Colleen's Journey

Taken by Surprise…

Hi friends,

Things have changed pretty dramatically since we left for this gorgeous island.  Our Mom, despite all of her health issues and having been drained only the day before leaving, was vibrate, relatively energetic, and a picture of health and beauty. 

We arrived in Kaua’i on Thursday, January 10th.  Thursday night, Friday, and most of Saturday were so much fun.  We were able to enjoy nice dinners, ample pool/beach time, and great food and drinks together as a family.  Towards the end of the day on Saturday it was clear that our mom was slowing down and feeling much more pain.  On Saturday night, she woke up in the middle of the night and tried to sit up.  She experienced breath-taking excruciating pain in her left side which really alarmed her, Billie, and Kathy, who were thankfully in the room to assist her. 

On Sunday morning, her pain and shortness of breath had increased significantly.  With the help of Nicole and Billy’s dear friends, Fawn and Eric, we were able to get mom into the Wilcox Medical Center ER quickly.  At this point, she was still independently mobile and insisting on walking on her own.  Heading into the ER she even walked out of her way to take photos with the roosters lurkering around the entrance. 

The doctor we met in the ER was wonderful.  Not only was he thorough, he was empathetic and showed our mom sincere compassion.  Ultimately, he ruled out a possible pulmonary embolism and concluded that her increased pain was from a newly developed pleural effusion in her left middle lung which matches closely the one on her right. 

Once we returned to the hotel from the ER, mom still insisted on walking to her room.  However, such exertion caused a horrible coughing spell and panic attack which left her nearly vomiting over a balcony.  Since returning from the hospital on Sunday, mom’s pain and fatigue has dramatically increased.  She now requires round the clock pain management and is unable to walk more than 10-15 feet.  However, mom is still trying to get out of her room with wheelchair assistance and enjoy the resort.  In fact, she was able to leave the room twice yesterday, once to join us for a breakfast and a second time to sit by the pool.  We were able to set up an over-stuffed lounge chair by the pool with enough pillows to make her comfortable.  For the most part, however, Mom needs to rest most of the day and has declined rapidly.