24

What is the point in holding on when there is nothing left that is worth holding onto?

I have faced the stark realisation that my goals, ambitions are pitifully delusional. I should have realised 8 years ago well earlier than that really that my life was never going to be that of a typical young adult. It comes with bitter age, that I have wasted my life chasing something that isn’t possible and never was. In 1998 when I first saw the signs of mum’s illness, life had irrecoverably changed. When it was confirmed a year later, I should have realised that my life would go off course from where I wanted. I do not resent my mum, I resent what happened to us. I resent the fact mum has had a painful past 24 years due to her horrible siblings and her illness. Then I look at 24 and I sometimes wonder if she regrets having me because her life basically got more and more crap since I was born. She lost her mother 18 days before I was born and her father 15 months later, add to the fact her siblings were abusive creatures and her marriage was breaking down. So really I’d blame the fact I was even born, maybe I cursed her life and I wonder if I wasn’t around if her life would be better, maybe she would suffer less.

If I’m not happy then my mum probably isn’t. I don’t think I’ve ever been truly happy, my grimaces are mistaken for smiles. I think my aunt was right when she said my mum should never have had children, she said it was a good thing my mum lost the second baby, because I feel I have inflicted suffering on her. Who knows what she would be now if I didn’t exist? She could be happy and healthy for all I know.

And now, I don’t even know if mum is going to make it home. If she does she is going to require a lot of care, she already did need a fair bit of care before all this crap happened. And more and more crap keeps piling on us; she has an intracranial bleed and fluid on her brain, they were found on a second head CT scan so now the neurosurgeons are involved deciding if they need to operate, and the renal doctors also think she has biliary sepsis so more antibiotics for that. Her femoral line that she was receiving dialysis through has been removed as she doesn’t need dialysis at the moment, they have diagnosed her with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and so I googled this like you do and from the few pages I’ve read the prognosis isn’t always good.

So I’ve decided to go to college tomorrow and inform them that I will be withdrawing my university application. I was never going to get in because a) I’m not good enough and b) I won’t be able to do the course as I’ve got a sick mum to look after. And I don’t think I intend to apply again. 3 applications later I realise it is time to give up. There is no feeling like a failure, I am simply a failure. I have put everything in my medicine/university ‘portfolio’ into a box which I will bin when the next bin collection is due, removed every trace that I have ever had the ambition to become a doctor as far as unfollowing/unsubscribing from medical things. I will leave my blog posts because this blog follows my journey; laughably to realising what a failure I am but we don’t all get a happy ending, life isn’t a fairytale where Disney can create us a new ending if we don’t like it.

The simple maths are: bad things happen to me because I am a bad person. Karma is a very logical system really. Life feels grim at the moment but then I deserve it. I’m going to cancel my counselling sessions tomorrow too because I don’t think you can counsel this, it is the truth. I’m also going to cancel my treatment at the hospital, because a) I do not deserve the expense, it can be used for someone who deserves it and b) there is now no point in trying so hard to get better because there is nothing now to aim towards. I think I’m going to ask to be discharged from my outpatients care because those appointments are deserved by people who are better people than me and deserve to get better. I get ill because I deserve it and that is why there is no point trying to get better.

God wants this and I should stop fighting it.

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Birthday candles

Since I last blogged things have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

From where I left off:
Approximately day 6/7: mum’s head CT scan came back clear, she was put on IV Tazocin as they said she also now has a UTI (urinary tract infection). She was having problems maintaining O2 sats but the ward staff were unconcerned. She has also been started on IV Vitamin K infusions as she is having problems with her blood clotting effectively.
Day 8: mum seems a little better however at this point I’m fed up of not being told by the ward staff exactly what is going on as continually being fobbed off due to my age, they’d rather talk to someone older despite me being next of kin. So I arrange to attend ward round the next day.
Day 9: wait 2 hours to see a doctor who isn’t mum’s doctor who didn’t have a clue what was really going on. Scans through notes and tells me she has pneumonia and a UTI. Mum is looking a lot better than she has for the first time in days and is for once not being sick and eating a little.
Day 10: a doctor turns up and crosses off everything mum had been having e.g Tazocin, fluids, Vitamin K.
Day 11: mum has started becoming drowsy and confused as well as vomiting. She had an abdominal ultrasound today, there is a fatty pouch on her liver which the doctors are not concerned about and cholecystitis cannot be ruled out entirely.
Day 12: drowsiness and confusion are much worse, ward staff tell me everything is fine despite my concerns. A healthcare assistant shouts at my mum for being sick, I make a complaint but despite a ticking off from a nurse her vile behaviour continues.
Day 13: mum’s bloods come back, her LFTs are poor. She is restarted on fluids. Confusion is much worse and very drowsy, barely able to stay awake for more than 10 seconds. Again I’m ignored by the ward staff.
Day 14: I am rang at approximately 5:30pm by the gynae ward to say mum has been moved to the renal unit, no explanation. I am little puzzled but assumed she was going there as perhaps it was a more appropriate ward for observation…
I arrive on this ward, and get the shock of my life. I see my mum on a haemodialysis machine at the exact same time the nurse standing next to me says she needs dialysis. I burst into tears and not long after two of the doctors came to see me to explain everything. My mum’s kidneys have shut down due to a very severe infection, they note her kidney function had been excellent while she was on antibiotics the previous week… I am told she is very ill and that she may require a transfer to the intensive care unit. They say they had to act very rapidly and that the decision to put her on dialysis is in her best interest. I go to sit with my mum while she is having dialysis and try to take in what has happened. At the moment they are treating this as acute renal failure, it is possible her kidneys may recover and that dialysis is a short term measure. She is also in metabolic acidosis due to the renal failure. A lot of Codeine has built up in her body accounting for the drowsiness and she is being treated with Naloxone which is usually used in Morphine overdoses. Mum is reviewed for intensive care due to concerns over her level of consciousness as it is causing respiratory depression and she’s having big dips in O2 sats % and poor arterial blood gases. IV antibiotics restarted, Tazocin and Gentamicin as Urosepsis is suspected.
Day 15: relieved to know mum is still on the renal ward following the ITU review. Mum had another dialysis session. She is very agitated and confused.
Day 16: there are concerns over just how agitated and confused she is. The doctors take advice from the psychiatric on-call who says the problem is medical and mum is put on Haloperidol and Lorazepam to calm her down a bit.
Day 17: still agitated and confused. The plan is to treat intensively with IV antibiotics over the weekend. She is too confused to drink properly. She had another dialysis session. There is now concern over the risk of refeeding syndrome as she has been nil by mouth for so long. I noticed previously her tongue and mouth were cracked due to being so dry.
Day 18: not much change, other than as mentioned heavy antibiotic therapy.
Day 19: She is still confused but less agitated. I fed her a pot of yogurt and helped her drink a couple of cups of water. Antibiotic therapy continues. The nurse says she will be having a blood transfusion today (14/01) when she has a dialysis session which she thinks is because mum is anaemic.

It’s my birthday tomorrow and this is horrible, I went past the birthday candles and cakes in a shop and I was so tearful. It’s hard to put into words, but your birthday is so obviously tied to your parents especially your mum.. Birthdays are meant to be happy occasions, to celebrate. I find birthdays a bit difficult anyway usually because I find it hard to accept another year going past, getting older scares me to be honest. I just don’t know whether to just not acknowledge it this year or what.

Even though mum is ‘stable’ I’m just so scared at the moment as I’ve never seen her so ill.

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