The one where Mom gets a new mattress

Mom has degenerative discs, so it is very painful for her to lie on her back. One stroke has left her left side so painful she sobs when she is moved. Another stroke has affected her right arm so that it, too is painful. So we (when I say we, I don’t mean me–I’m not there. Judy and the hospice nurses are doing all of this care.) So we keep her propped up with pillows and put ice packs on her hot spots but she is pretty much motionless day in and day out.

So now she has bedsores and can get some special kind of mattress, which she can’t get unless she HAS bedsores but if she had it before, she wouldn’t have gotten the bedsores.

Judy is a nurse practitioner and has just done pediatrics her whole career–beans up your nose, earaches, well baby checks–that kind of thing. She did a two week hospice rotation maybe 30 years ago, so she is as much in the dark about geriatrics/hospice as I am. So she talked to the hospice NP who comes out twice a week about the bedsores.

Evidently, in Mom’s case, where she can’t be repositioned, she is going to get bedsores. And they will get worse and she will get secondary infections from them. That’s just the way it is. Sometimes a stroke doesn’t leave your body in pain, so one’s body can easily be repositioned. Mom had the kind of strokes that causes her great pain.

I hate the idea that I want her to die. I really don’t.  I just want her to be able to fly away home, with as much dignity and as little pain as possible. I guess this is just another one of those times where what I want and what is going to happen aren’t in alignment. I feel like crying out “Enough! She has had enough! ” I would gladly trade weeks of my life so that she could end hers today.

But again, I’m not in charge. This dying stuff is slow and hard. I’m just glad that Marnie was taken so swiftly and didn’t have to go through this with leukemia in the ’50’s. I don’t think my parents could have survived that.


2 thoughts on “The one where Mom gets a new mattress

  1. Has it ever occurred to you that they did NOT survive Margaret’s death? And don’t get me started on her MALE doctor deciding she needed another baby right away instead of letting her grieve.

    Don’t feel badly about wishing your mother’s death would come sooner rather than later. When people reach the stage she is in, wanting to keep them with us is the result of our own selfish desires; not their best interests.

    When Mama died the overwhelming emotion was relief. When the four of us got together to make funeral arrangements, we were giddy and silly and snickering — it was just so great that she wasn’t suffering anymore. It didn’t mean we loved her less and we each dealt with our own loss in our own way. But she was out of pain.

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I bought a dress and am consumed with looking for some cute shoes.

    And Dr. K….he was a little better than a nurse, in that he could write prescriptions. Other than that–he was working in Porterville, across the street from the old hospital. Not exactly the cutting edge of medicine.

    And you are right about not surviving Margaret’s death. We didn’t.

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