Wednesday night was my mother’s 11th day in the intensive care unit. She begged the nurse to call her father to come to the hospital. The nurse called us to ask and found out from us what my suffering mom couldn’t recall: her dad passed away 18 years ago in 2000.
As the 12th day of her grueling recovery began Thursday, the doctor ordered her to have no visitors until her anxiety level decreases. Mom believes someone is actively trying to kill her and is terrified with anxiety.
Despite me telling everyone not to, someone at the hospital showed her a mirror and she saw her face. Even though this was roughly seven days after the incident, the injuries were still visibly brutal. Three of her top front teeth are broken off at the root. They were found in her airway when she stopped breathing the night she arrived and had to be suctioned out. Her eyes are blackened and she has a huge wound on the top of her head along with a dark bruise below it. Her top-lip was sewn back together because it was half torn off and the bottom of her chin has another large gash. Of course, with her jaw wired shut due to it being broken or fractured in three places, she also has a large metal utility in place of her beautiful smile.
This and the constant questions of who did this has her convinced her “brains had been beat out.” All the staff and nurses at the hospital don’t dispute someone did this to her. But in her fear and paranoia, which are both understandable, she believes someone is still out to get her.
How do you convince someone in her situation that isn’t true?
Even now, almost two weeks after the incident, my mom still has major memory issues. We didn’t notice as many of them as she was first waking up again (unresponsive for days with only her eyes open). We’re seeing more now as she is experiencing severe mental anguish. With her being unable to move her jaw, she can only vocalize a word or two at a time. Most of what she has communicated has been written. But with no answers and silence from the detective, who I haven’t heard from since last week, my mom seems to be filling in the blanks and it is taking us to a very dark place.
Thursday, the nurse called me and told me my mom believed the nurse had been paid off as part of a plot to kill her. Making numerous outlandish claims, my mom became adversarial and angry as her recovery progressed into week two and approached week three. I can’t imagine what any of us would be like in a similar situation, though. She’s been in an ICU room for almost two weeks, can’t speak or eat, and at times can’t remember where she is.
Friday, I had hoped she would improve. Not so. I suffered through my second day of not being able to visit my mother in the hospital and the grief is difficult to articulate. I feel like I should be doing more to help her. The nurse said she was still asserting various delusions and completely believing them. It’s similar to Russell Crowe as John Nash in A Beautiful Mind.
At least she is alive. It’s one positive thought I hold close to me considering where week one took us. But will she ever get her life back, truly? Will she ever be able to live alone again?
These are questions I can’t yet answer.
I’m continuing my investigation and asking anyone with tips or information or leads to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the urging of a number of you, I created a GoFundMe account to help pay for dental repairs for my mom’s smile. She had just completed a major dental procedure she financed before this happened and her smile was her favorite trait. She will need significant work to repair her smile, at a minimum, on the three teeth which were broken. The appliance on her jaw could mean more tooth damage or other complications as well.