For the first month or so, my mom's doctors were very optimistic about her prognosis, as she generally seemed to be improving. Once they had taken care of the rejection and infection issues in her lungs, She needed to regain enough strength to be able to start breathing on her own to be able to recover. Unfortunately that never happened. The doctors and nurses did everything they possibly could for her, and despite the best care possible two months on life support was just too much for her. She had declined and the doctors determined that there was absolutely no hope of recovery. We could have kept her alive longer in the ICU, but that is no way to live, and she didn't want that. We tried absolutely everything possible and gave her every chance there was, but it was no use.
Our family made the decision on September 6th to take her off life support and let her go. None of us wanted to prolong her suffering. We were all there with her, and we all got to say goodbye and how much we loved her while she was still awake. The nurses put her on the maximum dose of morphine and a mild sedative before removing life support. She passed quickly and very peacefully.
(Nurses are amazing and wonderful and under appreciated. If you know a nurse, tell them thank you for all that they do. The nurses at UK hospital were so wonderful to us and we told them every single day my mom was there how much we appreciated everything they did for us and my mom)
It hasn't even been three weeks yet, and I think I'm still in shock. I've cried some, but mostly I've just been numb and living in a daze. I have many good friends that have been incredibly supportive through all of this, and I love them to pieces. Without them (and my family of course), I would be much worse off than I am.
On September 13, exactly a week after my mom died, Lucy was diagnosed with EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis). She was displaying neurological symptoms, not walking correctly, dragging her back feet, muscle atrophy along her topline. We started her on aggressive EPM treatment the next day. Today, September 24th, she has started to show small signs of improvement. She's not dragging her toes as much, and if I put one back foot across the other, she puts it back where it's supposed to be fairly quickly, which last week she wasn't able to do. She's still easily pulled off balance due to the muscle atrophy in her back and hindquarters though. My vet is thrilled with the small improvements she's made. She still has a very long way to go. She will most likely never be rideable again, but as long a she can be a happy, pain free pasture puff I'm fine with that. I just can not loose her yet. Not now.
On the bright side, my brother seems to be coping with loosing our mom as well as can be expected. Starting in late 2011 he has been struggling with severe depression with psychotic episodes, and multiple suicide attempts. He was in a psychiatric hospital for a while, and he has been seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist since. He seems to finally be on the correct medication, and has been doing exceptionally well for almost a year now. We've been watching him like a hawk since my mom went into the hospital the last time, and he's coping well. No suicide attempts. He's got several art projects that he's very excited about, and is an art major at the University of Kentucky and is doing well in his classes so far this semester, through all of this.
I'm just exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I'd love to just go off and live as a hermit away from everyone and everything that could ever cause me pain again. But I can't, as my horses, friends, and family need me.