It’s Sunday morning, and I got home an hour or two ago from spending the night at the hospice. Dad was with Mom when I left her and Karen’s headed over later. She’ll spend the night there tonight, and I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon.
Time is very strange at the moment: it feels both like it’s moving very quickly, and that it’s dragging out endlessly. The quick part is remembering that a week ago, we were still having conversations. The slow part is that this terminal restlessness thing is really not very fun. I am incredibly glad that we are mostly able to be there when she needs us. This morning she was briefly coherent enough to realize that she was having nightmares, but mostly she hasn’t been. That said, the vast majority of the time she is simply unconscious — the bad moments are mostly brief windows before another dose of medication, so they’re over quickly.
She was able to swallow one of her medications this morning with a little applesauce, but that’s become rarer over the last couple of days. Yesterday, Karen was using a syringe to give her water. And her temperature has started to fluctuate a bit, which is a sign that her body is beginning to shut down. It probably won’t be much longer.
As always, thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes. I know I’m not being very good about answering emails, but I do appreciate them.
Thursday, July 28th
Mom’s resting comfortably right now, so I thought I’d try writing from the hospice. It’s about 1:30 on Thursday afternoon. The past couple of days have been rougher. Yesterday, Dad got here and found that she’d been moved closer to the nurse’s station, so that they could keep a better eye on her. And last night, she entered a period of what they’re calling terminal restlessness: the nurses had a lot of trouble keeping her in bed (and safe, because she’s really not able to walk anymore) and I believe finally had to sedate her. When I got here today she was sitting up in a chair to keep her calm, but I’ve spent a lot of the past three hours assuring her that it’s okay, and that she shouldn’t try to get up. There’s a nice nurse’s aide sitting with me now, because they’ve put Mom onto crisis care, so she’ll have someone with her round the clock. Karen will get here in a little while, and then I’ll go home and collect Rory and bring him over to spend the night with Dad so that I can stay here through the night.
She mumbles a little and sometimes seems to say entire sentences, but they’re pretty incoherent. I’m honestly not always sure whether she’s not making sense or whether I’m just not understanding. But I do know that she understands us. Yesterday, Karen and I were talking about crying in the car and falling asleep the moment we get home, and Mom — who had seemed unconscious — sat up, held out her hand, and pulled us close to kiss us. And that time I definitely recognized the mumble as “I love you.”
We got several cards yesterday and I read them all to her. I wish I could tell you how she responded but I really couldn’t tell much about her reactions. But I believe that she heard and appreciated them, and I know I appreciated them — knowing how much she is loved makes a hard time a little better.