Monday, October 22, 2007


On Sunday morning I wrote:

In Chicago in a beautiful hotel waiting for breakfast. Mom has had a heart attack and at this time they don't know if she'll continue to decline or stabilize.

I suspect that this might be a kind of cascade failure from an infection no one knew she had--the decline in the last few months, that fall, the sepsis, the heart attack.

Cascade failure. The engineer's nightmare. The famous blackout of 1965 was caused by cascading failure. Cascade failures start with one small, seemingly non-catastrophic event, but the event happens at a place of hidden vulnerability and it causes something a little larger which ripples outward. Dominoes falling. For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost...

This morning she was sitting up and the nurse said she was doing well, in no apparent discomfort. She seems to have some trouble chewing, but she was to be evaluated by a therapist today. What does this mean, we ask the medical staff. They tell us test results. EKGs, enzymes. Blood results. They say she is 92. They do not say that they don't know, but the truth is, they don't know. How fierce this rear guard action, the obstinate processes. We wait to see.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there. -Michelle

October 22, 2007 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart and hopes go out to you, Maureen.

October 22, 2007 11:46 PM  
Blogger Splinister said...

*Hugs* Thinking of you and your family.

October 23, 2007 6:06 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

How awful that "cascading failure" sounds so poetic. Hope for the best for you and mom...

October 27, 2007 11:58 AM  
Blogger Haddayr said...

oh, no.

November 03, 2007 12:00 PM  

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