Sunday, January 31, 2010

It is over

Mother died this evening. I was not there, but my sister was. I am at home in Charleston. In the next few days I will go to Mobile to help with the arrangements and attend the funeral.

I do not know what to think. Not yet. Glad she is gone and no longer in pain. Sorry she is gone. Sorry for my sister who has been the major person in taking care of mom and who received the bulk of our parent's love. She did get more love, but it hurts her more when they die. I do not begrudge her the love. I do wish I could help take away some of the pain Sis is feeling.

Writing helps, but I do not know what to write. Relieved and grieved all at once. More later.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hanging On

My mother is hanging on. Not sure how, but she is hanging on. She is in general systemic failure now. However, except for today, she has been as alert as the Alzheimer's will let her be. Today she was asleep most of the time, even without medication. Since she is in considerable pain, her sleeping without medication appears to be a telling sign. I hope she slips away tonight, while asleep. I know my sister would like to be there at the end, but I hope she slips away, unconscious, unaware. She knows she is loved and has said I love you. I want her to slide away. It is time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thoughts on possible imminent death for my mother

So - I am reading Pharyngula, the best science/atheism blog, and there is a very good thread going on there right now - Cancer is a disease. It is not an easy thread to read, many people sharing their pain and stories. I tried to enter into the thread, came on too strong offering help, and have now backed away entirely. I still read, but I will not comment.

The reason why? Well, one, I was too strong, too eager. In retrospect, I looked like a stalker. Two, the ongoing saga of my mother is at another potential breaking point. Death may be imminent, at least within a few weeks. Simply, she keeps pulling out her stomach feeding tube, will not take anything by mouth, and thus is malnourished. She also seems to be losing the ability to fully metabolize her food. My sister is there, doing most of the decisions, killing herself in the process. I try to support her - no, I do support her. Dr. asked Sis today if she wanted him to try and put the feeding tube back in, i.e., feed her or let her die. Sis said to put the tube back in. Neither Sis nor I believe in needlessly extending life, and mom has a living will forbidding heroic measures, but we are in a gray area. Mom is awake, sometimes lucid, sometimes alert. Were she unconscious, comatose, of the like, the decision would make itself. Now?

My impulse is to pull the feeding, let her slide away, and hasten it with an overdose. I do not think her life is good right now, has not been for six months. She will never walk again, never go home. She may never even leave the hospital and if she does it will be to a full care nursing home in which she will spend her life in bed, sliding further and further into dementia and growing frailer, waiting for the next trip to the emergency room to attend her next feeding tube failure or infection. I have serious doubts she will leave the hospital this time. How much pain do we put her through seems to be the only real question.

I thought of broaching the subject tonight, but Sis sounds so tired. I know I have to bring this up soon. We need to talk about it. I need to get my foot fixed so I can travel as needed. Lots to do. I know there are lots of things to do, right now I just do not know what those things are.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Well....shit! Part II

I apparently fractured my right heel bone sometime in the not too distant past. I knew my foot hurt, but got used to it. Right before xmas it got worse so I finally allowed myself to be dragged to the Dr. Turns out the heel bone is shattered. However, since it is already healing it may not be worth surgery to fix. In the meantime I am on some really great pain killers and a nice cane my darling bought me for xmas.

OK, that sounds not so good and it does hurt like hell. Still, after the past couple of years this is no big deal. I can deal with physical pain. This is an issue that may be resolved, fixed, whatever. Maybe it cannot really be fixed and I will use a cane the rest of my days. It does not matter. This is a small issue compared to the others. Besides, I have always liked walking sticks and there are some really charming ones out there. I will be OK. Nice to say that now so I will repeat it. I will be OK.