Mom’s Story

 

My mom’s name is Karen and she passed away October 6th, 2018 at 12:22 PM.

I never realized that this would happen to me. I never thought it was possible to lose my mom at such a young age. I still need her, I’m only 27. I’m sure that it doesn’t really matter how old you are when you mom passes away. It still hurts. My mom had always had her generous amount of health problems, which was unfortunate but she really handled all of them like a champ.

For as long as I can remember, she had allergy issues. Not food allergies, but seasonal. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but they were constant and year round. Amazingly though, she still pushed through. I don’t recall when I first knew about it, but ever since she had me, she has had diabetes. But it was not that severe until her much later years. In January of 2013, we (my family) opened a restaurant. Sometime that May, my mom began to feel “funny” – this was the only way she could describe it.

She went to our hospital, and they found that she had been having strokes. This lead to a bunch of others tests that I wont bore you with. When all was said and done, they found that she had masses in her brain and cancer in one of her kidneys. They immediately planned a surgery to take our her kidney that had cancer. She healed and had a good recovery. She was even back in the restaurant doing light work about 10 days after! The doctors just decided to keep an eye on the masses in her head though. They were too close to a nerve to attempt to treat them. They never changed, which was said to be good because it was likely that she’d had them for years and that they were unlikely to be cancerous.

My mom died cancer free, oddly enough.

But, at this point her diabetes was beginning to get the better of her. She began to have to take insulin to regulate her blood sugar levels, but even that did not help. For many years, she had begged our doctor to send her to an endocrinologist, with no luck. During the beginning of this year, our new doctor had referred her to an endocrinologist. Within 5 – 6 weeks of being on a new medicine to regulate her levels, she was normal, stable, and steady. But, this all happened too late, and the damage had already been done.

When your blood sugar levels are not regulated and normalized, it takes a toll on your kidney. If you remember, she only had one kidney. This one kidney had taken a lot of damage and was doing its best at around 40% function. The doctor even stated that she may end up having to do dialysis in the future. Not only was her kidney taking a beating, but her eyes were as well. She was beginning to lose vision in both eyes. This was because diabetes can eventually cause diabetic macular edema.

Sometime during the summer of this year, she began to notice that she was having some pretty severe shoulder pain when she was physically active. This eventually lead to more pain in the middle of her back. Accompanying this pain was severe shortness of breath doing light physical activity and, what should would describe as, the inability to “catch a good, cleansing breath”. By this time, our doctor (whom we loved so dearly) had taken another job elsewhere and our hospital had not refilled his position.Our hospital compensated losing one doctor by filling the office with “floating” or “traveling” doctors, who would only stay 1 – 3 months.

My mom went into the doctors to attempt to find out why she was experiencing these bizarre symptoms.

I was not there, but my mom and step dad both state that this doctor completely ignored my moms chief complaints; and instead, decided to focus on her diabetes and being more physically active. Remember – at this time, my moms diabetes was completely stabilized and under control, she also ran a restaurant so she rarely sat down. In the end, nothing was done, and she was told that it was simply her stress levels and tension. 

It was no more than 2 weeks later when she woke my step dad up at 2:30 AM saying she was unable to breathe. My step dad came to get me (we live in the same home) and I walked into the living room. She was clearly in respiratory distress. I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her, and said everything was going to be fine. I told my step dad to call me when we know something and went back to bed. I woke up to a phone call at 4 AM…it was my step dad. He said that he needed me to come to the hospital, and that I needed to go wake up my grandparents because he could not get a hold of them.

I rushed to get my clothes on, told my husband what was going on, and went to wake up my grandparents. They were shocked, and began to gather themselves to head to the hospital. I met them there. When I got there, it was explained to me that she was in extreme respiratory distress and her oxygen levels were only at 60%. They had her on an oxygen mask, and had given her an anti anxiety medication to keep her calm. They knew our hospital could not give her the level of care she needed, so they decided to fly her to a bigger, more capable hospital.

The story continues here

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