Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gertie-isms - still funny

Mom was lying in bed yesterday, Sharyn and I were in the room. Mom sits straight up in bed and says "Gertie is white!" Well, you know, we just cracked up. She looked at us again and said "Gertie is white!" Sent Sharyn and I over the edge of the abyss into deeper laughter and Mom was smiling too. She was, of course, just smiling at us laughing but it was funny.

Later, Sonia, our wonderful hospice nurse came by to check Mom out (btw, her blood pressure is way better than mine...). Sonia mentioned that, at this stage of life, Mom is awake but might be dreaming inside so her words might not come out as an awake persons would (depending on how much vodka they'd imbibed). So, what she says is not what she means. Which is where I come into play. Being the one who knows her so well, I can generally (important word: generally) guess at what she wants or needs. But, it does lend for some interesting conversation.

Sonia also mentioned that Mom might get agitated by being touched too much. I've noticed this when others have visited and tried to warn them but to no avail. At this stage, she can't process as much outside stimulation - she might yell to turn off the TV or to stop talking. Similar to when a cat will turn and bite the hand that is petting it, Mom is overstimulated in certain situations so my job now is going to be to make sure I read the signs right and protect her from this. This caregiving gig is getting more and more interesting. I sure have learned a lot. I just went back through and updated this article with more information that I've gleaned:

When death looms - the signs and symptoms of the last moments on earth

I personally think everybody should read it and know this information. It's much easier to be more compassionate and kind when you realize that aggression or withdrawal is not directed at any one person. It is, very simply, part of the process.

Here's the companion article if you haven't read it:

The long goodbye - when your job as a caregiver is ending

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