Mom is in a very deep sleep on Ventilator..Is this normal?

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Mom had gotten pneumonia november 11,i had called 911 after she started to hallucinate and act strangely..she was alert, and aware, although confused at times.. - then co2 levels rose drastically the next morning and she was admitted to hospital.. and was intubated..she was alert after this, she couldn't speak - but mouthed words... she had difficulty being weaned off of the tube in her mouth - her levels rose again.so they needed to perform tracheostomy..she was sedated several times..they said they were afraid she would remove tube... and then after vent operation, they had to surgically put feeding peg tube in her stomach so that she could eat, and also be transferred from hospital....so 2 operations in the space of 5 days.. and antibiotics to knock out the infection...the hospital could do no more for her.. this was one month after arriving in hospital.. she became lethargic at times, and then woke up right before she was transferred to Nursing Home/Rehab..again she was given something to sedate her for transport.. she has been in a very deep sleep ever since then.. she arrived at NH dec. 11, and woke up only once to my knowledge where she actually spoke some words, and acted as if she knew who i was and that i was there..basically acted like she was there.. not out of it.. that was on the 8th right before going to NH..since then, only recently she opens her eyes..i believe she tries to wake up.. but can't for whatever reason.. maybe she is exhausted, or she is in the healing process.. but only the last few days i have seen any improvement in her consciousness at all.. yesterday she didn't open her eyes ( and once or twice turned her head at the sound of my voice) - but she started to move her lips and smack them..not awake..but looking more like she is really sleeping.. not in a semi unconscious state.. is this normal? does the ventilator have this effect on people? she is 84.. has emphysema..stopped smoking 12 years ago.. but her lungs could not get strong ernough to breath on her own.. hence the vent, and the NH.. i'm hoping she will wake up.. the only thing wrong with her is that she can't breathe on her own..why won't she wake up?? does anyone have any similar situations or advice?? i am her only daughter. i don't know what to do.. i have to start making some long term decisions and i don't know where to begin...

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Hajar, lots of questions, but also lots of complicated medical issues. Is your mother still on a ventilator, still being fed by PEG tube? I'm assuming so if she's not able to wake up. And being sedated for 12 consecutive days probably factors in as well.

Was the water from a pleural effusion? Is she a diabetic? Type I or II?

I'm not a medical person so I'm just asking from experience, but it does sound as though her body is still undergoing some extreme and complicated challenges for recovery.

In my personal experience, I've only seen one person in a similar state, and that's my father. He was medically induced into a coma and remained so for about 2 weeks until the ratio of inhalation and exhalation of air was normalized. He did have a difficult time coming out of the coma. He was 85 at that time.

I would think that with all your mother has gone through, her body may just not be ready and she's still sleeping b/c she needs to be. That sounds like a very nonmedical conclusion, but sometimes the issues are more along that line than something more complex.

What happened in Cancun that brought on this emergency?

BTW, knowing the SE Michigan medical facilities fairly well, if she's at DMC Receiving, she's at a good hospital. Inconvenient and in a bad area, but my father was treated there for a traumatic finger amputation. I had some problems with a few nurses, so if you do, go to the charge nurse immediately, or ask to see and confer with a hospital administrator.

Could you explain this: "I noticed 5 years ago, 1-year ago.. " Did this happen 5 years ago and 1 year ago as well? If so, what were the causes, and the outcome?

I think the fact that she's responding by wrinkling her nose or opening her eyes is a really positive sign!

Is she by any change on a monitor that measure brain activity? I watched this when my father was in a coma. I talked to him, played music on a portable CD player, and watched to see if his brain functions increased. I also sang some of his favorite church hymns.

He responded; his brain function increased. And the infectious disease doctor as well as a nurse confirmed. They recognized that he was responding to music, even while in a coma.

You might try that, playing music for her.
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Deep Sleep.....I'm going through the same situation now with my 82-year-old mom. Not getting up, she's been off of all drugs, was sedated for 12 days, tube, ventilator, dialysis, drained water out of both lungs had pneumonia..2 liters of water drained yesterday. So why isn't she waking up?? TIME is all I here and her being older takes time because the meds are stored in her fat, So for any of you...is it possible for her to wake up. It has been a week now after Monday's sedation because we flew her on-air ambulance Cancun Mexico to US Detroit. moves her lips, the nurse that washed her said she wrinkles her face when they wash her, eyes open few times.I noticed 5 years ago, 1-year ago.. is this normal..waiting game. What do I do??? Hajar Kayat
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Dora, if it's any consolation, my father was on a ventilator and in the induced coma for a few weeks. An ICU nurse and a pulmonary doctor told me I should expect that he wouldn't survive, but if he did, he wouldn't be able to walk. I told them they didn't know my father!

I fought their prejudice and willingness to just give up on an 85 year old man. It wasn't the first time I challenged the "quitter attitude." Eventually, 7 months later, Dad came home, after being decannulated and having speech therapy. A few months later he passed a swallowing test and began eating real food.

He'll shortly celebrate his 98th birthday. He still walks and causes me great anxiety when he's out walking in this heat.

I read all I could on his situation and asked doctors and nurses a lot of questions. By the time he came home, I had two 3 ring binders filled with medical information downloaded from online.

Your mother may be sleeping b/c that's what her body needs, or b/c of a combination of meds, etc. Even after Dad came out of the coma, he slept a lot, especially when he was hemorraging internally.

So, don't give up; hang in there! Learn as much as you can about all the complicated and interactive situations and ask as many questions as you feel necessary.

And just keep holding your mother's hand when you visit her. Although we don't really know how much she's sensing now, I do believe that the power of touch can communicate words that can't be heard.
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Thank you for responding to my question it's just the same thing everyday test results come back clear everything's fine they keep saying they don't know why she's stuck asleep I was reading another post on this site where another girl was going through the same thing her mother ended up passing away and being put in a nursing home and not much solution was found I don't want that to happen to my mom. I just thought I would post in case someone else has been through a similar situation.
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Dora, there are a lot of things happening when someone is in a situation similar to your mother's. It may seem as though the doctors are "playing guessing games", but these might actually be their attempts to find a solution to the situation, or wait until various body levels stabilize.

She can't be removed from the ventilator until certain medical conditions are met, specifically, she has to be able to breathe on her own. And apparently that isn't happening right now, b/c of her carbon dioxide level. So they can't "unsedate her and take her off the vent".

This is too complex a situation for anyone here to diagnose. There are some medical people, but primarily this is a forum of caregivers. And w/o more information on SAT rates, CO2 level, etc., no one can really second guess the doctors. The medical people could probably offer more insight into the situation to make it more understandable though.

In the meantime, perhaps you could try to make her more comfortable and relaxed, just by sitting with her, holding her hand, talking soothingly.

When my father was intubated and in a chemically induced coma, I brought a small portable CD and played his favorite songs for him. I watched the meters monitoring his various levels; I can't remember the name of the instruments these 13 years later. But some of the ICU nurses watched the change when I played the music, and they agreed he was responding.

Music does have soothing capabilities; perhaps it might help your mother until the medical issues are stabilized.

Have you had any really serious discussions with the doctors to address your concerns? That's the first thing I would do to understand more the methods they're using to treat her.
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My mom is in a similar situation. Can you please comment if you still have access to this account. I know its 3 yrs later. My moms carbon dioxides levels were very high and they think she might have taken a double dose of valum and sleeping meds and went to the hospital, and is on a ventilator. They lower her sedation every morning and try to get her to blink, stick her tongue out, and squueeze her hand and when they cant they resedate her and try again the next day. She has lung issues. But has always been fine. They need to unsedate her and take her off the vent and let her body wake up but they wont take her off bc of the carbon dioxide level. Anyone know what is wrong? Drs are playing guessing games its awful. My mom cries and open her eyes at me. She is miserable and cant communicate but i know she is there. It is breaking my heart. Any advice would help.
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Thank You Ba8alou - i know..
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Michele; Be well and strong; remember that YOU are in God's hands too. Hugs!
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well.. the battle is almost over my friends.. Thank you all for your support and kind words.. Mom has a week or two left i believe..her kidneys are failing now..her blood pressure plummeted and was given dopamine to raise it back to normal levels.. well it worked, but in the process - her kidneys began failing.. she is in god's hands now.. I was told that nuerologically she will not recover from this event.. I will sign the DNR today.. I tried my best.. I really did.. but this was a battle we couldn't win Thank you all again... michele alyce brooklyn, n.y.
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Marymar,

I am so sorry for your loss and for the hard time you went through with your mom. your advice to lisamichelle is right on. Make peace with mom, even though she is unconscious. Let her know how much you love her, let her know you are doing your best to look out for her.
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