This Is Hospice, part 6 of 6

Part 6 of 6 January 5. They had to Give mom a test. Hospital had some positive ones. No visitors allowed. Also moving her to the C wing...that's where dad died. Said D wing is for rehab patients and they need to be ready for new patients.   January 7. It's weird not seeing her pretty much every day. Still no visitors allowed. And when we talk it's not much. She doesn't call as often. She did call around 6am, and then called the house later, machine came on. She didn't say anything, just left the line open so a message was left. Nurse came in and asked if she was talking to me, she said yes.   January 12. She is constipated again, hasn't gone since Jan 4. She does not want an enema or suppository. Nurse wanted me to convince her to do it, but mom did NOT want anything if it happens again. Still can't see her and Apria came and picked up her oxygen stuff...   January 14.  Nurse said she pooped yesterday, but I don't know how much. She is very out of it and

This is Hospice, part 5

Part 5 December 27. Called off and on today. Chatted for a bit but was then back to just calling my name. Her nurse came in with dinner but she only ate soup. When I got to the hospital I heard her saying my name. Most conversation didn't make sense but she enjoyed the music I put on for a bit. Interesting observation--even through all of this, her need to be tidy and her ocd is still there. She still folds her napkin or tissue, and wanted her used tissue in the garbage so things didn't get dirty. And she got pissed that I told her to just set her kleenex on the table and I'll get the garbage for her. She demanded I get it now. Also--through all of this, she gets hot, or at least thinks she does. Not when she gets morphine, just random times.    "So she will end up staying there, just like Popo" "I feel like I just stuck her in a home" this was a convo with my oldest on Nov and for a few days, I keep asking myself why I didn't just let her

This Is Hospice, part 4

Part 4 December 17. Calls started around 1:30am, to Teresa too. One unintentional voicemail I heard the nurse talking to her about how I am probably asleep and mom saying no we have to talk to each other. She gave her meds. Then at 6:30 she called again, and I was actually still asleep (bills Friday off). It's 8 now, no calls yet.    December 18. First call at 4:30am. Stayed on the line. Any time I disconnected she would call back. Called out my name every minute or two. Rough morning. From the sounds of things she ate breakfast & lunch. Got here at 1:30, she smiled said hi and fell asleep. Very sleepy today, but would wake up and say she loves me. And just like always, she knew when it was getting close to leave and would start with "don't go" she was more worked up about me leaving tonight. Nurse gave the anxiety meds early but it wasn't helping. I left about 9:15 and she called by 9:30. It was the hardest time leaving. At one point when I fell asleep she sa

This Is Hospice, part 3

Part 3 December 11. 3:15am she called me, anxious and asking if I can hear her. Nurse said she slept til 1:30 (which is the most she has slept in a few days). Keeps saying she needs water. Keeps calling the nurse. They couldn't give the lorazepam because she was asleep. Nurse said if they give it to her now they won't be able to give it to her tonight at bed time. (Lame). -- I've been on the phone all night. She has not slept and keeps asking if I'm still on the phone. When I nod off she hangs up and calls me back. Got to hospital at 9:30, and within minutes she falls asleep. Talked with hospice nurse about the anxiety. Ok'd giving lorazepam as needed vs just at bed time. Not sure if they gave it yet, but, 3:06pm and she's asleep for the first time. Bloody nose again today. Anxiety came back a little after sleeping (for 2 hours!) and I noticed when it does, that seems to be linked to her neck pain/comfort. Also, throwing up today, not anything major like at the

This Is Hospice, part 2

Part 2 Nov 28. Nose tube, catheter removed. Food changed to soft foods. On one hand she is better, on the other hand this afternoon she seems worse--but not pain. It's different--emotions, physical, mental. She's tired. She does not want to go to rehab. Yesterday and earlier today her veins were no longer holding the iv. They are getting ready to try again. Nothing helps her discomfort. She is sleeping a lot. Nurse thought maybe some of the pain is because her bowels are starting to move again. Putting an iv in will allow for morphine to be administered easier. Routines tomorrow go back to "normal" which means I won't be able to be here all day. She is not happy about that...   And of course her veins still aren't holding the iv. Ok, they got one to stay. Gave her 3mg of morphine.  **a side note. Through this, at one point mom actually felt better and was excited to eat real food. her doc had mentioned this could happen again. Mom said if it does, she did NOT

This Is Hospice, part 1

Part 1 I know everyone responds differently to hospice & morphine. But no one prepares the family for what could happen (how can they really)—phone calls all day asking for help. Groaning. Saying she can't breathe. Confusion. Anxiety. And while on the phone, repeatedly asking "are you there?" And if you aren't by their side, constant phone calls. And for the family— Waiting. Guilt. Anger. Tears. Unknown. Exhaustion. Questions without answers. Sleepless nights. Even an unusual attachment to one member of the family, regardless of who visits. And THIS is if your loved one is in a facility. A loved one at home is a whole other story. But, I would tell people to be ready for anything—childlike behavior, confusion, calling out for one person, repeated phone calls, not recognizing you when you walk into their room, good days & bad days, even days that seem like they are getting better. You will not understand why, about anything, especially the hard days, or the mom

Some days choosing joy is hard to do

I get it's "ok to not be ok" but my question is, what do you do about it? Like, ok, today I'm not ok. So.....then what? There's nothing I can do about it that will change it, it's not in my hands. And then there's everything else going on. I'd list them but then that's what I would focus on--everything that's wrong. Let's face it, there's plenty that's wrong. Open up your news feed, listen to the radio, watch the news, talk to someone, read the newspaper or a magazine...get the point?? If you ask me if I'm ok, how am I suppose to say yes when there's so much "no?"  I talk about choosing joy and challenge people to find the good. I keep a list of things I'm thankful for and things that make me happy, and I'll tell everyone to do it because it's a great thing to do.  I tell people how important it is because the more good we focus on, the more good we will see. I know it's a choice. But I'm not go