This account tells of personal tragedy but lays out exactly what is happening in US hospitals.
My Mom Has Suffered a Catastrophic Cerebral Hemorrhage
20 November, 2021
Even though we went to bed around 4:30 this morning, sleep did not come easily. I know I was awake until about 5:45 because I could see the sun coming up.
I slept until 7:20 when the telephone in the house rang. One of mom’s friends who heard about her situation on Facebook, called to find out what was happening.
I told him the basics then said we were still sleeping and I had to go.
Of course, once I was awake, that put the ka-bosh on any more sleep. So out to the kitchen I go. I decide to make a pot of coffee.
Mom keeps the coffee in a small container on her counter top, but I saw she had washed it and it was empty in the sink strainer cage to the right of the sink. So I go under the counters looking for the bags of coffee and found the open one.
I put the coffee in the coffee maker, added water and hit BREW.
About 15 minutes later it was done and I come out and pour myself a cup. I go to the fridge to get milk or half and half, and grab the half-full half-gallon of milk. I open it up . . . it’s sour.
Now, I remembered mom keeps non-dairy creamer so I turned around to go ask her where she keeps it . . . . oh shit . . . . she’s not here. She’s probably never coming back. Oh how I broke down and cried.
I just fell apart emotionally. I was an absolute wreck; tears streaming down my face, sobbing, shaking.
Oh, folks, this has hit me so badly I can’t even describe it.
We leave the house and head over to a local Funeral Parlor to give them a heads up. This is the same place that took care of my younger brother when he died in 2017 from esophageal cancer.
As you can imagine, walking in there, remembering my brother, now having to talk about my mother, I fell apart again. My mind was a torrent of memories, a Niagara falls of emotions.
We got through the necessary paperwork. Now, if the end comes, it takes just one phone call and E V E R Y T H I N G will be taken care of. All of it. What a relief to have such good people, willing to help so much.
We get a call from the hospital asking what time we might be there for a consultation with the Doctors. We told them where we were and that we would be at the hospital in about a half hour. Off we went.
We get to the hospital and mom is the same.
The Docs come into the room and I tell them, “I was an emotional wreck yesterday and don’t quite recall the answers you gave me to some questions, so now that I’m a little better, I need to ask again.” They agreed.
Q: I said “You told me that the bleeding in her head was not going to stop. Was a second CT Scan done today to see if it got worse?”
Q: Why not?
A: Because the initial damage was so vast, there is no saving your mom.
Q: You told me that the surgery to try to stop the bleeding is “not worth it.” Not worth it for WHOM?
A: Your mom.
Q: Why, because she’s 78 years old? She’s an active, vibrant woman. She goes out and does her gardening. She drives herself to stores to shop. She is completely mentally sharp, so how it that not worth it?
A: All those things are gone now. The brain damage is too vast.
Q: You told me that people who undergo the surgery, “typically” die.
Q: You told me that folks who suffer this major bleed, “usually” don’t make it to the hospital.
Q: You told me that folks who get the surgery are “mostly” vegetables when they come out.
You want me to authorize you to take out the breathing tube and respirator.
Q: Well then, you are asking me to make a concrete, life or death decision about my mother’s life, and I’m supposed to base that on “Typically” – “usually” and “mostly?” What kind of shit is that? When I was your age, if I gave my boss answers like, “Typically, usually, and mostly” he would have fired my ass!”
A: Medicine is different. Each person is different. We can’t tell the future.
Q: You’re asking me to effectively KILL MY OWN MOTHER by having the tubes taken out!
A: You aren’t killing your mother, your mother was gone the minute she hit the bathroom floor. It was already over, right, then, and there. When the leak took place, it was like an explosion in her skull. It tore through tissue, ripped apart brain matter, allowed leakage that caused pressure to build up, crushing other parts of her brain and cutting off blood flow to even more distant parts. From the moment this started, it was already too late!
(WHAM. A large dose of shitty fucking reality, right in my gut.)
I thought to myself It IS that simple. That IS what happened.
I asked the Doctors what meds they wanted to give her to take the tubes out? Ativan for anxiety and seizures, and a small (2 mg) dose of morphine for pain.
I asked, will these drugs delay what’s happening and make her suffer longer?
I thought about it. I asked my son, her gathered friends, and prayed to God.
I told the doctors, when this happened, we intervened between her and God, to keep her alive. If God wants my mother, he will take her. But if God doesn’t want her to die, then taking out those tubes won’t matter because God gets what God wants.
I authorized the Doctors to administer the drugs, and remove the breathing tube(s).
A few minutes later, nurses came in with the drugs and administered them via IV.
Then the breathing guy came in to remove the tube. Turns out, it was actually TWO tubes. Whenever anyone is intubated on a respirator, one tube goes into the lungs, the other into the stomach, in case they have to pump it out to prevent vomiting.
With that, I fixed my eyes on the vital signs machine. Pulse starts dropping from around 100 BPM. Blood oxygen starts dropping from 100.
a few minutes go by . . .94
92 blood oxygen and pulse down into the 70’s
I completely fell apart. I thought to myself “I did this. I’ve killed my own mother.” My knees buckled. I lost it. The crying was so deep, so thorough, I almost keeled over. The shame and guilt was overwhelming.
I prayed, Please Almighty God Yahweh, forgive me. Please be merciful to my mom. Please Jesus, intervene here right now.
Pulse dropped into the 60’s. Blood oxygen down into the 60’s.
Now, I’m damn near ready to drop dead myself. I kept saying to myself (and maybe out loud) look at what I’ve done. I’m gonna burn in hell forever.
A minute or two later . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . everything stabilized.
Pulse started coming back up, little by little. Mom took deep breaths on her own. Blood oxygen started rising.
After maybe ten-fifteen minutes, the pulse pretty well settled around 74 BPM and her blood oxygen was about 85.
It stayed that way for hours. She was breathing on her own.
She didn’t die.
A few hours later, the hospital sends a worker in to talk about Hospice. They have a unit in the same hospital, but there are also outside companies locally.
That’s when I remembered a question I forgot to ask: My mom had no IV bags. She has IV tubes, but they’re not connected to anything. N0 bags.
So I ask, why is my mom not getting IV fluids?
Ready for this? “Patients who are at end of life don’t get IV fluids while they are . . . transitioning.”
I ask “Transitioning? You mean DYING!”
I bluntly ask: “Who the hell writes this shit for you people?” Transitioning my ass, call it what it is DYING!
The answer . . . That’s our policy.
Fuck your policy.
You told me you wanted me to authorize removal of ADVANCED life support, meaning the respirator. Now, you want to dehydrate and starve her to death? Are you out of your fucking minds?
Answer: this is the way end of life is handled.
Bullshit. It’s one thing to cut out ADVANCED efforts like a respirator and put things into God’s hands, but NOW you want to take away the most BASIC things like water? That’s murder!
I won’t do it. I will not cut off the most basic things she needs. I will not let my mother be dehydrated to death, so you can fill out the cause of death as . . .what. . . Stroke?
Nice little game you’re running here. Kill them through dehydration within three days, then cover up what you did by issuing a cause of death unrelated to anything YOU did. If I did shit like this, I’d be in prison!
OK, OK, we can give her fluids and we can ask the outside contractors if THEY allow that in Hospice.
Fine, give my mom IV fluids.
We leave to go grab dinner. I had not eaten since yesterday. I was tired, emotionally spent, and hungry.
We leave to go to a local restaurant to eat, and had a nice meal.
About two hours later, I get back to the hospital As we are walking in, I said to my son “How much you wanna bet they didn’t put the IV’s?” He looked at me with that “oh no . . . they wouldn’t dare, look.”
We get to mom’s room and . . . . NO IV FLUIDS.
It’s been HOURS. No Fluids.
I go out to the Nurse’s station, and ask, where are the IV fluids my mom is supposed to be getting for the last two hours?
Oh, the Doctors are entering the orders now. It should be down shortly.
We go back into Mom’s room and wait. Fifteen, twenty, thirty minutes. I’m falling down tired.
I walk out to the desk again and said, loud enough for all of them to hear me. My son and I are going home to get some sleep. If I come in here tomorrow morning, and my mom still doesn’t have IV fluids, and I paused and visibly gritted my teeth and said . . . “Things are gonna get ugly in here.”
5 Minutes later, in came the IV fluids and they were hooked up to my mom.
We left the hospital and are now back at my mom’s house to get some sleep. 9:42 PM
What a fucking day.
UPDATE 7:31 AM SUNDAY MORNING
I just got the Punch Line:
The hospital just called. They told me my mom has tested positive for COVID. In my sleepy, groggy, just jumped out of bed condition, I managed to ask if they used a PCR test? The nurse replied “Yes, and Influenza/SARS-Cov2 PCR Test.” I responded “That’s the test that the CDC said has to be discontinued by the end of December because it is so inaccurate; 96% of the positives are FALSE.”
She said, your mother has been moved to the COVID floor,
So there we have it: They used a test that the CDC itself says cannot distinguish between COVID and FLU, to declare my mom has COVID. I guess that means they can make the cash register go KA CHING for the respirator they had her on, to grab themselves another $39,000 from the government because this is now a COVID-related Cerebral Hemorrhage?”
What fucking snakes these people are.
Of course, when I bolted out the door of my house Friday night over my mom’s “stroke” I did not bring my Vitamin D-3, or K-2, or C. I did not bring my Zinc Picolinate or L-Lysine. And I didn’t bring my Lauriciden. Haven’t had any of those since Thursday.
So now I have to rush out and grab what I can and dose-up just to be on the safe side.
Visiting is now severely restricted.
UPDATE 10:20 AM EST —
The hospital called. My mom has died.
Last night, just three or four minutes before going on the air with my radio show, I got a phone call at home from a friend of my mother’s named Terri who lives near her in Pennsylvania. Terri said that my mom had called her because she wasn’t feeling well, and asked Terri and her husband to come over right away. . . .
When Terri and her husband Don arrived, the house was locked. Lights were on, but no one was answering the door. My mom’s car was in its regular parking space.
They called my moms house via cellphone . . . no answer.
So they pried the front door open and entered. They found my mom, face down on the bathroom floor, unable to move or speak coherently. From what they saw, it appeared to them my mom was having a stroke.
They called 911 and an ambulance and paramedics were on the way.
Hearing this, I knew I could not do my live show, so I let the intro run – playing the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, and then Stars and Stripes Forever to celebrate the verdict. When that song was done, I told my audience what had happened just a few minutes earlier. I explained that I could not do the live show and had to leave my home in New Jersey to drive three hours to my mom’s house in Pennsylvania. I told them I would play music for the rest of the show.
My son and I high-tailed it up to Pennsylvania. On the way, we got a call that my mom was being taken to a particular hospital and to meet there.
We arrived and when I went to the Emergency Room Desk to inquire about my mom, the woman at the desk told me to sit down and wait a few minutes because . . . get this . . . “The Chaplain is coming down.”
Oh shit. The Chaplain?
Within a few minutes, the Chaplain came out and took me back to speak to the two neuro-surgeons who looked at my mom. Here’s what they told me:
Mom had suffered a massive, catastrophic bleed in her brain. They said that most people who suffer a bleed that big, don’t even make it to the hospital, but my mom did.
They went on to show me the CT scan images of her brain.
The first image was looking from the top down, and there were two massive white patches which they told me was leaked, clotted blood. Probably the size of a tennis ball on the left, and maybe the size of a golf ball on the right.
But, they told me, there were NOT two separate bleeds. The left had bled so much, it filled the ventricle cavity between the left and right lobes of her brain, then overflowed onto the right side.
Next, they showed me a side view, which showed more white patches of blood going all the way down her brain stem in the rear.
They told me that a person who has this kind of bleed “does not survive.”
They went on to say that if we thought there was any chance of saving her, the surgery would have to be done at a different hospital, down in Wilkes Barre, because that’s where vascular surgeries are done. They cautioned, however, that such a surgery would likely kill my mom, and then the worst part:
IF SHE SURVIVED THE SURGERY, THERE IS SO MUCH DAMAGE TO HER BRAIN THAT SHE WOULD LIKELY NEED A TRACHEA TUbE/RESPIRATOR MACHINE TO BREATHE, FOOD TUBES TO EAT, AND WOULD BE BED RIDDEN FOREVER.
My mom would never want to live like that.
They further explained that they put my mom on a ventilator because she is not breathing on her own. The machine is set to allow her to do so, but she is not doing so.
Then, they asked: If your mom goes into cardiac arrest, what do you want us to do?
Oh good God in Heaven.
…………………………… …………………… I am not God. Who the hell am I to decide?
What if I decide, and I’m wrong? Will I have KILLED my own mother?
My mind is reeling.
They took me in to see her, and her body is twitching. Her eyes are closed, but when we lift her eyelids up, her pupils are fixed and unreactive. She showed no sign of knowing we were even there.
Docs say the twitching is from what’s left of the brain stem, sending sporadic signals to her body.
They then asked me again, what I wanted done?
I was crying so hard. My son was crying. This is the most devastating thing ever.
I love my mom. I don’t want to lose her. But what I saw was not my mom. Lifeless eyes, no response to my touch of her hand.
I told the Docs I needed time to figure this all out. I told them to leave the breathing tube in (they suggested removing it but I said No), but if she codes . . . let nature take its course.
They took that to be a Do Not Resuscitate Directive.
I don’t know what to do.
If we do nothing, the bleeding will continue. The skull does not swell. And the leaking blood cannot be compressed. That leaves the brain itself as the only thing to be crushed by the pressure build up in the skull.
If I ask them to perform the surgery (and they might decide not to) it will probably kill her.
If they perform the surgery and she survives, they believe she will be a vegetable.
Oh Holy God in Heaven, what should I do?
My son and I are now back at my mom’s house. We’ll sleep here tonight and head back to the hospital in the morning.