Thursday June 30th, 2016
This was the day that Mom was released from the hospital. They checked on her early in the morning as the doctor made his rounds. He said they would release her that afternoon. I was praying that they would continue to keep her so that maybe she would have a chance to get better.
I talked with the doctor and asked about Mom’s nutritional status. I asked them to explain to Mom what would happen if she continued to not eat. They said she would not heal, her health would continue to go down hill and she would die. I was adamant about her listening it the doctor, because I still thought that it was her choice to refuse to eat, that it was her fault. I found out later that it was not. I asked them to prescribe an appetite stimulant to help her get back into the habit if eating. And they did.
I listened closely and took notes for her aftercare. What to expect, what to have her do, what to watch out for and when to call a doctor. And off we went to go home. I remember them telling her that she would have to consume large amounts of protein in order to heal and survive because she was so malnourished. She would need protein shakes every few hours. And a product called Rejuven that is for recovery in tough nutritional medical situations.
I remember getting her settled in at home. She was so tired that she just wanted to sleep on the couch and recover. While she was asleep I went to get her prescriptions filled, and went to several drug stores to gather Rejuven, and all the protein shakes, powders and bars that I could find, which was not easy. First they lived in an extremely small town. Second Mom hated anything sweet. So it could not be chocolate, could not be peanut butter, could not be vanilla, strawberry or any other pleasant tasting thing. And it could not be too thick or grainy (all her requirements for her to consume the products).
Do you know how hard it is to find flavorless, high protein products? Everything that had adequate protein, calories and nutrients had some kind of sweet flavor. So I tried to get what seemed would be the lessor of all evils.
I brought all of it home and as instructed I fed her every few hours when she would wake up, or when i could wake her up. And she truly tried the best she could. She understood that she had to do this in order to live, so she choked down the disgusting drinks I made for her, already high in protein, made higher still by the extra powders and potions added to them. Sometimes it was Enliven with extra protein powder. Sometimes it was Rejuven with extra supplements. She would drink them, smoke a cigarette and go back to sleep.
I would keep track of her vitals and take her temperature, blood pressure, pulse and check her MAP. They were all over the place, up and down. I started researching what that meant, then I started researching what happens and what to expect when death is near so I knew the signs. They would not come that day.
I told her I loved her every time she was awake, and I would try to talk about good things and wonderful memories. I tried to get her to talk, but most of the time she was just too tired.
I would take care of Dad too, making sure he ate and had what he needed. I would make the coffee, sit outside with him on the porch. Fix dinner for him. I would hug him and try to tell him it was going to be OK, even though I wasn’t sure of that either. But I didn’t have the heart…I wasn’t brave enough to say that of which I was afraid. It was as if I said it out loud, it would become real. But somehow if I could convince Dad, or at least make him feel better, I could do the same for myself.
And I prayed. And I cried. And I prayed more. I prayed for Mom, I prayed for mercy. I prayed for wisdom, strength and courage. I was lost and had no idea what I was doing, or if I was doing it right. I had no idea if I was making good decisions, so I just prayed.
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