Friday, December 19, 2008

And Then She Was Gone

Yesterday the ambulance came at noon and took Mom to the hospice's inpatient center. For nearly a week, she'd been in severe pain from a fall. She'd also become increasingly agitated, constantly trying to get out of bed despite extreme weakness. Her voice became like a little girl's. She spoke barely above a whisper; her wishes made no sense. When in bed, she wanted to be in her chair. Once in her chair, she wanted to go back to bed. She fell the other night while trying to get out of bed. Phil and I found her crumpled and shivering on the floor at 4 AM.

Yesterday, during the hospice nurse's visit, Mom was determined to get out of bed. Carol said, "Stay in bed, Sweetie." "I will," Mom would say, but within seconds she'd start struggling again.

Carol thought Mom might be experiencing "terminal agitation." When a couple of doses of morphine and Haloperidol failed to calm Mom, Carol suggested a short stay at the inpatient center. If Mom's agitation is indeed a sign that the end is near, then the Haloperidol might help her let go and pass away. If her agitation is due to pain or infection, the hospice center will treat the underlying condition and send her back to us.

It happened so suddenly. Binta, the home health care aide, was also here yesterday morning. She stripped the bed, cleaned Mom up, put her in a fresh nightie, and got her into her hooded winter coat for the ambulance ride. She also combed Mom's long hair and plaited it into a single braid. Mom looked so sweet. Still, it was sad to see her on that bright yellow gurney all ready to go, her hair in a braid. How furious she would have been about that hairdo just a month ago.


CJM-R said...

Hi, I am so sorry to hear that your mom isn't doing so well. All of you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Yes, I think perhaps its time to prepare yourself. We are all sorry to hear of something like this...but what a wonderful, full, rich life she has led. Although lately it has become a chore and she surely must be frustrated with that. Big hugs to you and yours and prayers for strength and support coming your way.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'll be saying a prayer for you and your mother.