An Update On Mom

A little over a week ago, I mentioned my mom’s partial hip replacement surgery and asked for prayers. The hip replacement surgery was a success, more or less, but she was transferred to hospice last Friday.

The surgeons said she could not complete her rehabilitation because of her dementia – mom has been suffering from it for a while now – and her deteriorating cognitive abilities, combined with her other health issues. The decision was made to send her to hospice and let her be comfortable until the inevitable happens.

Mom hasn’t opened her eyes or spoken since last Friday. The hospice – which has been amazing through all this – has her set up on a morphine drip and have been amazing in their care. All we care about now is that mom’s comfortable, and so far that has been the case.

My siblings and I have been there with her, and yesterday my sister and I decided we would take twelve-hour shifts. She’ll stay with mom from 8a-8p, and I’ll have 8p-8a. I’ve told my supervisors I’m going to take vacation days until mom decides it’s her time to go.

That’s the other issue. The staff at the hospice were fairly certain mom would be gone by now. This is day six, and as of this post she’s still fighting. It’s as if she’s saying, “Screw you dementia; I’ll go when I’m damn good and ready.” You see, mom’s grandparents came from Slovakia. They were hard people who didn’t roll over for anyone. Mom was like that. She was effectively the boss at home, and no one messed with her. Ever. My sister and I think she’s holding out just to prove that she can.

We’ve been telling her it’s okay for her to go; that we’ll be okay while she reunites with her parents, but she refuses to leave. You understand that a situation like this must be excruciating, but until you deal with it personally, you have no idea.

My new home is the hospice, and has been since Friday. The staff comes in and works on mom, occasionally she lets out a soft groan, and there’s nothing you can do. We’re literally sitting with her in the room waiting for her to die. It shouldn’t have to be like this. My mother is a good person, and there is no viable reason why she should be going through this disastrous situation.

I told my sister I think this is some kind of penance for some of the awful crap I’ve done throughout my life. Sure, I’m nowhere near a perfect person, but take that out on me, not my mother. I understand life isn’t fair, and it’s filled with pain and loss, but my mother is an innocent. She lived a good life and raised her children life. She should definitely be spared.

Sorry about the rambling here, but this past week has been the worst of my life. I will try to continue posting regularly, but if there are gaps, I apologize.

22 thoughts on “An Update On Mom

  1. Do what you need to do, Wyatt. We all will understand and please know I am here for you. I know exactly what you’re going through. The week that Jon was in hospice was the worst week of my life. And, it was made harder by friends and family stopping by to tell him “good-bye”. It will be 13 years on the 7th of September that we lost him and he is still my first thought every morning and my last thought at night. Praying for peace and comfort for your mom and all of your family.

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  2. May The Lord give you and your family strength in these days. I had to be on a job last year and early this year, so I missed my Mom’s last days. My brother, sister, nieces, and aunt took turns helping Mom until they were barred from visiting (thanks, “experts”), so she had to die alone, feeling abandoned. At least you can see her and be with her until it is time.

    May God Bless you all.

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  3. God be with you Wyatt…and as you know..your past transgressions play no part in the present situation..life is not fair and we just deal with what life hands us…Ill keep you in my thoughts and prayers

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  4. You, your mom, and your family are also in my prayers. As with others, I’ve been in your situation and it was less than pleasant to say the least. She can go to eternal rest knowing what a fine family she raised and that you have carried on the tradition. God speed to your mom in her final days.

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  5. Ronni – My issue is I have to say goodbye every day, because I never know if it’ll be her last. It’s torture watching someone die, but I refuse to stop going. Allison and I are taking 12-hour shifts, so when the time comes, she won’t pass alone.

    Mike47 – Thank you. I was in work Monday and just broke down. I told them I’ll be taking time until this is all over. I’m useless at work right now, wondering when the call will come.

    TX Nick – Thank you. It’s awful, especially when she stops breathing, or exhales deeply. We think this is it, and she starts again. It’s emotionally debilitating, and it’s nothing I ever experienced, so I never knew what to expect.

    INPiker – It’s just so awful. I can’t do anything for her, and I’m helpless while this all plays out. I just don’t know what to do. I try to stay up all night to be there when she’s ready, but then I’m so exhausted I can’t function.

    Cathy – The other day I was six miles out, and Allison texted me saying, “You need to hurry. She’s going.” I got there and she recovered. We think she wants to go when we’re not there, but none of us want to leave her alone in that room. She shouldn’t have to go alone.

    Kitty – I’m not a young pup anymore, but you always think your parents will be there. My father died years ago, and soon my mom will be gone. I just don’t know how to handle it all.

    RG – We try talking to her and hope she can at least hear us, but she hasn’t opened her eyes or spoke for almost a week. I mean, we don’t know if she’s hearing our goodbyes. Then I think of all the times I may have been able to go to the nursing home, but wouldn’t, or couldn’t, or I was too tired or I had work. It’s the regret that upsets me the most, and there’s no way for me to apologize to her.

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    1. My dad passed away when I was 36. I was 60 when my mom passed. The first was hardest because it was sudden, but I know exactly what you mean about regrets. From all you have ever written here, I conclude your parents and your immediate family all have a strong faith. With that, there are no need for regrets, you have the assurance of eternal life. Can’t get any better than that. Hang in there.

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  6. Hang tough Wyatt. No one ever loves us like our mother. Trust in God’s provenance, even if it makes no sense to you. I know your faith will sustain you, if you let it. I’ll say a rosary for her. And you.

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  7. Wyatt.
    Among the many worst parts of the mental decline of our parents, is the feelings of absolute helplessness we go through.
    Focus on what is important.

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  8. John – Thanks. We’re trying to keep our spirits up, because we know she’ll be in a better place.

    Mis. Hum. – Thank you. Starting day seven and mom is still fighting. She is nothing if not tenacious.

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  9. I lost my wife seven years ago this month to an inoperable brain tumor. At the end, she held on to life for over two weeks. Her agenda was to make it to her birthday, make it to our anniversary and lastly she was waiting for my brother to make it home….not for her, but for me. He is a classical musician and has lived in Australia since 1977. As I found out, he told her he would be there at the end. He called on our anniversary and said he was not waiting….he was on his way. Two days later he arrived, worn out and jet lagged. He napped, ate dinner and then performed for her for over an hour. It was both the most beautiful and tragic moment of my life. Within an hour she relaxed and was gone. Talk to your Mom, she can hear you. When she’s comfortable with everything being right she’ll go to God. God Bless you and your family in this difficult time.

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    1. This is one of the most poignant things I have ever read about someone at the end of their life for whatever reason. I sure made me feel your pain. I do have to admit, if it were me, it would be a fabulously beautiful ending and I would have loved it. I agree that Wyatt’s mom can hear him. I went to visit my favorite aunt near the end of her life. Her daughter, my wife, and I were just talking about old times sitting at her bedside. We ended up in a story about some hiking we’d done as kids. She hadn’t said a word the entire time I’d been there and she suddenly blurted out, “I sure like to hike.” It was the only thing she said, but I knew for sure that she heard every word we said. Thanks for sharing your story. It was beautiful.

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      1. My sister and I were in the room talking about who would be mom’s favorite of my four kids. Allison said, “Definitely Kevin, because he’s hilarious.” The second she said that, mom’s mouth tried to form a grin. I’m sure she heard and understood that when it was said.

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