Marianne Erickson

First post: Sep 27, 2016 Latest post: Oct 19, 2016
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My mom moved into Cherrywood Point in Savage  a year ago June.  She was the fourth resident to move  into the new facility.  The previous winter (2014-15) was a little rough for my mom.  She had some decline in her health and experienced a some mild "forgetfullness".  So, we convinced her to move into Cherrywood.  She has had a great year or so at Cherrywood.  She has Frankie, her dog, with her.  Her health improved, she was getting the right meds, and was eating again.  She has met so many good friends at Cherrywood and has enjoyed playing cards and sitting outside with Frankie and visiting.

My mom has had A-Fib, High Blood Pressure, and Diabetes for quite a while and has been able to keep it all in check with the help of Cherrywood.  The last few months she has felt out of breath and weak.  There were many times when she needed a cold ice pack put on her forehead to help alleviate the dizziness and weak feeling.  She moved from walking with her cane to her walker.  And, asked friends to help take Frankie out.  Her doctor was concerned the last month about my mom's low hemoglobin.  She had suggested a colonoscopy and endoscopy, but my mom did NOT want to do that.  So, last Monday we cancelled the colonoscopy that was scheduled for Thursday, September 22.  Instead, they ran some more blood tests to see if they could get to the bottom of her low hemoglobin.

I took her to the eye doctor last  Monday, September 19.  It was really hard for her to get around and she needed to rest quite a bit. 

Last Tuesday, September 20, I visited my mom in the morning.  She was sitting in the lobby visiting with friends.  The bus was leaving to Cub, but my mom said it was just too hard to go now.  Then she said, "it sucks getting old!"  One of my mom's favorite things to do is go to the grocery store and just push the cart around.  And, fill it up with everything she can think of.  Even if she already has it at home.  She hasn't done this for a month or so.  After I left so she could go to lunch, I was home for about a half an hour and I got a call that my mom wasn't doing well and needed to go to the hospital.  They had gotten the blood tests back and one test, a BNP test, came in at 949.  Normal is 0-149.  This meant she was in heart failure.

They ran various tests and scans at the hospital.  They discovered that my mom has Congestive Heart Failure and Aortic Valve Stenosis.  She probably has had this for a while, but her meds she was taking for her other issues would have been the same to take care of this.  So, she was getting everything she needed.  They were struggling with keeping her hemoglobin up and her blood pressure up.  Tuesday night they put her in the Intensive Care Unit because her blood pressure dropped so much.  By Wednesday afternoon, they were able to put her back in a regular room.  By Thursday she had declined more, but we were talking about getting her back home to Cherrywood.  Thursday we thought she could come back to Cherrywood and just get a little more assistance with things.

By Friday morning she said she could not keep her eyes open and she just wanted to go home and take a long nap.  She could still speak a little bit.  We spoke with the doctors and they pretty much said there was nothing more they could do with the advance stages of her illnesses.  Her body just cannot heal itself anymore.  Friday night I brought Frankie to the hospital.  She was able to say Frankie's name and kind of pet him.  By Saturday morning she was in a deep sleep.  She did still seem to be able to hear us.  Saturday, the doctor wanted us to call all the Grand kids and friends and have them get there to see her.  The doctor didn't think she would even be able to make it back to Cherrywood.

Monday they decided she could go back to Cherrywood.  We were so relieved and the staff and hospice care at Cherrywood is so good.  She is now resting comfortably in her own bed in her own apartment.  And is being cared for by people she knows and loves.   Currently I have the Food Network on for her to listen to.

We aren't sure how much time she has.  It's been a long, exhausting week.  I will try and update here on this site as much as I can.  Hopefully this will help everyone understand the reality we are facing.  It's just tough to call and e-mail each and everyone of you, as much as I would like to.

My mom has a lot of wonderful, caring friends and we appreciate all the support and love you are and have given us.

- Barb (Marianne's Daughter)

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