That was just over a week ago and since then it’s been an absolutely heart wrenching roller coaster. We have been told that it’s not looking good to - well we are making baby steps to - this is a marathon not a sprint. As you can imagine, I immediately went into a frenzied state rushing to my daughter from Charleston, South Carolina. There’s never a good time for a crisis, but with a job loss due to covid and a recent move, there’s simply no money, no savings and my resources were already drained. I literally had to ask friends on Facebook for help with gas money to get here.
Regional One Health, where Gabrielle is in General ICU, normally offers an area to do laundry, sleep or shower, but due to covid and being short staffed, that program is no longer available. There are no hotel vouchers being given and also due to the covid restrictions, I am not allowed to stay overnight in her room. Honestly I am simply grateful to be allowed with her during the days.
Gabrielle’s condition is very complex. It started out as a sodium/electrolyte imbalance and has morphed into a multi-organ crisis. She is now in liver failure and kidney failure. Gabrielle is also experiencing ICU delirium. She has so much toxic fluid on her body that her lungs are also in danger of shutting down. To make things even more difficult to treat, there is internal bleeding that has yet to be controlled. Each day since we have been here she has needed anywhere from 1 to 4 units of blood products. She is currently on a CRRT dialysis that is doing the work of her kidneys and trying to pull the excess fluid off her body.
It’s literally an hour to hour balancing act that keeps us praying around the clock. We have to get the kidneys working and keep her breathing before we can even begin to address the liver and etc...We are seeing little wins here and there like her bp holding and her oxygen improving, but the big picture is a scary one! That is why I must be here to observe, to help with her care and to keep her from slipping away into a dangerous mental decline.
I won’t kid you; I am scared out of my mind. Gabrielle has to get through this and be okay. There really is no other option I can mentally deal with right now. The stress is palpable and all I want to do is remain a soothing and loving mom for my daughter AND be here to advocate for her wellness.
One of the biggest differences in patients who survive in the ICU is that they had someone in there with them every step of the way as opposed to those who didn't. My daughter is depending on me and I cannot let her down.
The Monday after this occurred was to be my first day in a post-covid virtual / at home job doing insurance. I thought maybe I could try to learn the new job while I was here with Gabrielle and make it work, so I grabbed my laptop and brought it with me to Tennessee. I found out quickly that it was simply impossible to focus while helping with my daughter’s care and truly being present for her.
Obviously this has left me in a very precarious financial situation. So to make the best of it, I am sleeping in my SUV overnight and using store bathrooms to freshen up wherever I can. I have now started borrowing money for food.
In addition to the future medical costs including rehabilitation, physical therapy and more that I have no clue about yet, I also need to keep my rent paid and find a way to survive while I am here with Gabrielle. There’s no way to know how long that may be, but I have to remain here for her until we can go home.
Please take a few moments to pray for Gabrielle’s healing and recovery. If you have friends or a prayer circle, please ask them to lift her up in prayers as well. If you are so inclined and would like to help us get through this, we would definitely be grateful. Anything you feel is appropriate will be used wisely to support my stay here in Tennesse as well as making sure that Gabrielle and I have a home to return to.
Truly we thank you!
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