August 1, 2016

We headed back up the coast, arriving at Torrance Memorial by about 5:30. Mom was checked into Room 3136 in ICU.

Turns out, she’d contracted a bug (we later learned staph), which lead to pneumonia, which lead to respiratory failure, which lead to lung collapse…. and in order to sustain breathing needed a ventilator.

All serious stuff. She was in very able hands, however. Very grateful for Chris, very grateful for Torrance Memorial.

She was heavily sedated, due to being intubated, and seemed completely asleep. In fact, she was aware, able to communicate in a limited way, and glad we were there. She listened to stories about the day, and responded by squeezing her hand or moving her eyebrows. 

Matt had come up with the idea of putting a pen in her hand and having her communicate by spelling out words. He shared some of her written comments. They revealed a knowing about her situation, including questions about what was going to happen. It was profound.

I liked the idea of communicating in this manner, as it gave her a part in the conversation. The dialogue shifted to lighter topics, and even social commentary. She filled sheets and sheets. Fascinating where the mind goes. 


Matt tried using his iPad, which didn’t work as well because we couldn’t move the writing surface quickly enough to capture individual letters… but it was a good effort!

I liked when she accused a nurse of being dismissive, and when she determined the whole experience to be obtuse.


She won’t remember any of this, due to the verced, but it was worthwhile conversation nonetheless.


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