The Mom & Me Journals dot Net
The definitive, eccentric journal of an unlikely caregiver, continued.

Apologia for these journals:
    They are not about taking care of a relative with moderate to severe Alzheimer's/senile dementia.
    For an explanation of what these journals are about, click the link above.
    For internet sources that are about caring for relatives with moderate to severe
        Alzheimer's/senile dementia, click through the Honorable Alzheimer's Blogs in my
        links section to the right.

7 minute Audio Introduction to The Mom & Me Journals [a bit dated, at the moment]

Sunday, December 07, 2008
Sometimes when my mother snores...
...despite her swearing that she doesn't snore, her lips loosen and it sounds like softly blowing air through a running electric fan. I'm listening to her doing that right now on the monitor. I should be trying to get some sleep before her next morphine/acetaminophen visit at 0415. But, I can't.
    It didn't occur to me until this evening that this might be it...That Girl may have found this afternoon's pain too ridiculous to consider enduring again and has decided to blow this pop stand. I may be wrong. She did, after all, endure it. She's been a trooper while Hospice and I have been figuring out how to allay her pain. Her disinterest in liquids, though, continues. I don't blame her. The bits of water I was able to coax her into taking here and there through the afternoon and evening all came up at around 2200. It was difficult to get her to accept the acetaminophen smashed in cherry jam at 0015. I may not have been able to, but for reminding her that the acetaminophen and the morphine are the only two things that are standing between her and pain. I'm sure it's no fun for her to marshal the energy to take the acetaminophen, either. The morphine is easy, of course...just shoot it into her mouth under her tongue and that's that.
    She seems doped up but I'm not sure that's what's really happening. Despite what seems like a lot of morphine, one of the nurses told me today that my mother is actually, still, on what would be considered a low dose. So, you know, maybe she's removed herself a bit to consider whether it's worth it to continue her life. It's hard to tell. She has a history of rallying but even the most persistent rallier finally gives up and goes on. And, I'll tell you, if I had experienced the pain she had this afternoon, I'd seriously consider ditching this place.
    Just in case, since she continues, at this point, to be lucid, even though she doesn't look it, and, as well, continues to deliver one word, barely audible snips at me when I move her around on the bed, as I must on occasion, I decided to say my good-byes to her. Couldn't hurt, I figured, just in case. If she'd not dying, yet, (I can't tell you how many times, today, I've contemplated what the difference is between living and dying and am completely puzzled) then I can always re-greet her, then say good-bye again. If she is, though, I wanted to make sure I got a chance to say them.
    I was short and sweet. I could see she heard me. Then she closed her eyes. I expect I'll be rounding her up (literally) again at 0415. If she's leaning toward leaving I kind of think she'll still be here then. Her breathing sounds like it. Don't ask me what I mean by that, I can't tell you. At 0415 she'll get another breathing treatment (which I've pretty much been forgetting most of the day, in the dazzle of all the other events), another dose of acetaminophen (I may drop down to 325 mg this next time, although I'm not sure, yet) and morphine, I'll need to change her then so my visit will be annoying, I'm sure.
    I'm not sleeping in her room. She doesn't seem to need me in there constantly and, despite my exhaustion, I am preternaturally alert to the monitor. I'm surprised, actually, that my preference is to sleep with some distance between her and me but, if I was in her room I wouldn't be able to sleep at all.
    So, you know, this night is still a mystery for me. I'm pleased that she's not in the hospital, though. I'm sure she is, too, although, ironically, she's receiving about the same amount of man-handling from me as she would if she was hospitalized or facilitized. I'm also pleased I'm here. And, I'm pleased she's still here. I told her, though, it's up to her, when she wants to go.
    I feel as though something incomprehensibly universal is happening in her room, tonight. Since I can't comprehend it, I'll leave it to the universe.
Gail--I'm "nearby" if you need me. You're doing everything right. One day at a time. I'm thinking of you and mom...
Just would like to echo what Deb P has said before me.

I'll add my "me too."

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