Okay, everyone exhale—for the moment.
Turns out my information was partially correct. Or rather, correct, but incomplete. Here is the latest, though I have been unable to contact her Hospice nurse this morning to confirm my understanding.
She has had no (obvious) internal bleeding since Monday night. By all accounts, a hemoglobin level of 4.1 (her reading Tuesday evening) does not support life. (Normal blood volume/red cell count is 12 – 16, i.e. 75% – 100%) Apparently, she has been bleeding internally for some time, which would explain the symptoms I’ve been telling you about. But the first visible discharge was Monday, and though she had no pain, she was close to bleeding to death.
It was fortunate the “care planning” meeting was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the nursing home. Linda, her Hospice nurse, was there at my request. She read the report from the night before, became alarmed, and immediately did the blood test and set things in motion for the transfusions. She ordered the coumadin stopped.
Mother was taken by medical transport from the nursing home to the Ambulatory Infusion Unit (out patient) at St. Mary’s Hospital both Thursday and Friday. Because of her frail condition, they gave her a bed each day, though she didn’t “qualify” to be admitted. Each day she received two units of blood, given slowly over a seven hour period. (For those of you receiving frequent play-by-play reports: I was mistaken, there is no limit, as long as she shows no more signs of internal bleeding.)
Not knowing how she would react, either I or one of her friends was with her all day Thursday. She had a ball—chatting, talking, telling stories, enjoying the company. Wore herself out! Yesterday she was groggy, less coherent, and grumpy. I told her if she was going to party like a teenager she had to expect a bit of a hangover. She giggled.
I will spend a couple hours with her again this afternoon, and expect her to be (comparatively) bright eyed and bushy tailed. Her birthday party is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, July 19 at the nursing home in the “living room” off the main hall.