150,000-199,999 SparkPoints 150,533

My niece

Friday, May 10, 2013

We woke up Saturday morning to find out that my niece, hubby's oldest niece, had been very jaundiced and fell into her bathtub on Friday and knocked the faucet off the wall with her head, fainted a few times and could not walk. Her husband carried her to the truck and took her to the ER. Her blood pressure was critically low. (71/41) She was put in the ICU and they were saying Saturday morning that her kidneys and liver may be failing completely. She has had several blood transfusions and ran a fever Friday night. They gave her an 80% chance of not making it through. Then later that day they said her liver and kidneys had failed, they gave her 8 blood transfusions, IV's in both arm and IV ports in her groin area with multiple med's being pumped into her, oxygen on her yellow face, slurred speech, blood pressure dangerously low and eyes struggling to focus. The docs told her husband that if she makes it through the weekend there may be a chance she will make it, but they caution she can turn on a dime.

Early Sunday morning during quiet time sh ripped out her feeding tube and took off her oxygen mask. They had to put the feeding tube back in and were told that she couldn't be left alone anymore. Things looked a little more hopeful as she was moved from 80% mortality to 50% mortality. She was taken off of blood pressure med's because she was able to keep it up on her own. She wanted some juice and was given some. She was able to be moved from her bed into a chair beside her bed while they changed her bedding.

Early Monday morning Amber's breathing became labored, she had edema and possible pneumonia. Her kidney's had not improved and discussed whether to do dialysis or not. Liver still wasn't functioning. Her body was still trying to get rid of the toxins that had built up. They brought her mortality rate back up to 80%. They removed one IV port this evening and she removed the other one.

Tuesday, there was a microscopic improvement in her lungs. The liver and kidneys still aren't functioning. Breathing is still very labored. They were giving her Valium to keep her calm. She would panic when she would get short of breath. At this point, they were still detoxing her and everyone thought she would recover, albeit a long road. Yes, this was all caused from alcohol abuse. emoticon

Wednesday, her mom said she seemed different. She seemed like she had given up. Her mom was going to paint her nails in hopes that it would help her feel a bit better. The kidney specialist said that her kidneys were working a tad bit better and they took her off the kidney IV. They said that they would not have to perform dialysis for the time being. The liver doctor said that he still didn't know the extent of damage that had been done to her liver but he did know that the damage was extensive and if the liver does start to recover it will not be very much and she will only be a little better than she was right then. He talked to the family about what she would want in the event she doesn't make it. The liver doctor also said that even though she was conscious and responsive with simple yes / no answers, the toxins in her blood were prohibiting her from being cognitive and and therefore does not know or understand what is happening and that is why she cannot carry on a conversation and stairs blankly most of the time.

Thursday, she seemed more alert. Found out though, that her liver was still degenerating. We talked to my BIL (Hubby's brother that he's closest to in age) and the liver doctor painted a pretty bleak picture!

Friday, they talked to Amber's liver doctor this morning. He said her liver was more enlarged now then has been in recent days. And it was caused by the continuous deterioration of her liver. He talked to my SIL again about talking to Amber and her husband about what we wanted to do if things were to go bad. He didn't have a lot of encouraging things to say unfortunately. She is however in very good spirits today, she got to eat real food tonight, and she's more conscious and cognitive than she has been in the last few days. She actually spoke a little bit this afternoon to my SIL in short sentences three or four words long. Her moments of being lucid are short but more often today than in the last few days. I was told that you could tell by looking at her face she was really enjoying those green beans she got to eat today. Within a 2 hour window they took her out of bed and sat her in a chair and back into bed, gave her some dinner, removed the feeding tube, removed some IV's, and said they would be probably be moving her to another room. At 2 A.M. her husband, who is sleeping in the room with her and going to work in the morning from the hospital, texted her room number as they had just moved her. Her poor husband is starting to show the stress and strain of all of this...poor guy!! On a good note she did talk yesterday and seemed more alert, but her ammonia levels were higher than ever and her liver was continuing to swell.

I've known Amber since she was 10 years old. Although, I can't say that I ever really knew Amber. I do know that she was never confident. She wasn't overweight or ugly or anything but she just had this kind of inferiority complex. She liked to be the center of attention. Whenever my BIL and SIL would have parties she would most likely be there making sure that everyone had a drink. She always went for the hard stuff first. My BIL makes his own beer and had to put a lock on it because she and her friends were always coming over and drinking all of his beer. A few years ago she had a pancreatic attack from drinking too much alcohol. Her mom and dad should have talked to her then about drinking too much. They should have talked to her about this and asked how much she was drinking. They should have insisted she get help! Now, it's too late. Unless a miracle happens the outcome of this isn't good. My BIL and SIL are going to be burying their daughter! Her husband of just 7 months is going to have to bury his wife! I don't blame him really. He's only 28 years old and she hid the alcohol from him. He found alcohol stashed in tons of places. I'm mad because this is all so senseless! There are people whom are born with disabilities and will fight their whole lives to live and to live the best life they could possibly have. Whereas Amber, whom is only 29 years old is going to die without having ever done anything with her life. I'm mad because I feel like my BIL and SIL failed her. She is my SIL's daughter from her first marriage but her biological dad was not much of a dad and my BIL was really more her dad than anything else. He gave her away at her wedding. I feel like my SIL was more of an enabler to her than anything. She let her start drinking while she was still in high school. Alcohol abuse runs in their family. No one was an alcoholic but they did drink quite a bit. I'm sad because of all the things this girl is never going to experience. I'm sad for her brother that will be graduating this month. I'm sad for her little sister whom is still in grade school and I'm sure looked up to her big sister. I am sad for her husband. They've only been married for 7 months! I'm still sad of course, that my SIL and BIL are having to go through this.

This whole just is so utterly and completely senseless!!! I keep going between mad and sad. I can't stop thinking about the whole thing. emoticon emoticon
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sending healthy, healing energy your way my friend....
    1837 days ago
    1837 days ago
    I'm sooo sad for you, and your neice and bil & sil. This is all too hard, Cathy! My prayers are with your neice, you and your family!
    1838 days ago
    Cathy, you know this was a blog that was very painful for me to read, given my own son's alcohol abuse. It is such a sad and tragic story, and I feel for all of Amber's family. I understand your combined feelings of anger and sadness. It is normal to have all those mixed emotions - it is such a loss for someone so young to not be able to experience all that life has to offer. Unfortunately, in our world today, drinking is an acceptable activity, and while many people can just drink recreationally, you never know who will become chemically dependent or will drink to numb the pain in their life, whatever that may be. I agree with the others who said that no one is to blame. As a mother, I beat myself up constantly about what I did wrong or what I should have done to help my son. (He did not start drinking till he was 20.) But, ultimately, I cannot help him, just as Amber's parents or husband or friends couldn't help her, especially if they didn't know all that was going on. The addict has to make that decision. It is so hard to accept that. I am so sorry that Amber did not seek the help she needed before it was too late. I will keep her and all of her family in my prayers. I am so glad that you and Randy have been there with your love and support. emoticon emoticon
    1838 days ago
  • BEFIT018
    Oh, Cathy! I am SO emoticon for all this! Please know you & your family will be in my thoughts & prayers.

    I believe that you can't help anyone until they admit they have a problem & are willing to seek help. I knew a drug addict a few years ago & they are VERY good at hiding their stuff. She was on street drugs not prescriptions. Hiding & denying.

    Anyway, you and your family ARE in my thoughts & prayers, my friend! emoticon
    1839 days ago
    Wow, how sad for everyone! Sending you lots of hugs!!!!
    1839 days ago
  • BARBIE176
    This is truly a very sad story. It all seems so senseless and no one will ever know the what ifs. I had a niece who died of alcohol poisoning and the story was very similar. I am sending you a virtual hug and will continue my prayers for you and the family.
    1839 days ago
    We lost a very good friend in March due to alcohol. He left 2 daughters behind. So senseless. I'm sorry you're all going through this.
    1839 days ago
  • RFJSJ50
    I am so sorry for Amber and for you and your loved ones who are going through this. You all remain in my prayers.
    Please keep in mind that this is a time of trauma for your entire family and it's very easy to think and say and do things that you really do not mean in a moment of crisis. Although it might make us feel better, it doesn't help to place blame on anyone. I come from a family with many alcoholics and I know that they each made their own life choices and will not ask for or accept help from anyone until THEY are ready for it. I have watched close relatives lie and steal and hide their problem regardless of what was said or done for them.
    Please be gentle with yourself and your loved ones at this traumatic time in your lives.
    Sheila emoticon
    1839 days ago
    I am so very sorry. I wish there was more I could say or do. How horrible for all of you.
    1839 days ago
  • JUSTME29
    All I can offer is a virtual shoulder and a virtual hug. I will keep you and yours in my prayers. Try not to be to harsh on you niece's folks, alcoholics are really good at getting what they want with or without help, and addicts won't quit until they decide to. I'm so sorry you are suffering through this right now.
    1839 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.