Presently I am in the bed nearest to the bathroom in a hotel room across the hall from but within the same hotel as my mother’s fiance and one of his boys. My sister is with them just now. DJ is trying to sleep in the other double. Our window looks out onto the offices of Dr. U. O. Kau across the street. This place is a city by Canadian standards, but in Massachusetts, hamlet might be more apt. The traffic is no more dense than in my small hometown. On the other end of the city, there is a hospital. On the fourth floor, the floor parallel to mine, in the critical care unit, is another room. There, a nurse observes my mother’s body from the corner of the room.
A vast array of medical equipment surrounds a bed placed in primary position. To the left, a number of IVs drip medication to keep her blood pressure low enough for what’s left of her heart to maintain a pulse. She receives liquid nutrition through a tube that enters through her nose. Another, snaked down her mouth, aids her breathing. Her medical outfitting is extremely unconfortable, and when she is awake, she is very adamant about letting her medical staff know. They tell me she tries to take out the tubes, complains that her throat is sore—she first went to the hospital because her throat was sore; she exhibited serious flu-like symptoms, common for women, and diabetics in particular during heat failure—she is so violent in her opinions and actions that they have tied one foot and arm to the bed and doubled her sedation treatment to keep her more comfortable and more manageable. My mother’s strong, stubborn personality is to her benefit. The nurse marvels at her surviving this long. Right now she’s resisting everything, treatment and death alike.
Her body makes a small amount of urine, which proves that her kidneys are functioning, however slightly. The same is true of her lungs. If her condition does not improve quickly, her organs will fall into disrepair due to their disuse. The heart medication also damages the kidneys. Unfortunately, last night she was not strong enough even to be transported to another hospital for a transplant. I will check today soon.