew out three different IVs in her arms and is having trouble lifting them, so help with meals would bless them tremendously. Dad is diabetic, so keep that in mind.
Thank you again to all of you who have shared these posts and have prayed for mom. I know last Thursday I had you praise God, because we thought mom was coming home then. It didn’t hurt any of us to praise God, because He is still worthy of our praise.
Mom and Dad to make it home safe from the hospital.
That everyone can adjust to being back at home.
Praise God that He is still faithful.
Answered Prayer #16: Mom’s heart is in better shape than it was in September. God has been not just healing Mom of COVID issues, but healing her heart beyond what we had asked.
Here we are one week after Mom was discharged from the hospital. Some much healing has continued to happen. Mom is getting her strength back and is able to get some cleaning done and is back to keeping up with her school counselor work from home. She still has a long way to be fully recovered, but praise God that He is still healing her.