Anyone who has ever seen Robin William's film "Awakenings" might understand of what I'm about to type....
Today found me split 50/50 between the ER with John and a horrible breathing problem and Gert, still trying to clear pneumonia and a blood infection. I ran back and forth, back and forth between the two until brother Mike showed up and stayed with Mom while I concentrated on John. Poor guy was so sick; I figured it was pneumonia but it ended up being something like a bronchitis illness. He couldn't lie flat - he'd cough, hack, and eventually gag himself awake. After 3 breathing treatments, an RX for a steroid, an inhaler, and an antibiotic, he was on his way home to bed but still not feeling very good. A pulmonologist is in his near future.
Mom has not faired quite as well today. She's back to being a bit foggy mentally, having forgotten my friend Jeff's name most of the afternoon. I see her falling back mentally today into the most recent pattern of searching for words, being more confused, etc. In fact, I'm seeing a fall back to previous times when she's not nearly as coherent as she's been of late. Sad, but true.
Those of us who visited her in the hospital the last few days might have seen Gert in her finest last moments. I think it's a decline coming again...shoot. I will ask the doctor about it tomorrow, but I doubt there's an easy explanation. It is what it is. As Mom said when Dad died "These things happen." I think they're happening again.
I'm ready to go home from this hospital. I've been sleeping/tossing in this pull out sofa for 6 nights now. I'm about done. I'm exhausted, mentally and physically. It's only with the moral support of my friends and those family who have surrounded and supported me that I've been able to get this far - again. I want to lie in my own bed, I want to see my dogs, i want to watch my tv, I want to swim in my pool, I want to take a vacation (if I can). I'm exhausted. I'm about as emotionally done as I've ever been or hope to be again.
I got a bit complacent and excited about Mom's recent recovery mentally while in the hospital. Being an eternal optimist is not always a good thing. It frequently leads me to a state of complacency and ultimate disappointment. And, as with a lot of things, I got ahead of myself. I thought it was back to the old "normal" for Mom now. It's not. It was simply an awakening - a brief moment of my Mom being more of her old self. I should have known. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I hadn't believed it would be different.
But, now, as she slips back to a shadow of her former self, at least I have the memory of being in the hospital with her, late at night, and talking in lucid moments of days gone past. At least I know that, for a few brief moments, she was again my old Mom and I saw her rally. But, I'm afraid she's tired again. So, I shall let her sleep. At least for the evening.
I'm hoping to take Mom home tomorrow - back to our house, back to our friends, back to her own bed, surrounded by a bunch of love. I'm hoping to make her as comfortable as I can as we enter what I think might be the last phase.
Big brother Mike was here this morning when I took off to be with John in the ER. Carina stopped by today on her way to her United job around 10, offered wonderful moral support, spelled me for a bit and then had to leave. John was still in the ER so, I called Jeff for help around noon, and Sophia came in 1-3 until friend Marianne took over - it does, indeed, sometimes take a village. And, thankfully, I'm supported by the best village around. All of my friends have called to offer their support - all I have to do is ask. They all act so selflessly. Anything I need - someone is there to offer the help. Does it really get any better than that?
And, for that, my dearest of dearest friends, I am so grateful. Where would I be without you? I only hope that I can repay the favor one day. I hope that I can be there when a friend needs me the most - not only to sit and talk to their failing loved one, but to offer them moral support. So many forget that it's frequently the caregiver who takes the brunt of the emotional work. I hope I never forget this lesson. It's an important one. I've hope that I've learned it well and that I'm selfless enough to put aside my own wants and needs to be there to help those others who are in a more difficult position. I pray I remember. I know I'll remember. That's how my Mom and Dad raised me.