Saturday, January 27, 2007

'I'm so tired and I just wanna go home'

I made a blitz of a trip to see my mother, 450 miles one way up yesterday afternoon, then another 450 back today, after a visit with her in the nursing home this morning.

Faithful readers will remember she fell and broke her hip a couple of weeks ago. She underwent hip replacement surgery, for which her heart meds and coumadin had to be cut back, then had a bout of atrial fibrillation. Every time she's had one of these bouts, her mental functioning has gone down a notch, I suspect because not enough oxygen gets circulated into her brain. She has Alzheimer's.

She's definitely worse than last time I saw her, in October. Today, she stayed a little confused about who I am, even thought I made sure to tell her a couple of times. She sat and talked for a couple of minutes, though what she said didn't make sense, then the light just seemed to go out. She quit talking and just sat there.

She did this last week, when I called to talk to her. Pain meds could be muddling her mind a bit, but my sense is this is how she is now. She cried and fussed in pain when the aide put her on the toilet.

My mother looks skeletal. She is so thin and without padding, I could see the shape of every bone in her face and skull. The aide said she doesn't want to eat, except for a few sweets. This is nothing new, except maybe the degree. She's grown progressively thinner the last few years.

A nurse told me "not to get my hopes up" my mother would be able to walk around again, or show significant improvement.

No, I won't. I got the sense, sitting with her, my mother wants to go on out of this life. It's just a question of how long it will take her body to cooperate. I anointed her with oil, as she slept, asking God to bless her and keep her, make her comfortable, take away her pain and anxiety, then wrap her in his arms and take her home when the time comes.

I flew back up the highway, longing for my little haven of a home, messy and grubby though it is -- sure sign of a blogger, I hear. Betsy, who is the best dog in the world, accompanied me on the trip, and I was glad for her companionship. She loves to go with me, but even she was tired and starting to fret the last miles of the trip.

I came in, checked my e-mail, fixed supper and unloaded the car while it cooked. Now I'm sitting, thinking, and listening to the great music of the young Rod Stewart, courtesy of MadPriest, as I sip a glass of wine.

Thanks, Maddie. It's just what I needed.


Share Cropper said...

Sending love and prayers your way, Pat. Young Rod Stewart does help!

Grandmère Mimi said...

Pat, I'm so sorry. Love and prayers from me, too.

My mother had many health problems for 5 years, culminating in a serious stroke, after which she went into a nursing home. Although her mind was alert and aware, she was depressed and miserable for the remaining 10 months of her life.

I know it's very hard on you to see your mother in that state, but perhaps she, if not the rest of the family, is better off not being aware of all that's happening in her life. I sometimes wished that my mother had not been so aware.

God bless her, and you, and the rest of your family.

KJ said...

((((Pat))))) Peace of Christ to your mother, to you, and your family.

pseudopiskie said...

We suspect our Mom quit taking her meds - spit them out eventually. She had fallen and hurt her arm so she couldn't use her walker and had to be dependent on others to wheel her around. Her mind was ok tho her memory of past events was amusing. She was just tired of living at 93 and being dependent was too much. She died on Good Friday while her "surrogate daughter" (our folks were "adopted" by a local younger couple who had no parents to whom we will be eternally grateful) was with her and I was on the road headed south.

If you don't mind, my prayer will be for God to find room for your mom as soon as possible.

Caminante said...

I am so glad you could anoint your mother. Think of it as a blanket of God's love covering her. Then anoint yourself or get someone to anoint you so you can be likewise covered.

Saint Pat said...

Thanks everyone, for your prayers, and for the good advice.

Sharecropper and KJ thank you for your prayers.

Pseudopiskie, my mom simply quit taking her meds a few years ago -- resulting in a trip to the hospital. Then, she got so confused, she couldn't keep up with them, even though I would sort them into pill organizers for her, leading to the final hospitalization here. She could go today or in two years, but my sense is, she's ready to go now. Thank you.

Mimi, l think you're right too; it's that flicker of awareness that makes her miserable.

Caminante, thanks, and I will anoint myself tonight, then get a priest or prayer minister to anoint myself ASAP.

Eileen said...

Pat - Please know I'm adding you and your mom to my prayer list, pronto.

May the Lord bless and keep you both close to his bosom at this difficult time, and may he continue to bring you both into contact with people who care and who will wish to ease your way. Amen.