It's called an anniversary, but we're not having a party.
December 12, 2005
I didn’t sleep a lot last night. My mom was restless. Moaning and calling my name every couple hours. She hasn’t thrown up any bile since last night. My dad just called hospice and told them how bad things got yesterday. We thought she had an accident in bed, but it was a false alarm. We feel she needs a nurse to help us care for her. I’m so exhausted.
My dad just called again wondering why the social worker assigned to us didn’t know anything about my mom’s case. I tried to explain to him that she just started her day…that she probably needed to read the notes from the workers over the weekend. He is very upset.
Our social worker just showed up. She is very animated and loud, but strangely comforting. She and I just went in to greet my mom. She asked my mom if she would like to move into a hospital bed. She doesn’t. I spent another ten minutes explaining the benefits of keeping her head raised, etc. and she finally agreed. My back and arms are getting sore from running to her when she gags and holding her up.
The social worker just left. There was much talk of hospice options, nurses, beds, pads, and funeral arrangements. She also told me that flying home tonight, and returning for the weekend, might not be a good idea if I want to be here when she dies. Our two to four week window has shrunk now to five days or so. The social worker mentioned that she saw a dramatic decline in my mom just in the time she had spent here.
The hospital bed and wheel chair arrived. They set up the bed in the living room. Still waiting for the special bed pad that will make her more comfortable.
The first nurse arrived. He’s male and seems nice enough. Doesn’t seem terribly able to gain any rapport with my mom, but he isn’t rude or anything.
The bed pad arrived.
My mom still moans and asks for me. I have been running in there a lot and don’t feel like the nurse is doing much. I started giving her pain pills and medication for her stomach yesterday. The nurse keeps asking me how much to give her. Isn’t that his job? I’m recording what we are doing and he is making a microwave dinner for himself. He set up camp at the dining room table and I believe he’s doing crosswords.
I just got off the phone with my good friend, Meg. She told me that she found out about her dad dying first thing when she woke up 28 years ago in December. I cried for her and for me. How awful. I feel very guilty for talking to Meg for over an hour. That nurse is not giving my mom the attention she needs.
The new nurse just arrived. She is wonderful. Very grandma-like and very loving towards my mom. She is in the living room with a blanket over her lap. She has promised to check on my mom every half hour.
December 13, 2005
My mom stirred and made some noises. Enough to wake me, although I can barely sleep. Too much on my mind. I ran in to see her, but she didn’t open her eyes.
The nurse checked on my mom. She was sleeping comfortably with my dad at her side.
The nice nurse just woke me with these words, “Carol, your mom just passed.”