Thursday, October 15, 2009

Doctor JET

PICTURED: Connie, Mom holding Tucker, and Matthew.

My 85-year-old mother, Joyce E. Tiffany (known as Dr. JET to many), is in ICU at the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), the regional trauma center. Mom was found unconscious on the floor lobby just outside of her 17th floor apartment in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. My brother Matthew, who lives in Minneapolis with his wife Connie, called me on Tuesday morning and they remained with Mom throughout the day.

I visited Mom at HCMC on Wednesday morning. She was not sedated and sleepily looked at me and then her eyes brightened with recognition. A breathing tube was in, so she could not speak. Mom is breathing on her own, the tube is just for fresh air and the plan is to have it taken out as soon as all the tests that requires her to be physically still are completed (hopefully today).

When I talked with Mom, squeezed her hand and patted her shoulder she nodded or shook her head in reply to my questions. She was not in any pain, she was warm and comfortable. How precious the words I love you are.

Yesterday’s MRI revealed that Mom has had two small strokes; one that triggered Tuesday’s events and one some time in the past.

Today, the docs have ordered a brain MRA scan, which is used to specifically evaluate the vessels of the brain for aneurysms, stroke and AVMs (vascular malformation)

Because Mom will not need to be sedated once the tube is out, she will be able to talk and we hope to learn more about how the strokes may have affected her. When I was there yesterday I saw none of the signs I usually associate with people who have had strokes.

I am going back to HCMC tomorrow (Friday). Matthew and his wife Connie visit Mom daily and the docs call Matthew with updates that he passes along to friends and family.

Mom is receiving excellent care. We are taking this day by day. It is scary and at times overwhelming – this is my mother – but I tend to click into my intellectual, problem solver mindset, which I am sure is the best way forward to help her. My brothers (Mark & Matthew) are ever loving and supportive, as are my husband, Ian, and son Richard.


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