Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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.”
Monday, December 11, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Times change. You have kids, lose sleep and suddenly priorities change. I cherish my time alone. I don’t have a lot of girlfriends and it’s okay. Friends can be a lot of work. When I met Chris, I had a large social group. I moved from Minneapolis to Wisconsin and that group shrunk significantly. I stay in contact with one couple. When we moved to Utah, the few friends I had shrunk to even a smaller number. It's all been fine, though. Life with babies just consumed me.
Having more time at home now, I am suddenly aware that I am friend-deficient. Not that I really care, but it has just become more apparent. I have great neighbors – those friendships have come easily. In fact I cherish my Saturday night casual dinners with one couple in particular, but I think I’m finally ready. Ready to expand my friendship circle. Ready to call people and set up get-togethers. Ready to return phone calls (a problem I’ve had for the last few years). Ready to work at being a good friend.
I wait for Harry daily outside his school and watch the other mothers chit chatting. They all seem to know each other. I stand alone each day, leaning on the tree by the sidewalk, hoping that Harrison has remembered his lunchbox. Twenty five of 26 days, he forgets it in the bucket they store them in. Unlike in the past, I'm starting to feel a little left out.
However, I think I’ve met someone I might be interested in. She has a boy Harrison’s age, and a girl a little older than Ella, but in her class. We greet each other almost daily picking up our girls. We’ve had a few playdates with the kids so I feel like we’re on the right track. She’s lived in Utah a long time, but is originally from the Midwest and we seem to have a natural connection due to our upbringing.
She came over to pick up her daughter last evening and I offered her a cocktail. She excitedly accepted and ended up staying for a couple of hours. It was really easy, but I felt like I was on a first date. I told a lot of stories that started in the middle and had no ending. I apologized for a lot of things and felt a little self conscious about the flour all over my sweater (I was baking sugar cut-out cookies). She didn’t seem to mind and even helped with the dishes.
This may be the beginning of something wonderful.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Since I was about 18, I have struggled with my body image. I'm never satisfied but try very hard not to verbalize these feelings around the kids. I'm doing enough to screw up their childhoods without realizing it - this, however, is something I can control.
The last few weeks have been extremely hard. I finally stopped Weight Watchers and have started gaining some weight back. It's a cycle that I seem to go through over and over. I am not ready to throw in the towel - I still exercise about 5 days a week, but the holidays are really making it hard to just eat Boca burgers and veggies.
Tonight, I was in my room putting away clean laundry when Ella joined me and pushed me back onto the bed. My shirt came up a bit and exposed my stomach. I slipped up and expressed some honesty by saying, "Oops - Mama is getting big." Without missing a beat, she responded, "Oh no, your shirt is getting smaller." I laughed and corrected her, "I don't think so, Ellie. I'm just too big." Emphatically and loudly she stated, "Mama! Your shirt is getting smaller."