Saturday, April 26, 2008

A visit with my mother...

I am tired but i cannot sleep. I tried.

I had my treatment for the week. Came home exhausted. Went to bed. I woke, sick...but felt a bit better after a while. I took a nice warm shower, then spent some much needed time with Tim. Not long enough though...but i had to get ready to go see mother. It was my day today. My sister and i have been trying to take turns going, to give each other a bit of a break. Sue saw mother yesterday and mother asked where i was. Sue told her i was at home resting and mother told her to tell me to get my rear end in to see her. So i went today.

I strolled up to the fourth floor, cardiology ward where she has been for the past three and a bit weeks..only to find a gentleman asleep in the bed where i usually see her. I went straight to the nurses station only to be told she'd been moved to the geriatric ward. They directed me where to go and off i went. By the time i reached mothers room, i was so tired, sweaty and feeling so ill. I did my best to be good company for her but in fact i wasn't. I didn't feel up to being there but i was pressured to be...i really just wanted to be home, in my bed.

Mother was upset that she'd been moved. She says she was drugged and moved without being told. I tried to explain that it was bound to happen and we're just lucky that she'd had the room all to her self all that time. Now she has a roommate and she is none too pleased. Mother doesn't like strangers, she prefers to be alone. I'm hoping a bit of company will cheer her up a bit ... but knowing her, it will not.

She says the nurses are meanies too...but mother has an acid tongue...and so i'm not sure how much of that to believe. I'm sure there are some instances where they might be. I have seen mother sit in soiled diapers, waiting to be changed...or waiting and waiting for medication...and no amount of gentle prodding by me or not so gentle by mother or my sister helps. They just get to them when they get to them. I suppose there is an argument to be made for nursing shortages and budget cuts but all of that is hard to think about when you have a loved one laying in a hospital bed. You want them cared for, period.

My sister came with me for groceries after i visited mother. We stopped in at Blockbuster and rented four movies. One of them was called The Savages. I hadn't realized what the subject of the movie was, i just knew i wanted to see it. As it happens, it's hitting really close to home. It's about two siblings dealing with the care of their elderly father, who has dementia and has to be placed into a nursing facility. It's had some funny point but also some really sad ones. We got tired and stopped watching it an hour and a half into we'll finish it tomorrow.

After we stopped it, i called Tim, then went to sleep. I only slept for about an hour, if that. So many thoughts running through my head. When i woke, i tried to call Tim but i guess he is fast asleep. I'm hoping he'll wake up and call me.

Well i guess i will take myself back to bed and see if i can get some more sleep. I want to get as much rest as possible this weekend, i've been so very tired and it's been a very rough week.

Hope you all are well...thank you for your continued support, it means the world to me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An update

Gosh, it's been since forever since i last posted and read your blogs. I apologize for that. I apologize too for worrying those of you that did...I haven't forgotten about my blog but mother is still in hospital and lots has been going on.

There is talk about her getting out of hospital the first of this week...but mother doesn't feel ready to come home...and i'm not convinced she is either.

For one thing, she can't get out of bed on her own. She requires help to just move around in bed, she's that weak. Secondly, she is still being kept in diapers, i assume because she cannot get up on her own...and i don't think i'm up for the job of changing her diapers. I suppose that makes me horrible on some or many levels but it just seems to be where i draw the line.

On Thursday of this past week, we had a family meeting with the doctor, social worker and occupational therapist. Basically they feel they've done all they can for her...and feel she is ready to come home. My sister expressed the concerns i mentioned above and they decided to keep her in a little while longer, to hopefully help to build up her strength but i haven't seen that happen. Each day she is helped out of bed and into a chair to sit for a while but she can't do it for very long. So anyway....she may be on her way home after being in there 3 weeks tomorrow. They are sending her home with a walker, a commode chair (because of my nephews constant use of the bathroom...but that's a whole other issue) and a gel pad for the bed because she has bed sores.

Monday i finally resumed my treatment...and this morning i am paying frequent visits to the bathroom, so sick. Today is a day off so i hope to rest and be with Tim and also get over to see mother.

I hope you don't mind this quick post, i just wanted to post something. I'll be back more often once mother is home and settled and we get back into the swim of things.

I hope you all are well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


No treatment for the rest of this week...hope to resume next week. Numbers are bad. Just what i need.

Had some news regarding mother. She has had an aneurysm in her stomach for many years and other than the threat of it, she has been problem free... but now it has grown considerably in size and is pressing on her liver, which is what is causing her diarrhea and vomiting and lack of appetite. Apparently the risk is greater of it bursting now that it is touching her organs. The doctor referred to mother as 'a ticking time bomb'. She is losing weight, is quite weak and is so uncomfortable in the hospital bed. They've put her on a pureed diet, along with giving her Ensure...i hope she'll tolerate it better and gain some weight back...and more importantly, get stronger and feel better.

So it's been an upsetting couple of days. Will post more soon. Thank you all for your kind words of support.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A busy weekend

Sunday evening, where on earth did the weekend go. Did yours fly by too.

The weather all weekend was so perfect, i wouldn't have to hibernate during the hot, humid summer months if the weather was more like it was the past three days. Sunny and bright but breezy, bordering on cold. I wouldn't be summer if it weren't for the stifling heat, ugh...but one can dream.

So...Friday i found out my white cell count was very i have to have some shots to help boost it. I have to have bloodwork tomorrow, to see when i can resume my treatment. That was the beginning of my weekend.

Friday dinner time i went to the hospital to visit mother. My aunt Maude was there. It was good to see her again and though mothers side of the family is not close and rarely see each other, she's been there every day, faithfully, sometimes for hours on end. She's been a Godsend really...keeping mother company when i feel really that it should be me there...and probably would be if i didn't know my aunt was there.

Mother is doing about the same. Thursday she had a catscan and my mother says they found something on the lower bowels but i don't know what and so far i've been unable to get any clear answers, from my mother or the staff that i have spoken with. My sister will speak to them tomorrow when she goes after work, she'll get to the bottom of things. I'm not terribly assertive and feel like i am bothering the nurses when i do sister won't feel that way, she will demand to be informed....and so we should be.

Mother is still having the runs and vomiting. She had been on an iv drip with antibiotics and fluids and morphine. When i went Saturday, she was no longer on the drip but today when i went, she was back on it.

I'm just thinking now and i couldn't remember going there Saturday, let alone if she had the drip going then...but i do remember going, seeing my aunt and my sister Lane and her husband coming in and waking mother, only to visit for 10 minutes because they were off to church and some social engagement afterwards. It was dinner time and mother needed help to be fed. Lane said she would do it and was bemoaning the fact that she couldn't believe she had to feed her own mother. I couldn't believe she was making such remarks. Really, she is far and removed from the day to day care involved in looking after mother. She has her busy social life and is not about to let the fact that mother is infirm (or now in hospital) interfere with that. Mother asked her why she could only stay 10 minutes....Lane replied they had to go out...mother was sad and said is that more important than me. Perhaps a guilt trip....but Lane is never around. She rarely visits...or hardly ever calls even. At one time, the three of us talked and Lane committed to try to do more for mother...i mean even if she could just come and sit with her, spend time with her...something, anything...but so far, nothing. Just a perfuntory visit that never lasts long.

Sunday i woke up and felt well rested really. I had gone to bed when i got home from visiting mother (it tires me out) and slept right through most of the night, waking only for quick washroom breaks and drinks of water. I called Tim at one point during the night. He was asleep so we decided we'd both go back to bed and be with each other when we woke. So i slept a long, long time.

When i woke up Sunday, it was a bright, beautiful day. I asked my sister if she wanted to go shopping. I wanted to pick up something for Tim (a cross pendant for his chain) and i wanted to buy my sister some new clothes. She rarely treats herself to things and i decided, what the we each got ready and off we went. I hate shopping this time of the year. The stores are so hot...i think they still have their heat on or one point i had to rush my sister along...because i desperately needed fresh air. We got everything we needed for her and left to go home. When we got home my sister tried on all of her new clothes, most were fine but there were three things that didn't fit. Darn. I'd also totally forgot about looking at crosses and forgot to get the green tea i'd wanted. She asked if she could leave them with me to exchange. I was fine with that but i didn't know when i'd get back there and if i waited for any length of time, what would the selection, size wise, be like, so we got ready again and headed back. I did the returns while she began the search for the new sizes. When i joined up w ith her, we found everything in the new sizes...and found a couple of other things...and then headed over to jewellery. I found a nice one (i hope you like it honey) and then we bought some cushions for the chairs out on the balcony and then we headed home...and guess what, for the second time, i forgot the green tea. I was so disappointed. Since Tim introduced me to Lipton's green tea, citrur flavour, i've really enjoyed it and been wanting to pick up a case of them. Next time i hope.

When sister and i got home, she tried on the new things and we rested for a while. I talked with Tim for a bit, my sister played on the computer. Then we talked about doing laundry and i was so tired by my sister volunteered to do it. I was so relieved. We got it all sorted and she threw it in the washers. I had a think about it and thought since i was so tired, i'd not go visit the end my conscience got the best of me and i felt i couldn't not go. So i got myself ready (again!) and off i went the hospital.

When i got there, she was fast asleep. I didn't know what to do. I was torn. A part of me wanted to write her a note, let her know i'd been and she was asleep and then go home....but the other side of me decided to sit with her for a while and see if she woke on her own. At first there was no sign of her waking...she was snoring and looked so comfortable ...but tiny in the big bed....but after about 30 minutes she began to stir and i called out to her a few times...and she finally came around and opened her eyes.

She was surprised to see me and wondered how long i'd been there. I told her not long and we talked for a w hile. She was uncomfortable and kept asking me to put pillows behind her back and neck. I did my best but even though she is so tiny, it is hard to sit her up on my own, etc....but i did my best.

I stayed until 7.30pm and then excused myself...i was starving (we hadn't eaten yet) and i needed to go home and eat. When i got home, Sue had the pasta on and the garlic bread made...we were having rigatoni and meatballs with buttery, garlicky bread, yum!

After dinner i did the dishes and Sue got started on the huge pile of ironing(most of it her new stuff). I felt pretty good up until a little while it is past midnight and i am sleepy. I just got off the phone with Tim. We aren't going to play games right now, instead we are both going to sleep for a bit and call the other when we wake.

So i will go and lay down, get some much needed sleep...but i will be around to catch up with you all the meantime, what did you do this weekend?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Further news

Mother is still in hospital. We believe she will be there for some time to come. They are still running tests and trying to figure things out. Yesterday after my treatment i popped in to see her. She seemed slightly more alert than she had been the last time i was there but that is probably because she'd been on morphine.

Now they are giving her two tylenol 3's every 6 hours and she doesn't feel it's enough. She is in a great deal of pain. I just can't get over seeing her there, laying in that hospital frail, so vulnerable. I am sad and scared of what's to come. Her death weighing heavy on my mind. Not that she is near death (not that i know of) but that at her age, at any time, the possibility exists.

I face that issue with myself. I never know if i will have a i try, as i might, to make the best of today.

Mother doesn't feel the same. She is full of woe-is-me sentiments and can be nasty and snippy with the nurses. I used to know my mother to hold her tongue, now she lets it all out. Where did that come from. I cringe when i hear the way she speaks to some of the staff, or about them to me or other staff. When did she become this nasty, bitter woman. I am saddened by it and right now i have such a heavy heart.

I am getting through my treatments relatively unscathed. Of course there is the usual sickness and overwhelming tiredness to deal with but i am dealing with it. I sleep a lot, i can't help that...but i often feel sad and sometimes guilty because it robs me of time with Tim. I do enjoy sleeping and i know its what helps my body heal but i want to be awake to enjoy my moments with him.

Today a parcel arrived in the mail. I thought it was some new cordless phones i'd ordered. It wasn' was from Tim. My Christmas parcel. We were late in sending to each other because we had hoped we could celebrate in person...but we finally decided to send them. Inside i found one of my favourite perfumes right now...Glow by JLo. I get more compliments on it when i wear it. Of course i can't wear it very often...especially when mother is around because it bothers her lungs...but i have already sprayed some on myself...and i feel pretty and girlie...not something i'm used to anymore.

Also inside was a lovely, heavy silver chain (i prefer silver to gold anyday and my engagement ring is white gold) . Just so pretty and sparkly. With that, another chain with a lovely cross. I will cherish that is my first ever, made all the more special because he gave it to me. There was a book by John Grisham, who i've always enjoyed reading...and i thought it was so thoughtful of him because i've really been trying my hardest to read again. It takes some work but i've read two books lately. Another thing he sent was a DVD game of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I tape that show daily for my mother and i to watch on the weekend...and i can't wait to try my hand at the game on my computer...wish me luck.

Hmmm, let's see...what else was there...oh favourite...a baseball cap. A University of Kentucky Wildcats hat. I love it and will wear it often. Enclosed too was a stocking full of candies, something called Now and Laters (i think thats what they're called) which he sent me before and i gobbled them up...ooooh and some Lifesavers and last back not least...a real treat for me since we do not have them here in Canada...White chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups. Mmmmm...yummy! I haven't had one yet but i will soon. Isn't he lovely for sending me all of these things.

Well...i should go lay down. I am not feeling well. Not sure if i'll get over to see mom today because of it...but we'll see. I might feel better when i've had a nap...the only thing doctor is concerned since my mother is in isolation and you have to wear latex gloves and a gown to see her...he wants me to find out why because i can't remember right now. So it might be better if i don't go today until i know, especially since i don't feel well....but oh the guilt for staying home.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

News on mother

Mother has finally gone to hospital. I called for an ambulance to take her around 6pm, they did not arrive until almost 7.30 pm. Since it wasn't an emergency, per se, we kept getting bumped down the list.

She did not want to go, she cried and carried on a little but in the end we made her see sense... she was only getting weaker and she needed to be seen. She fears she may not 'come out' of hospital or that they will find something seriously wrong, as if what she already has isn't serious enough. I feel so relieved now, at peace that she is in the hands of people who will take care of her and find out what is wrong.

My sister accompanied her to the hospital but the paramedics warned us that all of the local hospitals were swamped and she'd be in for a long wait. Sister stayed until almost 11pm then came home at mother's insistance, thank goodness. I was told to stay home and rest, thankfully...since i'd had my treatment today. I will go and see mother in the morning. I am really hoping they will admit her and look after her for a day or so, if not more. I think she really needs the care and it's obvious that something is wrong. We should have made her go sooner...i have such guilt over that... but she is a grown woman and has a mind of her own and she can be downright stubborn.

So i will keep you posted.

Tomorrow promises to be a busy day. I want to go get my hair cut off. It is thinning badly and not that it's long or anything but what the heck, i may as well go with the flow. I might get it coloured a last hurrah, but we shall see. This is just a thought i had...i need a hair cut badly...we'll see how tomorrow pans out. Tim has a medical appointment tomorrow (technically today now i guess) so he'll be busy for a large part of the day. I haven't seen him much at all the last few days, i've been sleeping so much...but i hope to remedy that soon.

Well i am going to see about reading your blogs, i didn't get around to all of them i'll get myself a fresh glass of ice water and read on.