Monday, August 15, 2011

Signed my mom up for Hospice

It's been a strange few weeks, mom-wise.....there were about 2 weeks where she was adamantly refusing food and water, refusing all medications, and very delusional when she was awake, which wasn't very often.   There were days where they couldn't wake her up enough to get her out of bed, there were days when she refused to let them clean her or change her.  I thought "the end is near".  And opted to sign her up for Hospice, mostly, I'm afraid, selfishly, because I know I am going to need support as I go through this and I know the hospice social worker will be a support and the nurses will tell me what to expect.  I don't really believe that it is going to help my mom all that much, as she states she is not in pain (when I can get her to answer) and I believe that is the truth, because most of the time she is just groggy and sleepy, not agitated as if she was hurting.  When she is agitated, it's because of her delusions.

So I signed the forms to get the ball rolling, and set up the "intake" appointment with the hospice program, and then.....mom rallied.  She started getting out of bed, eating at least 50% of her meals (although she can no longer feed herself) and talking about real things, like the weather and supper.  And she was like that for about 7 days to the point where I wondered if maybe I had jumped the gun with hospice.  Then today was the "intake appointment" and she was back to being lethargic again.  She ate well today, but she did not want to participate in life, she only wanted to sleep.  I was disappointed, again, and I kind of mentally rolled my eyes at myself--here she is, can't feed herself, needs help with everything, can't remember things from one minute to another, but I am still getting my hopes up for the "good" days.  And I know the letdown is coming, but I just hope it doesn't, then I'm sad when it does. 

It's almost an exact parallel to my reactions to DH's issues.  Every time there's some good days, I start to think things are getting better, but really, I'm just setting myself up for another crash.  When I recognize this pattern, I feel like maybe I've got a Pollyanna outlook and maybe I need to do something to make my thinking a little more reality based.  I think intellectually, for both my mom and my husband, I know where things are at and that they aren't going to get as better as I want them to......but emotionally, I still cling to hope......


Miss Kitty said...

Bless your heart, Carol. I think we're all like that: thinking "this is it," hoping it's not, then our hearts still break when it is... :-(

You have a lot on you these days, and I know you're doing everything you can--and what's best--for your mom. You're right, the hospice people are so wonderful at supporting family members, and the last few months you've needed a lot of that and can't get that support from your husband. I think if your mom's "other self" (the rational one outside of any way she used to be in life, who sees exactly what's going on) could speak to you, she'd say, "Thanks for helping me ease out of this world in comfort and peace."

You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Grace. said...

You are there for your mom, and part of being there is getting whatever help you & your mom need when you need it. Hospice sounds like the right plan now.

As for the 'baseless optimism' whenever life starts to go in the right direction, I think that's just part of your personality (mine, too). Others may accuse us of being unrealistic, but you never know. One of my adult adopted daughters waited and waited for her drug-addicted birthmother to stop using--she got her hopes up each time her mother entered rehab. By the fifth time, she wasn't quite so optimistic, but you know what? That fifth time worked, and the lady has been drug and alcohol freee for almost four years now. Besides, people like us make lousy mopers! OH, and I don't think you are in any shape to address your marriage until the situation with your mother ends--for the moment, she's the priority. I do hope all is relatively well with your daughter.

perphila said...

You have been doing what has been best for your mom every step of the way. Just like with DH, it isn't like you had a vast amount of experience with this kind of stuff before all these things started happening in your life. Going to Hospice and having all that extra support is going to be just the right thing for the both of you.

I have been also thinking about how easy it is to forget how bad a situation can be when things seem to be going ok. It isn't just you. I also don't think it is just being overly optimistic either. When you are in the thick of the really bad stuff you don't want to remember how stressful that all felt. I know when my son is doing well for a while then has another problem sometimes I feel like I get overly frustrated in the beginning which then makes it harder to find a way to cope. The same goes with my former husbands illness as well. I have to remind myself over and over of the real issues and not just lay blame. I am trying to be grateful for the "quiet" times and let go of expectations. It's those that wind up hurting me the most and having expectations are my problem. I am trying to accept that things are never going to be what they used to be and the people I care or cared about are never going to be the same. Once I can truly accept that I hope I can go with the ups and downs better. So far I am still in the stage of telling myself what I need to hear over and over. My brain gets it but the heart is still not quite ready. Time and experience will guide me.

I feel for you. Hugs.