Our main goal is: quality of life! After undergoing radiation over forty years ago for a parotid tumor that turned out to be non-cancerous (that’s another story) my mom’s health has deteriorated over the years. She lost her hearing (cochlear implant), lost some of her eyesight (double vision), lost ability to swallow which in turned cause her to aspirate food and end up with pneumonia repeatedly. Four years ago she made the difficult decision to go on feeding tube, which means she can’t eat or drink anything. She can only consume special formulas fed via a peg in her stomach.
Fast forward to October 26, 2019 and walking at home she got dizzy and fell down. Paramedics had to be called because she couldn’t get up. The diagnosis: fractured pelvis. The fun didn’t end there, because while in the hospital she aspirated and went into respiratory distress…twice. She developed pneumonia and then acquired various bacteria while inpatient, including MRSA. After a long recovery in ICU, she went home with a walker and round-the-clock oxygen. Several weeks later, she had another dizzy spell and fell at home, resulting in two compression fractures in her back.
Beside the loss in freedom and mobility, the pain was unbearable. She was on pain medications to manage the excruciating aches, nausea medication to treat the side effects and then with the shelter-in-place orders the anxiety definitely set in. She was slowly weaned off oxygen and doctors are amazed at her level of recovery, when just a few months ago they were suggesting palliative care. But we know there’s so much more that can be done for her.
We finally decided to sign up for a medical marijuana card to try to manage all the symptoms as naturally as possible. We remembered the attending physician at the hospital was the first to recommend it and actually encouraged my mom to seek it out as an option. We all want her to continue doing things for herself and look forward to her enjoy simple things, like gardening, sitting at the salon to get a pedicure or going with her grandkids to the mall. We’re excited for this new alternative to help my mom regain her quality of life and rehabilitate to a new normal.