Time’s Running Out

Posted on Wednesday 8 September 2010

I have to write about what’s going on with Mom.  She wants me to, and I said I would, but…   I keep getting lost in my emotions.

Started a bunch of updates, in fact.  All of them were dumped.

It all feels too personal, to be honest — and while Mom never seemed to have much problem with that on her blog, I’ve always veered away from it.   But she wants me to write.  And I said I would try.  So here I am.

Her legs will barely hold her now (it’s pretty scary to watch, actually).  Was it really just three weeks ago that she was driving?   That amazes me.

Yesterday, the nurse came out from hospice to see her.   She was stunned at how declined Mom’s condition is.   She and Mom (and all of us) talked for a very long time about… well… everything.   Mom’s view of where she was in her illness confounded the nurse a bit as well, so at one point, the nurse asked Mom how long she thought she had.

Mom thought maybe a couple of months.

The nurse thinks a week or two.

A week or two?  My mind’s really struggling with that.  Suspecting this was the case is a world away from having it said out loud by a medical professional.

So Mom’s moving to the Community Hospice House this afternoon.

I never wanted that to happen.  I had hoped to be able to have her here, in her own little apartment, until the end.   And we almost made it.   But she’s gotten so very weak…  and there are so many demands on me emotionally just now… and I don’t have the physical or emotional strength to handle the level of care she now needs.

This is going to be a very hard day.

They tell me that if she feels up to it, I/we can take her out for little day trips or whatever.  I hope she can, because I still want to take her up Pack Monadnock to see the hawk migration.

She wanted to see that.

I still want to find some darned spare ribs so I can make her favorite meal.  Doesn’t matter whether she can eat it;  I’ll be happy if she smiles when she smells it — and I could care less whether the Hospice House staff like the aroma.

She loves spare ribs and sauerkraut (so do we!).

There are still so many things, in fact, to share with her.  But I won’t be able to.   We’re out of time.

I know that in my head, but my heart is having a terrible time with all this.

I’m so sorry Mom.

I love you Mom.

6 Comments for 'Time’s Running Out'

    September 8, 2010 | 9:52 am

    Oh Polimom…I am so sorry. Monty’s dad is a few years older than your mom and struggling to live, too. He got over cancer not long ago and had a heart attack last week. It’s so hard to watch them near the ends of their lives and know we don’t have much time left. We are dealing with feelings probably much the same right now, so I KNOW nothing I have to say will help…and yet I want you to know you and your family are in my thoughts. Please tell your mom we love her, give her a hug from me. And YOU will be in my prayers. Sincerely, Tammy

    September 8, 2010 | 12:09 pm

    Hi Tammy — thank you very much for your kind thoughts and prayers. I will tell her, and I WILL give her a hug from you.

    Yes, it’s very hard. I have to say, though, that she seems to be pretty much pain free and relatively comfortable. A blessing, in and of itself, I think.

    September 8, 2010 | 5:45 pm

    I’ve been thinking about you and your Mom a lot lately. I’m sure that Hospice was a tough decision, but it is a good place, far better than a hosital or a nursing home, believe me. Al’s Mom had Hospice care and they were really good.
    Tonight is Lamplighter’s, the Home Ec. club that your Mom belonged to. She knows a lot of the women in this club, in fact, the ones we went to lunch with, when she was here, were all from this club.
    This may sound bad but when your Mom said that she was dying, she really meant it. I’m just glad that she was able to make the trip, still absolutely amazed that she did that. And, after seeing her, even more amazed that she made it to your new house.
    Hang in there! My thoughts and prayers are with you, your Mom and Michela and John.

    September 8, 2010 | 9:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking about you today (I read this at work this morning but was unable to leave a comment then). I’m so glad that you guys are having this time together now. I lived 8 hours away from my mom when she was dying & that was really hard.

    Tell Goldenrod that the Bug says howdy (& if she’s up to it tell her I said Go Braves & Reds!).

    September 9, 2010 | 4:57 pm

    Hi Jacky, Hi Bug. Thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts. Mom had a tough day today, but I think maybe some of the medication changes the hospice folks have brought into play are bringing a bit of relief.

    In fact, I think she may be on the computer right now, even as we ‘speak’ (so to speak…).

    Hi Mom!

    September 10, 2010 | 7:18 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your mother. It is now perhaps six weeks since my mother lapsed into dementia and another generalized and unidentifiable infections which this time they pronounced sepsis, a Greek word meaning for an 87-year old woman death. We were picking pal-bearers.

    Wednesday, we had dinner. I brought her Bud’s, a No. 4 (chilli) with onions. Her long battle with cancer is over but it took a terrible toll and even the decision we urged on her to go through chemo at 87 was a decision about death: to die gruesomely of the Lymphoma-B that was consuming her head or risk a less painful death by chemo. And she is now in remission, but her death has seemed imminent for months.

    A friend encouraged me to talk to her when she was iin dementia, whether she could her or not, to tell her it was OK to let go, that she had a good long life and while we all loved her and would miss her it would be OK. She would be with daddy and everything would be OK, but I could never bring myself to say those words.

    And how she’s home back up on her walker and dressed and is growing her hair back, after three hospitalizations in reaction to her chemo. (The first, when her white blood cell count crash so low they put her in isolation, was the first time we confronted not just her death but our encouragement of chemo).

    Bring her the ribs. Bring her her grandchild. Give her everything you can she loves because it’s all you can do. We’re not doctors or nurses and while we have to police those folks like newly graduated kindergarten teachers sometimes what’s important is that you bring her happiness and joy, that she sees the happy parts of her life: you, Adorable Child, that plate of ribs, as often as you can, everything you can do that brings a smile.

    This on top of the move and your post about your daughter’s experience in her new school is so much to bear at once. I’m not a praying sort but my thoughts are with you.

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