After gathering prescriptions and packing moms things from the hospital room, I wheeled her out the front door and loaded her in to the car. What had been "not too hard" just a few days ago was really difficult today. Her knee (the one I have been screaming about for months) looked like it shifted sideways at the joint when she stood up, but maybe I imagined it again. She struggled to get to the
I was lost in my thoughts on the drive home. I had been with other loved ones as they neared the "end of life". I new things could get a little bizarre right at the end, a little spooky even. I was trying to prepare myself, but I was definitely in denial.
I kept imagining that we might be able to still make our trip, I thought maybe there was still a chance. The next image that would pop in to my head would be the cemetery where my father and my step-father were both buried. Then I would be right back to my fantasy of finding the "perfect" doctor - They would find what was wrong with mom and they would, at the very least, be able to keep her comfortable. I knew she wouldn't live forever, but I wanted her to be out of pain for the time she had left. I still don't know if I verbalized one of those thoughts or not, but I was jerked back to reality when mom asked, "So, are we leaving Sunday or Monday?".
"You still want to go?", I tried not to sound as dubious as I felt. "You didn't cancel the appointments, did you?", mom wanted to know. I hadn't had time to cancel the appointments and I told her so. Of course, then she was worried about them charging her because she didn't give 24 hours notice for the two appointments that were scheduled on Monday. "That's the least of our worries", I mumbled, "Let's just get you home and we'll figure it out".
Once we were home & mom was settled I called my husband. "I don't know what to do", I sobbed. He listened to me for nearly half an hour. I went through every possible scenario my scattered brain could dream up. He knew how hard we had worked to coordinate those appointments. He also knew
how sick mom was. "I think you need to still try to go", he said softly, "You know if you don't, you'll always wonder". I couldn't believe he said it. Hadn't he listened to all the scenarios I had just rambled through? "What if she dies there?", I screamed in to the phone. I didn't want to be alone with her that far from home when the time came. I was scared, really scared. With his calm assurance that we would "get her home, one way or another", I felt a little better, but I wasn't any closer to a decision than I had been before I called him.
Mom seemed to be doing OK and was pretty lucid. She had dinner, desert and her evening pills. She told me what the NP had said and how she had felt like she was being "thrown out" of the hospital. She didn't want to stay there after being "treated that way" anyway. "They've already decided I should just die", and then, "wouldn't it be great if these new doctors can help us". She again wanted to know what day we were leaving.
For the next couple hours I imagined what "somehow" might entail. I do have a very active imagination, but why can't I imagine a cool drink on a nice beach?
My imagination was a great asset when I was a kid, not so much right now.
Is it possible to go from lucid to full blown dementia in an hour or two? Maybe. I don't know.
Maybe it's just the end. Time to say our goodbyes and let go.
I don't like either one of those endings. I'm still looking for the fairy tale ending, the "happily ever after" kind of ending. There goes that imagination again!