Thursday, May 15, 2014
I had a nice motherís day with mom at her nursing home in California, she was awake and perky for most of the visit.
My younger brother came down on Saturday, and visited with her. We called my sister via FaceTime and asked for a tour of her new home in Pittsburgh. My younger sister is still having trouble with her Coumadin dose regulating blood clotting, and she cannot fly, so the phone FaceTime is probably the only way she will see mom. Mom is so frail and weak I donít think she has much time left on earth. She is ready to fly into the arms of the Lord.
On Saturday, I provided Sunday brunch for my brother-in-law and niece in momís nursing home room. I brought the traditional menu that mom always wants Ė quiche, fruit salad, and a celebration cake. (Brother-in-law brought my sisterís asparagus recipe). Since I stayed at a hotel, the meal was purchased at a good quality grocery with a deli; the food was very good, and mom ate a few bites. We called my older sister in Mexico, and she gave us a tour of her apartment in Oaxaca via FaceTime. My older sister has been coordinating much of momís care, and I realize how much we all rely on her to notify us of changes in mom's condition. Mom's best friend Betsy now has a heart condition and can't visit her or update us on Mom's condition.
The next day mom was exhausted. She slept for much of the day. She slept through a fire alarm test at the nursing home. She slept through a visit from the hospice chaplain. I had a great talk with him; he has given much comfort and caring to mom. When she woke, she was fretful and forgetful, and she could not enjoy any food.
I did not meet my exercise and eating goals during the week; I ate too much (including the celebration cake!) and I spent a lot of time with mom, just sitting in her room while she slept. I did exercise daily at night, including one longer hike.
I admit I am very nervous that she will pass away next week while I am on my hiking vacation. I am hiking lodge to lodge along the Rogue River, and there is no easy exit from the trail. I am leaving the phone numbers for all the lodges with my siblings. This is momís 4th time on hospice. She is 95 and very fragile. Her medical conditions include congestive heart failure, lymphodemia, cancer (skin cancer that has spread because they cannot do surgery), and infection in the bones. She is so thin now, she has lost over 50 pounds; I feel that she is wasting away even though the staff makes every effort to entice her to eat. I donít think she has much longer on this earth, and I pray that her end will be peaceful and painfree.