This morning we were given the prognosis of hours to days, but we are back to evaluating day by day, with a prognosis of days. The hospice team will be visiting Mom in the facility each morning to evaluate.
I am trying to wade through this experience with as few regrets as possible, and there will be time to work through those later.
Mom has been having seizure-like activity. She has not been eating, and lately not able to drink. I asked about IV fluids, which are controversial in hospice, and, ultimately, Mom just wants to go to sleep and not wake up, and she would not tolerate anything by IV. My sister and I have power of attorney for healthcare, but I am the primary medical manager, and I will honour my mom’s wishes, for her. In a sense, she has nothing wrong with her, yet everything, she is just shutting down. I guess the process that causes dementia must be contributing to the shut down, together with lack of nutrition and fluids due to decreased hunger and thirst when she was able.
Mom is mostly comatose, with some response to voice and activity, moving in bed a small bit, a few smiles for the nurse this morning. We are instituting comfort measures – Ativan for the seizures, and morphine for some pain she is having. In addition to the seizures, she has a terrible wound that must be very painful. She won’t be able to interact with us, but we had already lost most of that, and her comfort is most important here.
When she entered the facility, what was clear was that she just wanted to sleep and not wake up, and she didn’t the family making a fuss. She was ready for the next phase of her journey.
I told her today that she can let go, we love her, we’ll be okay, and we’ll take care of Dad. I know she worries most about leaving Dad alone after 61 years of marriage – she knows how helpless he is. I asked my old dog, already on the other side, to help show her the way.
As expected as this is, and as much as Mom wants this, it’s still really hard.