Tuesday, January 12, 2010
My Mom is dying. Is it better to say my Mom is very ill? If it is, it wouldn’t be right because that of itself is not quite true; as it is more than that. I must keep this real in my own language and state that my Mom is dying.
Boy how we all love our Mom, we, who are so fortunate to have the best mother in the world and I mean bar none. If you think you know how much we all love our Mom than you need to rethink it again.
Mom has been in and out of the hospital over the last six months with different chest problems that are mostly associated to her COPD. At one point they even thought she had the swine flu, which she did not.
My Mom has been in Riverview since before Christmas and has had many tests, one of which was a Mugga Scan that is showing that the arteries from the heart are very weak as they have had to work quite hard for her lungs.
Part of the problem as COPD advances is that the body goes into a panic that it cannot breathe. This is very hard on the heart. After the scan they started my Mom on fentanyl to help trick her brain into thinking she is breathing better so that she does not panic which makes her much weaker that much faster.
So now my Mom gets fentanyl before she eats, goes to the bathroom, sleeps, basically moves period.
There was a family meeting before Christmas and everyone in the city went. I just stayed with my Mom in her room as I had no interest in going to the meeting. For me it would just be the same of what I have heard for the last four years about myself. ‘She is dying; we don’t know how long; etc. etc.’
Mickey told me that the medication was what they give to people in their last stages of life.
Joey said there would be no warning and that when Mom dies, she will just seem to fall asleep. For some reason I was surprised.
Let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want more than all the world your return. ~~ Mary Jean Iron ~~
Shelly was over and we were talking about it and I thought I better clarify. I had thought that we would have time to gather around Mom. Shelly told me that she mentioned in the meeting that we were able to be there with our nephew Sheldon and our Dad at the end and would we have that opportunity. They said no, that we may not even know Mom died right away, we may be talking to her and she will take a breath and just pass away.
Even still I kept thinking maybe we would have a warning and I realized that the fentanyl is our warning. This is the last stages; this is our gathering time; this is our warning; this is our time to gather around.
Shelly and Jeanine are taking care of Mom’s needs and meeting with the doctors and staff. Shelly will be having my Mom come and live with her. Mom is so excited and we are all excited. We are all happy that our Mom will be in a loving home with a loving daughter and Mom will have most of her children able to come and help her.
Shelly and I were talking the other day and I was just saying what a blessing for Shelly. Of course, Jacquie or I would have taken Mom in our homes in a heartbeat had we been able too, but that is not the case; so Shelly is the lucky one.
I said to Shelly ‘Mom was there to usher you into the world Shelly and now you will be able to be there to usher her on her return from the world.’ Talk about full circle.
We all believe that my Mom will live until she dies because that is just how she does it. And as long as my Mom is comfortable I hope this dying takes a very long time.
*artwork by Kelly Vivanco