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Showing posts from June, 2011

Hills and Valleys...Backslides and Rallies

Today is a good day.  It is a beautiful Summer's afternoon outside.  The flowers are blooming; the birds and butterflies are busy.  We even saw a baby cardinal at our window-feeder:  you can tell the baby ones because their bills/beaks haven't changed colors yet...still brownish instead of yellow-goldish.  Life is bubbling all around us.

After breakfast, Mr. T fixed a baggie of ice-cold watermelon chunks for me to take to N/M/E as her special request treat for the day.  "Don't forget my salt," she'd reminded me last night.  The last time I took her watermelon, I'd forgotten that essential item...essential to her, that is.  I, who over-salt everything else I eat, never use salt on my watermelon.  Go figure.

Anyway...

When I arrived around the lunch-tray time, I found Momma had a visitor.  CW, daughter of Mom's BFF AW, had stepped into the early morning visitation rotation slot, pinch-hitting for her ailing mother.  Way to go, C!  AW, who has been so ve…

Why I Bother with Mascara is a Mystery

Ethel died today.  And I cried. 

You are probably wondering who Ethel is, and why I care enough to shed tears.  Answer Number One:  I don't know.  Answer Number Two:  Because.

Because "Ethel" was the name on the placard outside of Room 100.  Because that's the room next door to N/M/E's at Hospice Home. And, because I'd never met her, and until yesterday, I had never even seen any of her family.  There were no visitors to that room in the late-morning/lunch/early afternoon hours during the past two weeks, that I knew about. 

Until yesterday.  I noticed a woman and a young girl...possibly Ethel's daughter and grand-daughter?  But, it didn't dawn on me that there might be a reason for their visit, other than that it was just an ordinary visit.

When I arrived this morning for my ordinary visit with Momma, I noticed immediately a new Memorial Card on the entry hall table at 1803 Westchester. The name on the card was Ethel's.  And, even though I was l…

Let Her Eat Cake...and Ice Cream!

I have a question for you:  if you knew your time on this earth was drawing to a close, and someone asked you if there was anything special you'd like to eat, anything at all...what would your answer be?  Think about it for a moment.

While you're thinking, I'll keep writing.  And, before you say "Patricia, aren't you being just a wee bit morbid today?" please remember that I spend every day from 10:00 to 2:00 in the Hospice Home with Nana/Momma/Edith.  Death...and the talk of death and dying...is ever-present.  And, thankfully, death is no longer a four-letter word for us...if you follow my drift there.  We have, quite frankly, begun to live with death...laugh about it...and lose some of our fear of it.

I can't remember if I've told you (I say that phrase quite often these days...:), but N/M/E stopped eating and drinking about 10 days ago while still here at home.  It was one of the darkest periods in this whole chapter.  When she got to Hospice Home …

Changes

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Today's post is about the changes we are experiencing.  First of all, the weather has changed...for the better, if you want my opinion.  The temps have moderated...well, if you call dropping from the mid-90's to the mid-80's as "moderating."  I do.  As if in solidarity with the degrees, the humidity has also dropped.  No longer does it feel like a wet blanket thrown over your head when you walk outside.  Breathing is easier.


More importantly, we have seen some positive changes for Nana/Momma/Edith.  As of last Thursday morning, she moved to Room 101 at Hospice Home of High Point.  Since then, she has adjusted to the medications that are now being delivered through a "port" instead of by mouth, her pain is being well-managed, and she is comfortable in her new surroundings. She expresses love for all the people who are caring for her...and they love her, too.  She is calm and rests easily. The changes for her are more than we could have imagined, giv…

Five O'Clock in the Morning

I haven't posted for a while, mainly because I've been too busy to even think about writing.  Well, busy...and just unable to translate thoughts to text.  Simply put, caring for Mom these past couple of weeks has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life. She is moving toward the end of her journey more rapidly than we'd imagined possible, and it keeps me physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Sigh. Really big sigh.

Still, I committed to keeping kith and kin informed here on my blog, so I'll jot a few sentences.  No pretty pictures this time.  Just words.

As I posted last, Hospice of the Piedmont is providing at-home assistance for Mom.  That means that we have advisers available 24/7; it does not mean "they" are here, on-site round-the-clock.  Hospice is wonderful, don't misunderstand; it does have limitations, though.

While Mom's pain is being managed by the meds (and for that, we are eternally grateful)...some of which must be g…