Tough day today...one of those milestones in life days that you look back on for the rest of yours.
My Mom was one of the healthiest people I ever knew...never a sick day in her life...my Dad on the other hand was a hypochondriac heart patient who had been sick all his life and wasn't afraid to let you know it.
The house next door to me went up for sale a few years ago so I bought it and moved my Mom in. Six months later she had an episode of congestive heart failure and hasnt had a great day since. Good days and bad days..but all within the confines of her illness from which she has never recovered. My brother and I have spent the last couple years taking care of all of her needs; feeding her, looking out for her finances, household chores, hygiene...you name it...only break we get is when she is rehospitalized.
As her condition gets worse, it is tough to watch her suffer. That is the hardest part...to feel her pain and be able to do nothing about it.
She has been in a rehab for the last couple of weeks and is not doing real well...we definitely are seeing a declining condition. Her mental state is not so sharp, although she does have moments of lucidity at times.
I got home from work last night at 3am and a message was on the phone that she was back in the hospital again to be treated for dehydration. They could not find a vein to put an IV in at the rehab...
Today is the crossroads...she is having some other issues...renal failure, liver failure...and on and on... It is time to either treat her aggressively to prolong her agony or find an alternative.
So, in an hour, I am going over to sign her up for hospice with my brother. Then we get to call the family around the country and tell them...having that conversation several times. She may last a week or a year, who knows? But the difference is that hospice only worries about comfort, not treatment. So we are ceasing treatments, and concentrating on comfort. In some way that assuages MY pain.
It has been a rough ride. I remember signing the DNR on my Dad and letting him go. This is what my Mom wants as well...I was smart enough to get that in writing before her first surgery several years ago.
So...off I go to get on with my day. Happy happy joy joy. Then I will have lunch with my brother, make the phone calls then head out to become my charming public persona by showtime.
Be well mi amigos...and tell your Mom you love her today.