Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Update

I unwillingly left mom in the hospital room tonight. I really thought I would spend the night in the "lounge" chair. They had planted a roommate in there and the room became so crowded with nurses, me, potty chairs, etc, that I finally thought it prudent if I left. But leaving my mom there one more night, alone, was really difficult. They still can't stop the GI bleeding and she is still receiving infusions of blood. I can't believe 12 hours ago we were bringing her home and now she has gone through 3 more "procedures" and still bleeding. What was a scary incident and now turned out to be almost unbelievable. (I won't go into the part about how I suggested that maybe the place they cauterized the first time had maybe come unglued and was ignored ... which btw, was the case).

I sat in the dark and watched her sleep. Thought who would get the jokes about the "hot house" where I lived as a child. My grandmother, uncle lived with us ... in a hot attic apartment in Texas ... so small that when my grandmother snored, the house would rattle and everyone would kick the others bed until whomever was sleeping next to my grandmother would kick hers to get her to stop. I started thinking about what phone calls I should make. But she is the one with the "family" numbers and I always get her to make the phone calls to family about important matters. And then I make myself stop thinking those thoughts and get back to planning on cleaning and doing laundry when I get home.

There was a moment that brought me to tears tonight. The woman in the next bed had a pacemaker mess-up ... I guess they put it in the wrong spot (is that possible?) and then they had to re-plant it. She wasn't looking good. But got a little more agitated when I came in and started fussing over mom. She was crying, sobbing, really with the TV blaring. The nurses came to ask what was wrong, was she comfortable, checked her blood sugar, etc. Then she started telling the nurse what nursing home she had come from and that she was going to stay closer to her ex-daughter-in-law and grandson in Tacoma. I could only surmise from that information that her son was gone. Her husband probably gone as well. She had no other relatives. She said she didn't like to be in that room, and she was so sad.

At that point, tears were streaming from my eyes, thankfully the curtain hid my profound sadness from her. I had heard her tell the nurse that she had been sad for years. I was thinking, where were her belongings? Where did she live? Was she is moving from one nursing home to another? I asked her if I could help her with anything. I asked her if she needed some water. I washed her face and hands a couple of times with a hot cloth. I pampered her for a couple of minutes. I wish I could have pampered her a little longer. How sad is life when one ends in the company of strangers. In a cold, noisey hospital, room with the curtains drawn, machines bleeping their constant warnings. With no family there to hold your hand. I will pamper her a little more tomorrow. I tried not to cry all the way home.

14 comments:

Shelley Noble said...

So terribly sad, Kim. The end of so many lives are indeed utterly alone and lonely.

I'm so glad you and your mom are so close and loving. I'm praying she'll be restored to health and home again soon, all for the highest good.

Joelle said...

That must have been difficult Kim. I'm glad you were there for your mother and her roommate. I'm holding good thoughts for you.

Ruth said...

Kim, I will keep checking your blog for updates but please call if you need to talk.

Kate I said...

For some people the end of life must be a very difficult and lonely time...it seems such a sad way to end all those years of living.

The fact that you were there for her, with your caring acts of kindness was a huge thing. That's was life is really all about isn't it? It's not about the money or the clothes or the travel or the big house...it's about gently touching someone with a cool cloth when they need to know they're not alone. And you did.

((hugs to you and your mom))

(other)kim said...

It was a mitzvah, Kim, a worthy act you performed. Although I haven't emailed, I have been thinking about you a lot this past week, and wish your family all the best.

phlegmfatale said...

God placed that woman in your path, Kimmer. I've never seen anyone like you to give comfort and strength to others - and I believe your merest kind touch gave her great solace. I've seen you do that - there's tremendous warmth and depth in you. Stay strong, baby, and let me know if you need anything I can give you. I love you, and tell Dianne I love her too, and am thinking of you and in constant prayer for her recovery.

jill said...

My heart breaks reading this story... You're doing the right thing letting your emotions out in the car, but also staying positive that all will be okay. ...one moment at a time!

It's a curse losing a parent. I don't know what is worse, watching them be ill and it taking a long hard toll on them like my husband had to do with both of his parents in one year, or getting a phone call that she's gone and just like that no more, no good-bye, that is what happened when I learned of my mom's passing 8 years ago. It's just the worst!! I understand fully what you mean when you say, "who will get it, who will laugh at the same funny things, how will I know what to do...?"

Just stay as positive as you can, while allowing yourself to cry all the way home!

Cherish it all, and know that prayers are abound for you and your family!!

Syd said...

Thank you for being so human--I worked in a nursing home in high school and when my greatgrandmother stayed there I did double duty because I knew they didn't have the attention they needed.

My thoughts are with you and your mother. Deeply. Truly.

Amy said...

Kim, all that good energy you're putting out is sure to bring Diane's roommate some (seemingly) long overdue comfort. We're keeping at the prayers and good thoughts down here for you guys.

Adele said...

What a gift you gave Kim. My eyes are a little leaky now thinking about what a selfless and beautiful gesture that was. Showing love and comfort to someone you know nothing of is like loving the world. Its the greatest gift that anyone can ever give. People such as you give me hope for us all. I will say a prayer for your mother tonight.

Tara Ross Studios said...

prayers to you and Diane. We'll talk soon.

xo

wilsonian said...

You humble me.
What an amazing gift to give... I wonder when was the last time someone touched her who wasn't paid to do so...

You gave so much more than a little time. We don't often think to give dignity. Thank you for the reminder.

Peace

s'mee said...

I am late in reading this, but so happy I did. You are a blessing and a reflection of a mother who taught kindness and compassion. God bless you both.

Emily said...

"How sad is life when one ends in the company of strangers." And yet, a stranger like you is offering kindness and comfort. I don't believe we are all strangers...there is an innate kindness in all of us to reach out to one another.

I hope your mom is doing better and am praying for you both.