Sunday, May 15, 2016

Last words (almost)

On Tuesday when we were waiting for the ambulance to take Mom home from the hospital, she said, If they don’t take me home soon, I’m running away. I wouldn’t put it past her to try, even though she was hitched up to tubes and machines and her legs aren’t in good working order. Now she’s home with no tubes or machines so she’s more comfortable, but she’s not saying much.

The first day or two she would wake up long enough to say a few words to visitors, but now she’s rarely alert and it’s hard to understand what she’s trying to say. The other day she said something that sounded like either love you or want soup, either of which would be plausible even though soup is not on the menu for patients who can't swallow.

She said hello to her brother and told the night nurse her name, and yesterday when I was helping the hospice nurse bathe her, she very clearly said terrible, terrible. I have to agree.

I ask if she’s in pain and she says no, but then I tell her I’ve got her pain medication and she opens her mouth wide as if eager for relief.

She cries out when they move her and gurgles when she breathes and when we lower the bed to bathe her, she says can't breathe, can't breathe, so we raise up her head again to make her more comfortable.

That's really all we can do now: make her more comfortable. I really don't want my mom's final message to the world to be can't breathe or terrible, terrible, but I know what what she'd say if she had the strength: If they don't take me home soon, I'm running away. 

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