Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Wouldn't Wish This On Anyone: Part 2

It has been two weeks since my mom's condition deteriorated. At first, the changes were subtle, but they have become far more pronounced in the last few days. She will slip into a coma soon.

Strangely, that prospect is somewhat comforting. For the first week and a half following Thanksgiving, I was told that my mother was going to die by drowning in her own lung (her lungs and abdomen are continuously filling with liquid) or by spontaneously bleeding from her eyes, ears, etc. The torment of having to choose which horrific death my mom would suffer was eating at all of us. Can you imagine having to make that choice?

Thus, it was oddly comforting when the hospice doctor came over last week and said that my mother would slip into a coma and would go from there. Her liver has failed and the kidneys are next.

She won't eat and when we try to get her to drink, the liquids come out through her nose, although I haven't quite figured out why. The dehydration is so bad that she no longer produces saliva, which makes giving her the necessary morphine an incredible challenge. Swallowing is no longer a real possibility, so we mash up the pills, mix them with cranberry juice and administer the doses with a dropper. Since she won't or can't swallow the long-lasting 12-hour morphine pills, we have to repeat this scenario every 1-2 hours. I am not sure how much she weighs, but it isn't much. Skin and bones are all that is left of what was once a vibrant, dynamic woman. I am not sure if she sees or hears us because her glassy eyes seem to see through us.

My sister says that people in comas still feel pain so tomorrow we have to figure out how we will administer the morphine when she completely checks out.

No one deserves this. Neither to experience it nor to witness it. Please do not take your health for granted. If you are over 40 and you have not yet gone for a colonoscopy, it's time to make an appointment.

14 Comments:

At 8:47 AM, December 12, 2005 , Blogger mrsleep said...

II,

Thanks for keeping us posted.

I'm saying a silent prayer right now for you, your Mom, and your family.

I'm also sending you a virtual hug. If it finds you, hang on for as long as you need. I'm not going anywhere.

 
At 11:21 AM, December 12, 2005 , Blogger Possum said...

II,

My heart goes out to you. Our family will keep you in our prayers.

Ditto on the virtual hug!

D

 
At 6:40 PM, December 12, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you and your family.

My grandmother had a "magic button" that would deliver the morphine. Perhaps you can get one for your mom.?

Her cancer spread throughout her body; it wasn't long after that she passed.

God speed.

F4YB.

 
At 8:58 PM, December 12, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

It is difficult for me to even think about it because of the situation of the way my Dad Died.

I feel guilty to this day for not being there during his last few days, but then I read about your situation and I wonder if it would have been even more difficult for me that way.

We are all brothers and sisters and we should always pray for those who need our prayers and You and Your family are in my prayers.

Your Friend,

Gary.

 
At 9:02 PM, December 12, 2005 , Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

P.S.

My picture is one that is very old, but I had hair then and it was the only one on my harddrive that I could find. It was taken in Vietnam as someone had asked me for one and I sent it to them.

Some think I was handsome then, but now I am just an old bald guy.

:)


I am looking for a more recent one and hope to post it tonight.

FAR.

 
At 12:21 PM, December 13, 2005 , Blogger jj said...

II
I remember well having to constantly moisten the mouth and lips of a loved one that could not eat drink or speak.
I wish your mom a peaceful passing and you and your family the strength to make it easier on her.
jj

 
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