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Too much excitement for one day

This is a longish story. My mother is bedridden now, and has been since last Thursday. She started out weak but lucid, and then progressed to very weak and not very lucid. She had a good moment on Sunday night, when she called us all together to give us a goodbye sort of message. That she is still with us at this point is a surprise, in a way. Mom is about as flummoxed as we are, really. I guess it's hard to know about these sorts of things, even if you’re the patient.

Anyway, the last 24 hours have been ... something. Mom was very agitated last night. I finally got her to take some morphine late, which calmed her down a little. She still managed to remove her catheter during the night, though. That must have hurt, but I didn't notice till morning so I don’t think she screamed or anything.

Then, mid-morning, she threw up blood, which I suppose isn’t unusual for cancer patients but surely not what we expected. We called her nurse, per protocol, who got there as soon as she could. The clean-up was probably as traumatic for Mom as the event was, though necessary. We got her started on a new pain medicine patch that will probably help a lot.

And then there was a fire.

No shit, a fire. I got home at around 6:30 from a couple of hours out (having left my sister here to attend Mom) to find the hallway full of smoke and neighbors. We eventually determined it came from the apartment of Mom’s neighbor to the left, who had been in the hospital and must have been discharged, which I didn’t know. I guess something was on his stove way too long. No one answered when I knocked on his door. So I called 911, since no one in the hallway said they had done so (they were all talking about how someone should've called, though). Meanwhile, Lisa called the after-hours maintenance phone, per building protocol. The smoke was about done, by then, but a little panic was justified: We had someone in a hospital bed who couldn't move if it had been anything worse. As it was, Mom was agitated because of the beeping smoke detectors in the hall, and we got a little smoke in the apartment when we opened the door. But she was pretty calm, considering how panicked my sister and I were.

Things are quiet now, fortunately. My sister went home for a break, Mom is pretty much sedated and sleeping, and I’m listening to Dvořak's 7th symphony on Music Choice (TV). I have to say that I’m about done with new and exciting developments here for one day.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
It's a very hard time. My only really useful advice is to drink a lot of water, and get as much sleep as you can allow yourself. One tends to forget both.
Mar. 7th, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
Thanks, Bill. Y'know, I was just realizing that about the water. I drank a ton of it yesterday. Sleep, well... I got a 3-hour nap today. I know one really can't pay back a sleep debt, but I can stop making it bigger.
Mar. 7th, 2014 04:33 am (UTC)
It's understandable, of course one wants to spend as much of those last days with the one who's passing. I've never regretted staying awake as much as I could.
Mar. 6th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Um.... "eeek" doesn't really cover it all. Keeping you and your mom in my thoughts here (and hoping any further developments occur far more peacefully).
Mar. 7th, 2014 02:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, John. As it turns out ... um, see next post.

But yeah, yesterday was one they probably wouldn't write into a TV drama script because it was too over-the-top.
Mar. 7th, 2014 06:30 am (UTC)
Please do try and take care of yourself now, as well.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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