A Walk with Mom: Day 11 & 12

Friday July 8th;  Saturday 9th, 2016

That morning I got up and went into the contracting agency through which I got the job and signed all the documents and tax papers.  All the HR prep work was done. I went back home and slept once again. I slept most of the day, waking up only briefly to eat and go back to bed.

At some point, I got up and did laundry and tried to process the last 10 days. My mind was swimming and I was walking around in a daze. I also sent a lot of time in the phone trying to get Mom transferred up to a hospital in Atlanta, calling every contact and hospital person I knew to talk to in Atlanta and trying to coordinate with the hospital in Alabama.  I was fighting as hard as I could to help Mom as much as possible.

I have no real memory of these two days. I know that I cried a lot, I know that my boyfriend held me a lot and let me cry and vent. He also cooked for me and cleaned. He was veru attentive andnjust let menrest when I mweded amd cry when I nweded. He was my rock duringbthis time. I know that I had to have called friends and family. And mostly I know I slept, having had no really rest for the 10 days prior.

I do remember talking to my sister several times that morning and again around lunch time.  My sister was confused and overwhelmed.  Mom wasn’t eating, how could they get her to eat?  I explained that her mouth was still sore so if she wouldn’t eat anything, get them to make her soup Tomato soup.  When all else failed, she would eat the soup.

Mom was also showing signs of what I would know later as terminal agitation. Ever 3-7 seconds she would shift, move, try to get up out of bed, take her IV wires out, take off her oxygen mask. She would talk about strange things that didn’t seem to make any sense, she was restless, agitated, would constantly pick at the covers and see things that weren’t there.

what we also didn’t know at the time was that this is a natural part of the dying process, but no one told us that.  So it just seemed very bazaar and unnerving.  It seemed unnatural and we didn’t know what to do, how to handle it or how to make it better for Mom.  It was one of the most helpless times and feelings in my life.  I would just take a lot of deep breaths and say prayers to keep calm.  My sister was not used to this though, and was a nervous wreck.

One question, my sister asked, as I heard the exhaustion and exasperation in her voice, “Does Mom need her dentures in to eat? Should she put them in?”  I couldn’t believe what I was being asked.  I just said softly “Yes, she will need to put them on.” I told her where they were and how to put them in if Mom couldn’t.

When I got off the phone my boyfriend just looked at me and knew that I was going to have to go back right then and not wait for the next day.  So I packed up my stuff, loaded the car and was off back to Dothan AL.  I got there a little before dinner time and Mom gave me a big hug,  She made me promise that I would not leave her again.

I remember how shocked I was at how bad she had deteriorated while I was gone. But she had not been able to eat since I left and since her body had rejected the food.  She was weak, had lost what seemed to be a lot of weight off her already tiny and frail frame.


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