Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Back

Well, here I go again. SO much has happened since my last post.....Some good and some bad. Starting with the bad, my mom, Mabel passed away on September 27th. It was sad and amazing watching her go that night. Ever since her doctor visit in April which landed her in the hospital every day was a downward spiral for her. Whatever started or launched this, we don't know. She was getting weak and started falling. My mom was 79. In the hospital they found she had a blood clot in her lung and was in congestive heart failure. After a week in the hospital we all agreed she needed rehab, so she decided to go to a nursing home instead of having to be driven every day. I was still teaching at the time. Two weeks later when things were looking up for her and she was getting ready to go home she got severely dehydrated. Back in the hospital she went. This was the beginning of the decline. Four months later and 6 hospital (infections, draining fluids, etc) visits landed her in the hospital for the 7th and last time. This time it was to fix the lining in her lungs. By this time my mom wasn't my mom. I had spent the whole summer mourning her as each visit with her she remembered less and less and declined more and more. But this time we had hope. Sealing the lining would make it easier to breath, which would give her more energy. Her deep depression (so common with people her age in this situation) was going to be addressed with some strong meds. We hoped for improvement. At this point I was at the stage where visiting her was an ordeal. It was so sad and hard yet I loved being with her knowing each visit might be my last. That last hospital stay with the sealing of her lining went well at first and on Friday morning, the day after, my brother had good news. All was well. But then things changed that Friday. She started making jerking movements and doing strange things with her mouth. Her legs were ice cold. At the last minute her move out of intensive care was cancelled. I had taken that Friday off work to go be with her, but I also had 6 classes of essays to be graded that weekend. My brother said to some Sat. morning. I graded all I could Friday and arrived in San Angelo on Sat. at 9 A. M. My younger brother, Russell was there. My mom was making jerking movement and it was strange, but she greeted me with a smile. The nightmare part of this came when I looked at her legs, they were both purple. It was scary and intuitively I knew the end was near although I denied it and kept telling myself she'll be ok. Cleon and his wife arrived shortly after I did. He had gone home at midnight to get his wife. My mom even ate that day. I fed her pudding and applesauce with her meds crushed up in it and she drank water. My mom had given up eating much at the nursing home, so this was so good that she even ate. She was still with us. Through the course of the day various specialists came and went and it was decided to take her into surgery to clear the blockage in her legs and save them from amputation. The drawback was it would shut down her kidneys and that would be it for her. But it bought time for her and saved her legs. We just didn't know how much time. Hours, days, weeks? The surgery went well. She stopped jerking and at 9:30 PM after a day of intense waiting my sister-in-law and a brother went home. I got in bed as my head was pounding. My older brother ate and went up there. I got up at 11 and felt better...ate and we all went to bed confident tomorrow would be better. An hour or so later though, my brother calls us to the hospital...Mom's heart-rate was slowly declining, the end was near. We rushed up there. I went to her side and told her it was time to let go. I said Dad and Lannis (my older brother who died) were waiting for her and it was time to see them. I said we would all be fine and we would miss her terribly, but would never forget her. I said we all love you so much. She said I love you too. Those were her last words. So everyone said their goodbyes. We called my sister who was able to talk to her and my niece.At this point my mom responded with her eyes. She was still with us even now. As the numbers on her monitors slowly went down, they started unhooking all her IV's. Finally, my brother Cleon told her to smile and as she died she smiled as we all held onto her. That was the amazing part. And then it was over. A feeling of relief and sadness mixed with unbelief settled in me. The next day we had her funeral planned, her obituary written and my sister flew in. Everyone had to drive home to get the proper clothes. I need to be with my family for the night. We got up early Monday and went back to San Angelo. We had lots of loose ends to take care of. We had her Rosary on Tuesday night, buried her Wednesday and I was back at work on Thursday. It was a surreal week. I miss my mom. I had the whole summer to mourn her dying, so her death was no shock. It is still hard to think she is gone. I still catch myself saying I need to get there for Mom or I need to tell her this. :) In time it will get easier. Right now we have her house to deal with and all her belongings. That is another chapter.