29 August 2011

Near the end

I am sleeping at my parents house now.  The hospice nurse says we have a week or so.  Mom is sleeping a lot, but when she is awake she is often quite restless.  We had a morning of good lucidity today, although it began at 4am, we'll take it whenever we can.

Pop and I were able to help her to the bathroom, which she much prefers over the other options.  Well, who doesn't, right?  She also had a half a cup of tea this morning, which we consider a fantastic accomplishment.

I have dashed home for a quick shower and clean clothes.  I've answered some emails and thought that I would post this brief update.  I would update more, but my parents computer is a relic and I haven't even tried.

Thank you, all, for keeping us in your thoughts.

18 August 2011

Words to live by

Do not dwell in the past,
Do not dream of the future,
Concentrate the mind on the present moment.


I'm working on just being present.

11 August 2011

Good days and not so good

It's been a rough month.  It's been up and down, but mostly down.  The shocking thing is how quickly Mom is getting worse.  She makes very little sense.  It's all sentence fragments in a stream of consciousness monologue.  Sometimes there is a theme.  Tuesday was her Uncle Chalmer.  Wednesday was Cousin Debbie.  Today was Lisa and Sybil.  Knowing who she is talking about is helpful.  Makes it a tiny bit easier to follow.

There are some funny things, though.  I mean, you have to laugh or else you cry.  Today she said as I sat down and untied my shoes, "Yes, sit down and take off your trees."  And later she asked me, "How many were staying here while you were dancing on your head?"  I guessed 3.  I mean, what can you say?

My new schedule is this:
Spend the morning, from about 9 to noon, at the parents house.  This gives me time with my mum while she is fairly rested, and importantly, time for my dad to take his morning nap.  It is essential that he stay healthy and rested.  I've been doing this for a week or so, and he looks much better.
Work from about 1-ish to 8 or 9 in the evening.
Go home, sit in front of the tv for a few minutes, go to bed.
On Saturday and Sunday, just take out the work part.

It's not just that her mind is going.  She is also physically very frail.  Some days she can get herself up and walking, but mostly not.  She is pretty teetery, too, so there is the constant fear of her falling.  She has fallen, but so far no serious injury.  One good thing is that they put her on a steroid and it has increased her appetite. She was at the point of eating a couple of bites of toast a day and that was it for her caloric intake.  Now, however, she is eating an entire piece of toast for breakfast and sometimes having part of another one.  Wow!  She will eat a little lunch and a few bites of dinner, but that's about all.  Still, it's keeping her going.

I've told her what a wonderful mother she is, and how lucky I feel.  I tell her every day that I love her.  I can't ask her any big questions any more, though.  Interpreting the answer is so difficult.  One thing that makes me happy is that sometimes, while she is telling some incomprehensible story, she'll shake her head and chuckle.  Laugh at some fleeting memory, and then sit quietly with a smile on her face.  I like that.