Mom is still hanging on. She is one heck of a fighter. She has been sleeping (comatose) for over 48 hours now (not counting the 12 hours before her abrupt waking on Wednesday morning). Up until last night, her breathing was 6 breaths a minute but it has changed to more shallow breathing with short periods of apnea in between. There have been a few times where she has gotten gurgley (when we've moved her or given her meds). It's a little scary to hear her when she gets like that.
She has had a fever for the past few days which has been rising daily. The Tylenol hasn't been helping to manage it at all. Today, it climbed up to 102.5, so we made some ice packs to put under her armpits and neck to help cool her off. Despite the fever, her feet and extremities are cold. We haven't been able to get a blood pressure reading on her arm today either. The nurse came to visit today (we've had nurses' visits daily) and she explained to us that the fevers, cold extremities and inability to read the blood pressure is due to the recirculation of blood. As her body is shutting down, the blood is circulating more to the vital organs (in her core) and is basically being cut off from the other parts of her body. Because of all of this added work on her heart, her pulse is up to 135. The nurse was very compassionate and spent some time with us explaining the process and asking if we had any questions (we've had Aunt Sharon with us for most of the week, and she's already explained all of this to us so we already understood her condition). When she left, she said she'd see me at our next scheduled appointment on Monday, but that she honestly didn't think Mom would still be here by then. The good thing, the nurse said, is that she seems to be at peace. She doesn't appear to be in pain; she is in a content, deep sleep. She is surrounded by many family members and friends who love her. It is now up to her when she wants to go.
Mom has had a lot of visitors this week and it's been sweet to see the friends and family who have come to give their good-byes. We've had family members fly in from out of town and she even had her high school friend, Cheryl, drive 7 hours this past weekend just to spend one afternoon with her. All of her caregivers have come to spend time with her, all of her siblings, some friends from church. All week has been a family sleepover with grandkids who don't want to leave and her kids all around her. Even though it may seem like she doesn't know what is going on, her eyelids will sometimes twitch when someone speaks to her. I do believe she hears us and knows that we are all here. That's probably why she's still here-she's enjoying all this love that she's been receiving.