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Mom Update - 12/20/2008

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been sitting at my computer for the past hour, trying to figure out the most appropriate way to write this email. To be honest, I think I could sit here all night. I don't know the most appropriate way to write it, or if there even is one. I waited to write this email until I made it to Little Rock and was able to see my mom and have a better understanding of our situation. Over the past week to ten days the progression of my mom's disease has been tremendous. She became increasingly agitated and combative and was admitted to UAMS for an overnight stay. During her stay she was evaluated by a team of doctors from the Center on Aging. They determined the following:
- Evaluating dementia on a scale of one to seven, with seven being the most severe and advanced, my mom was rated as a six.
- At that point, the average time patients live is 6 months to two years.

It was recommended that my mom be sent to the Baptist Hospital Geriatric Psychiatric Ward in order for them to regulate her medication and get her combativeness under control (The doctor would not release her to come home because she was a danger to herself and others). It is the doctor's hope, as well as our family's, that we can get her behavior controlled enough to bring her back home with us. Once she is home, Hospice will come into our home to help regulate her medications. The average stay in the Geriatric Psych is 7-10 days. If they cannot get her behavior regulated with these meds, our next option will be a nursing home. 

So, these are facts, but how is my mom? Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw today when I walked into the ward. The last time I saw my mom was when you did - in the pictures that Ashley took. Her decline was so quick and drastic. She is not sleeping (caused by the Alzheimer's) which is causing her to be weak. She was hallucinating today when I visited her, and slurred almost all of her words. She became violent last night so they had to give her extra meds today, adding to her weak state. Tonight, I visited my mom with George and Eleanor. She was a bit more alert, but very tired. She asked George and me to take her home with us, which was heart-breaking. I keep having to assure myself that she no longer thinks as we do, she has crossed into a different place and what she says one minute she forgets the next.

How is my family? We are devastated and grieving together. Watching her suffer is unbearable. We are thankful we have no regrets and are able to rest assured knowing that she will be with the Lord when He calls her home. She has been ready to go to her Heavenly home for so long and has been so open about her Blessed Assurance. Right now we are praying she gets to see Him soon.

I love you all,



Past Posts

Mary Grace

At 2:00 am this morning, our sweet Mary Grace was welcomed to Heaven. We found out this afternoon that she had a large brain hemorrhage. Reid and I spent three precious hours holding our daughter tonight. The nurses wrapped a pink bow around her little head and we swaddled her in a soft pink elephant blanket. During those hours, we told Mary Grace how proud we were of her fight, how she fulfilled our dreams of one day having a daughter to call "Gracie," and we even took a little nap, snuggled together as a family. If we told her we loved her once, we told her a thousand times. We prayed over her and gave her back to the Lord. We miss her more than words can say. I feel like we were punched in the stomach today and left with the wind knocked out of our lungs. Its so hard to understand "why?" in all of this. Tonight when we left the hospital, Reid turned on this song by David Crowder Band and we listened to it on repeat the whole way home. Its the exact state of our

One day at a time

For the first time in my life I feel like I'm truly living one day at a time. Reid and I had a pretty good day yesterday. We were able to sleep in which was wonderful. Reid made us lunch and we sat outside in the backyard. It was a beautiful day and being outside did a lot of good for my mental health. :) There were still a lot of hard moments as memories from the night before would come rushing back to mind. We miss our sweet babies so much. Olivia had a good day yesterday. It was uneventful (which is a very good thing in the NICU) and they were able to turn down some of her medicine. We call every morning to check on our sweet girl and her nurse was quick to tell us how feisty our daughter is. We picked up on that in her first day of life, but it was funny to hear that someone else had observed the same. We are so in love with our feisty little Olivia. After we left the hospital, Reid and I went on a dinner date. It was so good for us to get out and feel like we

Madelyn Barrett

I really don't even know where to begin or how to write this post. I've put it off for several days hoping that maybe if I let things sink in a little more it would be easy. This will never be easy. As you know, we welcomed three beautiful little girls into the world on Friday afternoon. We had hoped to continue to "buy time" and hold off on delivery for several more weeks. God has always had a plan much bigger than either Reid or I could ever imagine. I have to chose to believe, everyday, that somehow this all fits perfectly into that plan. We knew from the time of her delivery that Madelyn was struggling the most. The circumstances surrounding her birth caused a lot of trauma to her tiny body. After a day of fighting for a positive outcome, the neonatologist came to visit with us and told us it was time to let her go. Late Saturday night we went to the NICU to hold our precious baby for the first and last time. She was absolutely perfect and looked just like h


God has blessed our family with quite a surprise! Olivia is getting a little brother or sister in early December. We are thrilled! As of today I am nine weeks along. We went to the doctor several weeks ago and were able to see the tiny bundle and hear the heartbeat. Everything looks great and we are so thankful! I'll share more details in the next few weeks. :)

The babies are here!

Friends and Family, Late this afternoon we became the proud parents of three little girls. Madelyn Barrett: 1 pound Olivia Bain: 1 pound, 5 ounces Mary Grace: 1 pound, 10 ounces The babies are stable in the NICU  tonight and we are hopeful that God is going to move mountains as they grow and thrive. Madelyn's (Baby B) amniotic sac ruptured on Sunday night. We had a sonogram done each day this week to check her heart beat, fluid level, and position. The doctors told us Friday morning that she was not likely to make it and that delivering her was not an option as it put too much risk on Mary Grace and Olivia. Once again, we were told to wait and see. Around 4:30 Friday afternoon I delivered Madelyn. The NICU team was here immediately to begin working on her. When the doctor checked on the status of the other girls, he saw signs of infection and he immediately performed an emergency c-section to deliver Mary Grace and Olivia. We have seen the Lord's mercy through each to