Friday, June 23, 2017

Three Beautiful Things 06/22/17: Mom Mostly Slept, Gratitude to Friends and Family, Restorative Dinner at Christy's

1.  I arrived around 9:30 to visit Mom and she was sound asleep and couldn't be awakened. She'd pulled her oxygen tube from her nose sometime during the night and her oxygen level was low. I'm not sure I have the following story exactly right, but here's what I think I heard: Earlier in the morning, her occupational therapist found her sitting in her walker and the walker was unlocked -- she'd gotten out of bed on her own, evidently -- and Mom was rummaging through drawers in the chest of drawers next to her bed. Luckily, she didn't roll out of control while seated on her walker. The OT got her into her comfortable chair and she had some kind of an event -- a seizure maybe.  At some point, the staff helped Mom out of her pajamas and into her jeans and shirt and when I arrived she was showing all the signs of having pulled out her oxygen.

Mostly Mom slept and her arms and hands twitched and she was back to pecking at her chest and neck. I sat with her, often holding her hand, until I had to leave at 1:30 to take care of some business. Then Zoe and Paul sat with her. Soon after I left, Zoe texted me to say Mom sat up for a while, ate a little bit of the hash I had brought and some Kindred cake. By the time I returned to her bedside around 4:00, she was asleep again, often with her eyes open, and muttering things I couldn't understand. At some point, she suddenly sat up, wanted to stand up on her own -- I stood very nearby while she did this -- and wanted to sit in her wheelchair which she did for under ten minutes and went back to lying down. Mom and I didn't have one conversation today. She was never awake long enough to converse and never lucid when she was awake. Today, she didn't experience the revival she had had on Sunday when her day started out similarly.

Just before 7:00, two staff members asked me to leave so they could put Mom in her nightwear. They made her bed more comfortable and helped Mom return to it.  I left and will return to see Mom sometime around lunch on Friday. I'll be in CdA in the morning.

2.  All day long, as I checked my Facebook account, I received heartfelt words of support from friends and family. Some of my friends have been through this same kind of experience with their own parents or other family and expressed their understanding that they knew what was going on and assured me that Mom, even in her sleep, silence, and disorientation, appreciates and is comforted by having Christy, Zoe, Paul, and I at her side so much of the day. I am not able, just yet,  to respond to each comment individually and often don't even have the time to click on "like" or "love". I do, however, deeply appreciate all this support and encouragement. It strengthens me. It helps me feel united with my friends and family who are far away, significantly lessening the isolation I sometimes feel when it's just Mom and me in her room. I also had phone conversations with the Deke which were especially comforting and uplifting.

3. Whatever isolation I feel is also significantly lessened by working with Christy and Zoe and Paul to be with Mom and when we eat evening meals together. Tonight, Christy fixed an enchilada casserole in the crock pot. Because I'd eaten a late lunch while I was waiting for the oil to be changed in Mom's car, I didn't eat as much of the casserole as I normally would, but it was a very comforting meal -- especially the kidney beans for some reason! Christy's back yard was cool and relaxing and I enjoyed having a short pour of Uncle Val's Botanical Gin over a cube of ice and having conversation with Christy, Zoe, Paul, and Everett.  These evenings behind Christy and Everett's house are restorative. They strengthen my resolve to face the next day of uncertainty being with Mom.

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