Monday, February 2, 2009

This Fleeting Moment (Tom Dundee)

My dear friend M has been sitting vigil with her mom today - I know I used this same picture over at Star Maker Machine last week, but it suits here as well. All my candles (purple and otherwise) remain burning for M, Phyllis and their entire family for the strength to accept the next step in their journey - sending love along with the light...


In an update/follow-up on my mom, the following is a distilled-down synopsis of Mari's report to me (in which I've added some editorial comments) from Mom's visit with Dr. E (the new pulmonologist) last Wednesday afternoon - we were able to get questions to the doctor in advance, and it appears many of the items we were concerned with are now *finally* being addressed. Lots of hope and optimism in the air (and not just politically-speaking!) - we now feel pro-active rather than reactive...

Love the new doctor!

We can do OTC Zantac or Pepcid for the burping which, it turns out is quite common - can't believe Dr. C (past pulmonologist) was so nonchalant about it...

Mom is now on the steroids again, which helped tremendously last go-around (but which Dr. C would not prescribe again) - side effects include osteoporosis, thin skin/bruising, higher blood sugar and/or weight gain, but these are risks Mom is absolutely willing to take. Dr. E wants her to see how she's feeling after about a month of the steroids.

If better, we need to look into respiration therapy again (the machines where mom "exercises" with oxygen). When your muscles are out of shape, they use more oxygen. Dr. E stressed that it is important for mom to stay active as best that she can. (Dr. C seemed content to allow mom to vegetate on her corner of the couch, naysaying further respiratory therapy)...

Dr. E really does NOT see any signs of COPD (different from pulmonary fibrosis) from the Chest X-Ray etc. She raised mom's oxygen to Level 6 - can't believe she's been struggling at Level 4 these last few months, when this could have been an option.

BP was 100/70 - so that's good news.

There is lots of fibrosis in the chest x-ray - lung capacity is now at 50%. Imperative that mom should stay away from sick people.

The Connie Circle (the e-mail distribution list I set up with mom's neighbors, my sister and my daughter) is thriving - so great to get regular reports from the home front...

I myself am breathing easier - less worry, more calm...

P.S SMM here and here...

POEM: Otherwise by Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.

All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

QUOTE: "Enjoy every sandwich." ~ Warren Zevon


  1. yes, candles for our "M"....
    Your mom's new dr. sounds wonderful - what a difference. I chafe at the "that's the way we've always done it" attitude so many seem to accept.

  2. Hey, Catherine ~

    I was able to speak briefly with M yesterday - I reiterated that I am at her full disposal, whatever/whenever she needs... and am cooking up a big pot of organic vegetable soup today to take over later...

    The new doctor is amazing - we went with a woman caregiver this time around, and the difference is palpable. The previous doctor seemed more about power and control - this new one is focusing on turning the power back over to mom (what a relief)...

  3. Susan, thank you again for the huge vat of soup, it is delicious and most appreciated! Also thank you for the candles, prayers, support, *friendship* throughout these horrific last few months. Friends like you and Catherine have truly left me going when I felt like crawling into bed and succumbing to the darkness. xoxoxoxo

  4. Hey, M ~

    The soup/salad/muffins felt like something tangible I could do (in the midst of the helplessness) to show my support and love during this most difficult time - on a light note, when I dropped off the food Wednesday night, I told your daughter L: "I'm Italian - I don't know how to cook *small*!"... :-)

    The darkness will come and go, but I'm glad you know there are pockets of light whenever you need them - I remain at your disposal, however/whenever/whatever your needs...