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The State of Things

Thursday evening I met the hospice volunteer at CB, who can only come on weeknights or weekends - because she has a full time job. 
If you're thinking I had some guilt when she told me this - you are correct.

But seriously, it has to be easier when it isn't your parent shaking, drooling, and saying "hey!" every five seconds. A veritable walk in the f&*#ing park.

Anyway, the girl we'll call Erin was lovely. Mom seemed to like her, called her darling.
Erin asked what Mom liked to do. I was thinking she was pretty much looking at it [Mom sitting on the couch holding my hand]. She can't read anymore, but might enjoy being read to; not sure she tracks TV. There's no conversation to speak of. Unless you count "hey!".

Bought this at Whole Foods (not just for brisket anymore!) and brought it over:

It attaches to baby's crib and plays four different sounds, (heartbeat, rain, ocean, and whale song), to help sleep. Mom used to have a bunch of those type of CD's and I thought it might be soothing.

She asked if it was dead. (Eyes closed?) 
When the ocean sound was played for her she said, "Weather." (thought it was rain?)

She seemed restless, wanted to walk, then sit down, then walk. Her legs were swollen and hard as a rock. The tremor in her right hand is still there. She kept saying she was cold, but her hands were warm. I wonder if the shaking from the tremor makes her think she's cold.

During one of our little walkabouts, a tall gentleman was sitting in the dining room, (see The Supper Club), with his legs stretched out into the hallway. Mom said "I'm old!" as we came upon him. This is apparently elder code for "Hey, I'm walking here!", since he pulled his legs in.

Road sign in Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Mom said "Grandma" when we stopped by the finch cage in the entryway. I asked her if she was seeing dead people (because I'm a smart ass), she said no.

Granny did, in the last year. She wanted us to get dogs out of the room that weren't there and sometimes all sorts of dead folks - mothers, brothers - were hanging out with us. 
She also thought she was married to her doctor and my mother had had twins with someone other than my [dead] father.
Oh, and she had peach cobbler with President Bush right over there. 

I called the hospice nurse about Mom's legs and she sent this email:
Saw ______ today and spoke to Dr M. about the edema in her legs. There is definitely a fluid shift, but she also has an issue with hypostatic hypotension, which is when she stands up her b/p drops, then slowly resumes to normal. But because of this we hesitate to increase her Lasix as this can increase the drop in her b/p.
We can however shift the fluid back into her system by utilizing edema wraps. We will wrap her legs with kerlix (to assure they stay dry) and cover the kerlix with a layer of coban a self adhesive product similar to ace bandages except they mold to the pts legs and do not slip.
These will be changed 2 x week and as needed by hospice staff and the expense is incurred by hospice.
When the edema resolves we can try changing to TED hose but if they are not effective we will continue with the edema wrap indefinitely. The edema is related to her heart failure and may be an ongoing issue at this point.

So there you have it.

1 comment:

  1. ugh... The end of life process is strangely similar to labor and delivery. Hospice workers are like angels and are very supportive. Hang in there Kim.