May 25th, 2014
I got up that day, excited to be having pizza and was worried about my puppy because she had been limping really badly. I tried to call you several times, and there wasn’t any answer. I called dad instead to see if he had spoke with you, but he didn’t answer. He called back several hours later stating he was leaving work and that you were probably asleep. He said he was going to bring you down early to look at Anabelle’s back legs. Dad called me back at 1:57p, telling me that him and Mom wouldn’t be coming over. Mom had fallen and the ambulance was on the way. I should have gone down there, I should have knew there was something wrong when you didn’t answer.
I called everyone, to let them know what’s going on. Went up to the hospital and sat with you in the ER. You were in so much pain, and crying out for relief. You were having trouble breathing, and eventually they took you for tests. They discovered that you had broken 3 ribs and punctured a lung. They stated they weren’t capable to treating the kind of trauma that you had and wanted to transfer you. They wanted to intubate you, to keep your lung from collapsing completely (as it had partially already). They sedated you and gave you pain medication for the ribs before transporting you to IU Methodist.
Dad and I followed behind the ambulance, and we waited for more news. They ran more tests’ (x-ray’s, MRIs, etc) to see what the damage was. I’m sorry mom… I wish it could have been different. They kept you sedated because you wouldn’t be able to breath deeply enough on your own while in pain. We left and came back home, since there wasn’t anything that we could do.
May 26th, 2014
Dad and I went back up to the hospital, and were told there wasn’t any change. It wasn’t worse, but it wasn’t better. You were slightly awake, and could only answer yes or no question’s because of the tubes. We discussed with the hospital about your DNR order. They stated it was already too late for the intubation, and we discussed if your heart stopped, that was it. We didn’t think we’d have to ever use it, and i’m sorry. We left shortly, because they were keeping you sedated still and you were falling asleep.
May 27th, 2014
I had to work today. I volunteered before so that I could get July 3rd off instead. I should have told them I couldn’t work. Dad called me, early evening to let me know that he thought this was it, that you had seemed to be doing a little worse, but they were still optimistic, and were wanting to take you off the ventilator later this week. I should have gone to see you, and I’m sorry that I didn’t. It tears me up, realizing now that I only had one more day with you. I emailed my boss after talking with dad, to let them know what was going on. I asked dad if I should go up, but mom was sedated.
May 28th, 2014
I was sleeping when I got the call. Dad called me at 8:33am, and we talked for 3 minutes and 17 seconds. He told me that this was it, the machine was keeping you alive, and dad knew that wasn’t what you were wanting. Your oxygen was up to 60% on the ventilator, and it should have only been on 20-30% according to your doctor. Dad told me to go get Amber and Rylee, that today was the date.
I went over and woke Amber up, got her and Rylee dressed, and Amber called Nana and Papaw to let them know. Soon everyone knew that this was it. We rushed up to the hospital, to find out that there was blood in your urine, and that you had a fever; a possible infection. The hospital wanted to do more tests, and pull the tubes out, because they also found bruising on your lung. They wanted to put a trach in, and you shook your head no.
Doctor: We can put a trach in, to assist with her breathing.
You: *shakes head and mouths no*
Doctor: You realize if we take the tubes out, that you won’t be able to breathe on your own and that you will die, right?
You: *nods head*
Doctor: Is that what you want? For us to take you off the ventilator?
You: *nods head*
The doctor spoke with Dad again, letting him know that they want make you comfortable until it was time. We came up to the hospital quickly. They had already given you morphine and an anxiety medication, to help keep you calm when you were removed from the machine. We cried…a lot. We didn’t want this to be the end, it was too soon. Too unexpected. Dad was/is devastated that he had to make this choice. The chest tube was only pulling out blood, and they had shut it off. There wasn’t anything else they could do except make you comfortable and help ease it. We continue crying, you still know we are there. You know we love you… Dad says it’s time. I got the nurse, and he came in, telling us what to expect. He told us, that the anxiety medication will help keep you from getting worked up (because you can’t breathe and are choking on the phem that you are unable to cough up), and the morphine, so that you don’t feel the broken ribs. He said once the tube’s come out, it could be a matter of minutes, or days, weeks. He didn’t know. He said that you wouldn’t be able to get a deep breathe like you needed to function, and as your breathing decreased, your heart would start slowing down, and eventually your heart would stop.
The doctor came in, and pulled out the tubes. You gasped for air, and we cried…hard. This couldn’t be it. I had just seen you on Saturday, you had spent time with me and Rylee after we had gone to the zoo. You, dad, Rylee and I went out to dinner, and we were excited for pizza tomorrow. We watched you…we watched the monitor, as we saw your breathing go down, until it didn’t register on the machine.
The nurse came in, and turned it off, and we knew, that you had passed away, but you weren’t in pain anymore.
It has felt like an eternity since you passed, even though it was only Wednesday. So much has happened in such a little amount of time. Amber and I lost you. Rylee lost you. Dad lost you. The world lost you. Everything was looking up, and I feel like it’s my fault. I should have gone down. Dad blames himself too. I try to tell them, that it isn’t his fault. He, or someone else could have been there, and it could have happened in a matter of seconds. Seconds that he was outside feeding the horses.
Dad is lost without you. He doesn’t know what to do. He’s gone from caring for you for 6 years, and having 2 jobs, to losing you, and going to one job. It isn’t fair that when everything was looking up, that this should happen, but haven’t we all learned the hard way, that life isn’t fair?
We are trying to get through, and we know that we’ll never stop missing you. Never stop having moments where it’s too unbearable. You were constantly in our lives, and then gone in an instant. I know that nothing can ever bring you back, nothing can ever take the pain away. I need Dad, as dad needs Amber and I. We are all that we have left, and we’ll make the most of it, and do some things that you’ve always wanted to do, but weren’t able too. We’ll share that love, that passion, and those memories for you.
Rest in Peace, Mom.
Marcella Y. Riffey
8/28/59 – 05/28/14