Tuesday, January 15, 2013

[The Life of Shaun #462] Switch

Last Wednesday or Thursday, my sister called me up from my basement "office" to help Mom get out of bed.  She went from having had relatively good days to not being able to move one of her legs at all.  That day, and since, Mom's needed to pretty much be carried from bed to wheelchair and back.  Her days in the chair are punctuated by frequent dozes; except when she is directly and immediately occupied, she'll often have trouble keeping her eyes open, and her naps are longer than before.  She's also stopped eating as much, and fairly often throws up what she does.

Since it was such an overnight change, we hope it's just that she's caught whatever germ we've been passing around the family, which has laid us low in bed as well.  But we're also aware that these are all signs pointing towards increased deterioration.  Mom's lovely hospice nurse, Nishita, was on holiday last week and after seeing Mom today after a week's absence pulled Lara and me aside to discuss what she saw, too.  In addition to the familiar signs we'd noticed, she could see the weight loss in Mom that our daily contact has hidden from us.  Though no one can know these things with any certainty, she wanted us to know that it's likely Mom's good days are drawing short, possibly as little as another week or two, and she's increasing her visits to twice a week.

Seeing Mom the past many days, none of us are surprised; the change is marked.  But then again, at other times, she's quite peppy - nagging Dad and going out in subzero weather to smoke - the most positive signs Mom can show.  So we don't know - Mom's already doubled what they thought without much treatment - she could be kicking around for a while yet.  But we're carrying the knowledge she mightn't as well.

Cheers,
Shaun

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Shaun H. Coley | At large in Naperville, IL | shaunism.blogspot.com

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