Guys! You Gotta See This!

I fell in love with this piece of writing the moment I read it and had to share it with more people.

Over-sensitive is an understatement. Sometimes it’s hard to function. Like those days when every human interaction is as tense as tracing the edge of a razor. Conversation is nightmarish. Each rhetorical intonation is internalized. Analyzed. Immediately personalized. Muscles ache from muted intensity. Posture reflects defeat, bowing with hollowed fatigue. Somatic torture of the soul. Believing […]

via Each Day, Try Again — The Brass Whale.com

Surprise Visit

Yesterday my niece and nephew surprised me with a visit. They have been absolutely wonderful during this difficult time. They lost their dad in 2011 and their mom in 2016 and they keep telling me that I was there for them during those times so they are making sure they are there for me during this sorrowful time. The three of us have always been close ever since my sister and her husband adopted them from Russia. They are also close to my mom and losing her is hurting them deeply. To see them doing their best to set that aside to be there for me has moved me beyond words. I just feel so lucky and grateful to have them in my life. They are definitely one of the things that are bringing light to my life right now and pushing the encroaching darkness away.

Saying Goodbye

Today I stayed home. Yesterday the nurse was talking about how my mom’s breathing would become more of a rattle when the end is near. When she said that I felt my heart twist and, at that moment, I knew I just don’t want to be there when mom passes. I think it will just destroy me. My mom and I have discussed it before and I told her that I wasn’t sure I wanted to be there and she said that that was ok. So I feel at peace with my decision. Yesterday, I had a few minutes alone with her so I sat down and spoke to her from my heart. I told her what a good mom she had been and how much I will miss her. I also told her that I am going to be ok and for her not to worry. She was unconscious when I said all this but the doctor keeps telling us that she can hear us. I feel like she heard me, I swear she squeezed my hand three times when I was finished. That has been the family “thing” three squeezes means “I Love You.”

A couple of hours later when it came time for me to leave, the levee broke. I started crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. Just short hiccupping gasps every 20 seconds or so when I started feeling oxygen deprived. I leaned over her and kissed her forehead several times and choked out how much I love her. Walking out of that building and away from her knowing I’d never see her again was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. After I got home though, something surprising happened. I felt lighter then I have in weeks. It’s like a weight on my soul had been lifted.

Flash forward to today and I heard from my sister and nephew that she’s sitting up and talking and eating and drinking again. My nephew said that she was talking to him about robbing a bank (she’s mostly delusional these days) so my nephew told her the bank was closed. Ms. Sassy’s response? “That will only make it more fun.” That is how she has been since early last week. This sense of humor we never knew she had is coming out more and more. Friday night she had us all laughing over her antics. That’s what I want to remember. That’s the final image of her that I want in my head. Sitting up in her hospital bed, holding court over her family and making us all laugh.

Dreams of the Dying

Today I was alone in my mom’s hospital room holding her hand and watching her sleep. I noticed movement behind her eyelids and realized that she was dreaming and I started contemplating what she might be dreaming about. And this poem came into my head and there I was holding my mom’s hand in one of my hands while writing this poem on my phone with the other one.

What do the dying dream of?

Is it the lives they’ve lived and

Are leaving behind?

Or are they going to an orientation

In the life after this one?

Is that why they start speaking again of

Loved ones long gone?

Do they begin drawing near

In the land of dreams

And then break through to

The land of life

As the departure draws closer?

What is it like for them to step back

Through the veil

Only for a brief time?

To see the changes in loved ones

Still journeying among the living.

Or have they watched through

The curtain dividing the two worlds

And have seen everything?

Maybe that’s what the dying dream of

Do they cross over and peer back

At us

Whispering to others about

What is to come?

Sassy

You’re never too old to earn a nickname. Today my 87-year-old mom earned “Sassy.” When she is awake and a little more energized, she has been doing a wee bit of talking back to the nurses. This morning the nurse was feeding her pancakes and she declared them to be “terrible” and had them taken away. And then when the nurse was drawing blood she informed mom that she would be careful and my mom responded with “You better.” She meant it as a funny but I can see a less patient nurse taking that the wrong way. So, my sisters and I were trying to explain that to the nurses today. They seemed to be understanding, which made us feel more comfortable thinking that my mom’s comments would not be taken the wrong way. Mom is still getting tired very easily, especially after eating. The good news today was that she was only on a nasal cannula today and not on BiPAP or the face mask.

We were surprised when the social worker came in this morning to talk to us about rehab. We feel like mom is still pretty far away from being ready for that and I guess that’s how the doctor feels too. It was more of a preliminary talk, nothing set in stone yet. My mom took her usual stance of saying that she just wanted to go home. So my sisters and I talked to her about how she wouldn’t be ready to go home and after some effort, she seemed to agree with us. Let’s hope that mentality remains because she definitely needs some rehab to regain some of her strength and agility. She’s been in bed for over 4 weeks now and has lost a lot of muscle mass and strength during that time. Never a dull moment in this journey. I’ll post tomorrow’s adventure, well tomorrow.

Random Quiz Show

I climb into bed and under the covers

And tiredly settle in.

Just as I’m almost asleep

My brain begins to spin

I take deep breaths and try to stop

My thoughts from where they want to go

But there’s no use for it’s time

For the nightly random quiz show.

First up tonight name my teachers

From Pre-K to grade six

Once I pass that round it’s on to

How many centimeters in a yardstick

Round three involves a tv show

That’s 40 years old.

Name all the Walton children

In order youngest to old.

The final round of the night

Is always the hardest of all

But my brain will not let me rest

Until I’ve answered the call.

Solve the problems in your life

Both major and the small

I lay back in bed and groan

And let out an exasperated sigh

At this rate sleep will come

When the dawning sun is nigh.

Hitting the Proverbial Wall

I took a personal day today and didn’t go to the hospital to see my mom. I guess when my sisters and brother got there she had been moved and was very disoriented and confused and calling me. The nurse told them that she had been doing that for a while. When my sister told me that I felt so horrible and guilty. I felt like I should have been there and felt so selfish for wanting a day of normality. And yet, I needed it. Yesterday afternoon it was like I ran into a solid brick wall emotionally and physically. I was doing ok until mid-afternoon when my brain just kind of said it was done. I couldn’t think straight at all and at first, it worried me. Then I realized that all the stress of my mom’s illness had finally caught up with me and I needed to take time away from it all. I’m going back to see her tomorrow and I’ll share more of an update with you all then.

Mom Update

Mom is doing the same. They have still been unable to wean her off life support because she goes into atrial fibrillation with a heart rate of over 160. So, that’s not the best news for her. I’m cautiously optimistic but realize that her time may be short now. I’ll keep you all posted. ❤️

Mom

My mom is still intubated. They have tried twice to wake her up and both times she has panicked (go figure, she’s waking up with a tube down her throat). Anyway, she’s sedated again and the doctors are going to formulate a new plan. Her vitals are stable though so that’s one good thing. Please keep praying…. ❤️