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Bad news is always unexpected

Recovering from bad news

It is more so because nobody wants to get bad news. Ever.

We are never prepared for it.

The day when we are hit hard comes suddenly. It is always at the wrong time.

That is the lightning from a clear sky moment.

Storm, earthquake and flood together.

As I wrote in my articles some time before, it is hard to recognize signs we are given. I missed the gut feeling and signs 100% this time. I believed that every single thing was going so well, I was absolutely calm and peaceful and satisfied with the way our life was at the moment. I sort of disregarded the nagging feeling that something was not right with my mom. I thought we would be talking on Friday night anyway.

Well, we didn’t.

I had to face bad news which was so overwhelming at first that I felt absolutely lost. It did not help being so far away and left in darkness either because the emergency department at P. Stradins Clinical University Hospital in Latvia literally lied to me and told that everything was under control when it absolutely wasn’t. They had not initiated the emergency treatment for more than 24 hours. They totally disregarded anything we told about mom’s medical history. The attending physician made an absolutely wrong clinical decision which was corrected only when at least 30 hours since event had passed.

In such cases, treatment initiation urgency means success. Any delays mean irreversible changes and losses of the brain cells. Being so far away and on the other side of the globe, I was left with the only option: to pray and hope.

I made quite a few calls to Cardiology Centre at P. Stradins Clinical University Hospital.  I was trying to find out why my mom was placed in a general cardiology department instead of neurology department. She had clear and unmistakable stroke symptoms. The attending physician who was in charge on Saturday, February 9, was rather rude and did not want to either listen to me or to give me any smallest information. Quite honestly, I took a deep breath after she rudely disconnected the phone and I felt like some wave of dark water was rolling over me. The feeling of hopelessness was so deep that I had to clench my teeth in order not to scream.

I suppose some people really forget that if we are lucky enough, we all get old and age. I was told it was the case quite frequently at Latvian hospitals that old age people had way fewer chances to survive than the younger ones because they were simply neglected. I could see it so clearly now.

Our prayers were actually responded to. Very luckily for us and my mom, the doctor in charge on Sunday morning was a very skillful one. I do not know his name, however. He immediately initiated blood thinning treatment to dissolve the blood clots which had blocked the blood supply to mom’s brain.

It is hard to say how much success the so much delayed treatment will have. She was left also for almost 28 hours with no water, I mean, she was heavily dehydrated and that means less success in such cases. In fact, it is proven that 42% of patients who had stroke, caused by blood clot, suffered worse and harder to treat conditions than the well-hydrated ones. Water saturation in the blood matters a lot because it is an extra blood thinning factor.

How do I get over the most shattering and shocking experiences, bad news and sleepless nights?

I read a lot of books, non-stop all night.

I paint if I can during the day.

I do hard physical work whenever my health allows for that.

I still believe that universe and God want to treat us well. That is why we can have hope and rely that help will be available.

Mom recognized me when I was talking a small bit today using Facebook Messenger. I know we are not completely out of the woods yet, but it is still so much better than the two previous nights.

Patterns of life and bad news

I had a surgery at the end of January, and I am ok. It will take some time to get over all this and to heal and to recover, but it will be fine at the end.

I cannot reply to all comments and I cannot return all likes because it simply is a difficult time for me. I will do whatever I can and deal with everything else afterwards.

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. I am sorry to hear of your mother’s stoke the the poor care she got initially. At least she has a good doctor now. I will keep you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers, Inese.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 10, 2019
    • Well, the truth is she doesn’t have a treating doctor yet. She arrived by ambulance (it took 2.5 hours to get to hospital! there are very few hospitals unless one is in a larger city) late Friday night Latvian time. They only have 1 doctor in charge on quite many patients, hard to say how many, might about 200 or even more because of flu. There is supposedly a triage and one should receive whatever treatment at some point. The emergency receptionist told me she wasn’t waiting anymore after 1 am, but as it appears they only moved her from hall to a room by 6 am Saturday, that’ s after 7 hours since arrival. Until patient isn’ t in a room, they don’t receive even water. The doctor in charge over weekend saw her only at 2 pm on Saturday and did not treat it as stroke. The first moment when she got treatment with blood thinners to resolve clots was Sunday morning at 8 am. Imagine that time without any real treatment! That is because she got to hospital over the weekend.
      She will see the doctor only on Monday, that is tomorrow, but thankfully, the Saturday doctor in charge started to treat her, so she started to recognize some things. We hope it will be somewhat ok. It’s clear any smallest recovery will take a long time. Hospital will treat only for a week, afterwards it’s up to family where to accommodate her to receive some treatment and possible rehabilitation.

      Like

      February 11, 2019
  2. Holding you and your family in the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 10, 2019
  3. Hi Inese… I do understand some of what you are feeling. Many years ago my mother had a brain aneurysm. She was taken to the local small hospital and they said it was likely just a minor stroke and would be 100% better the next day. They didn’t call a specialist in because it was Sunday and they thought they knew what it was. Well she was 100% worse the next day and they took a spinal tap and found out it was an aneurysm and she was transferred and had brain surgery. We often wondered if she had been correctly diagnosed at first, perhaps she wouldn’t have needed the surgery and the resulting diminishing of her cognitive ability.

    I so hope that your Mother improves and not too much lasting effects. It must be so hard to be far away at these times.

    Hoping also that your strength both physically and because of this stress… emotionally as well. Take care of yourself… Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    February 11, 2019
    • Thanks so much, Diane!
      That’s exactly it: it makes one wonder how much better the situation would be if the diagnosis was correct and treatment initiated immediately. Most likely, your mom would have been much better while most aneurysms still need invasive treatment, there are ways to fix that using a catheter delivered micro-device that fills up the lesion and pretty much renews the blood flow.
      It is what I already mentioned: the sooner a brain injury patient receives help and treatment, the less damage to the brain and less harsh side effects.
      I do not support the idea of artificial intelligence replacing every human occupation and being used in any industry, but the frequent flaws in diagnostics, as well as in prescribing correct doses of medications or assigning suitable and optimal treatment definitely indicate that there is huge need for artificial intelligence to replace medical personnel which can be distracted, absent-minded, simply tired or just a bad doctor or nurse.
      I hope you are doing better now! I so much enjoy your comments and also reading your posts.
      I will be fine as long as mom is somewhat ok.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 11, 2019
  4. ilonapulianauskaite #

    Don’t know what to say, sending a lot of love and wish all the best for you and your family💚

    Liked by 1 person

    February 13, 2019
    • Thanks, Ilona! I don’t know either. Mom is swinging between acceptable and bad. She was very promising yesterday and there was worsening today. I feel like really lost at the moment. We’ve stayed in touch using video calls. I have doctor’s appointment tomorrow, I wish my own condition were at least great.
      Well, we will have to see whether she permanently improves and I so much hope she does. I notified the main guy who is in charge of the medical center since I know him from translating his medical research documents, like a lot of them. Daughter was in touch with the department manager, an excellent doctor. Mom’s care improved significantly. It’s just so that she is 88. It is all more difficult at such age. I hope for good outcome and I pray, but only God knows at this moment how well she does.

      Like

      February 13, 2019
  5. Oh my dear Inese, my heart goes out to you! So sad this happened and you’re right, bad news is never a good thing and comes unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. It’s very difficult being so far away from your mom. I’m glad you had a little time to talk with her through Facebook Messenger.

    No need to reply, I totally understand!

    Love and prayers! God bless you both!
    ❤️carmen

    Like

    February 13, 2019
    • It didn’t end good and my trip turned out to be one to mom’s funeral. As soon as she found out I was coming, she left us.
      This difficult week is behind me now and I think I will be better off in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      March 4, 2019
      • I’m very sad to hear that your mom passed away. The more you love someone, the more you miss them. No one can replace a mother. May God comfort you and give you peace.

        With love and prayers,
        ❤️carmen

        Liked by 2 people

        March 4, 2019
      • Yes, it is exactly so. I thank you very much for wishing God gave me comfort and peace because it is hard to accept that she is gone forever. It was unbearable at first, I am getting used to this thought gradually.
        When I wrote this post, I had so much hope and prayed all the time and from the bottom of my heart. Yet, that wasn’t the God’s plan with us. The mistreatment and negligence at hospital were insane, I think she didn’t want to suffer more and longer.
        The comfort and peace will come after a while. I am glad the previous week is behind me.

        Liked by 2 people

        March 4, 2019
  6. Dear Inese, I’m sending you my best thoughts for your mother and for yourself. I know how it’s like to live far away from your mother and not being able to help her more. I pray for the best for your mother and for you as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 15, 2019
    • Thanks so much! Well, communication is also very difficult, they haven’t thought about any other ways than phone; and when it’s night in Canada, it’s day in Latvia and vice versa. I also still hope some improvement is possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 15, 2019
      • I encourage you, Inese, to keep your faith in receiving good news. And I pray for you to receive good news about such an improvement. Take care of yourself!

        Liked by 2 people

        February 15, 2019
      • Thanks! Well, the treatment is somewhat doubtful. I also cannot practically receive any direct information. It’s just bits and crumbs. They categorically refuse to tell anything over the phone. They also do not list any other way to receive information, so, it’s just all very much what my relatives think and what it looks like.

        Liked by 2 people

        February 15, 2019
      • I know it’s hard, especially when you’re not properly informed, but just keep your faith that it has to be OK. And pray for the best. I really understand that it’s not easy, but you need to keep your hope that everything is going to be OK.

        Liked by 2 people

        February 15, 2019
      • I do everything. I haven’t actually slept for about a week now since the news broke. I am on meds, too, just had a surgery recently and it’s very tiring. She is 88, that is a big number for such condition. I saw her briefly on Facebook Messenger today, she looked a bit better than yesterday. One day she is ok, the next not that much, so it just goes. We have to pray that there is some permanent improvement. Sometimes blood clots come in bunches, and I have no test results to judge objectively.

        Liked by 2 people

        February 15, 2019
      • Inese, try to get a little bit of rest and keep your hope that your mother will get better. It’s all that you can do, but it’s so important… Take care of you!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 16, 2019
      • Well, there are quite a few conditions. Her treating doctor did not think these conditions were reversible. We are looking for a care facility, I mean, my daughter is because I’m not in Latvia. Money is a big issue, everything of that type is very expensive. So, right now, it is a question about funds. I haven’t worked for quite a while, therefore, it is a very difficult issue for me. Last year was very little income, so far I have made practically nothing this year, too. After slip and fall in December, I had a surgery, so< i haven't been in the best shape. Even if I were, who buys art?

        Liked by 2 people

        February 16, 2019
      • Your work is very beautiful and I’m sure you’ll meet the people that will buy your works. I know there are moments like that. but you have to keep your faith. Life is a roller-coaster and you’ll see that it has to get better. I pray for this.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 17, 2019
      • I certainly do, keep up everything. It’s the exhaustion and tiredness. I cannot advertise much or promote anything as I’d need to.
        Staying in loop is very important. Meanwhile, the money is necessary now, for the first period during the next few days. That’s what I mean. This all caught me off guard. I will try to make some promotions and whatever, it’s just so that Facebook has become really bad, we have a few other sites and art sites, but they are visited not frequently. Basically, any promotions go almost unnoticed.
        I did not hear anything about mom today, I have no idea how she’s doing today, but there is practically no treatment over the weekend in Latvian hospitals. The hospital is covering their back and nobody would admit the initial treatment was delayed for almost 2 days which also caused the undesirable side effects.
        I think facilities for old folks treatment are very expensive anywhere, in any country, even more so if that person needs medications administered and is temporarily or permanently incapable of feeding oneself, etc. They only keep them in hospital for about a week to 10 days and that’s up tomorrow. I wish I could help somehow, I will try to make some sales happen or something. I just do not feel well myself at the moment. Wish and get done are two different things.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 17, 2019
      • I totally understand you, Inese. And I really hope that you’ll find ways to find the people that will love having your art in their home and feel the energy of the space changing. I hope that you had good news yesterday about your mother.
        I wish you luck, with all my heart, to sell your beautiful art and have the money necessary to help your mother.
        I’m sorry for replying so late. My son is on vacation and on week-ends and when he is on vacation I feel time speeds up and I never get to do all the things I would want to do (keeping in mind that I want to have as much time possible for him as well, time flies and I want to be there for him, especially that he still enjoys being around me and us – I read a lot about teenagers and I prepare mentally for that time that would eventually come.)
        I’m sending you my best thoughts for your mother to get well and for you as well to get well and be able to promote your beautiful art!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 19, 2019
      • Thanks so much!
        No problem: life is life.
        I will probably need to fly over to Latvia, it’s 1 stop flight since there are no direct flights from Toronto to Riga.
        Well, I will try some advertising and promotion during a few days (if I will get to that, yesterday I was totally off). Most likely I will have to leave for Riga sometime next week. Maybe Thursday or Friday, it depends what flight I can get, I mean what 2 flights.
        I know how I do not emphasize that there is a new art and frequently I do not show or publish it anywhere.
        Thanks for good thoughts.
        My thoughts are literally all the time with mom and all these terrible ups and downs.
        I wanted to post something new since I hate the heading of this post, but didn’t get to that.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 19, 2019
      • I think it’s a great idea to go to Latvia. Your mother will be very happy to see you and you’ll feel better just by being there for her.
        I wish you luck with the promotion. I’m sure there are people out there buying art because we love being surrounded by beautiful things, you just need to find the way to get to them.
        I’m sending you my best thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

        February 19, 2019
      • After recurrent stroke, condition can be up and down and I hope it will be acceptable. I’m even afraid to make any guesses right now.
        Promotions take energy. I wish I had some, maybe tomorrow. There is always tomorrow.
        Thanks!

        Like

        February 19, 2019

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