Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seriously? (November 2011)

I made it through my business presentations the past two days. The activity kept my mind off the berevity of the situation with My Mom. I'm praying for her to have a peaceful passing when God is ready and that I will be able to gracefully let her go. I also called my sister and sounded the alarm saying she should head over and see Mom before it's too late.
I somehow transformed from a sobbing, grieving mess to a hopefully spiritually mature daughter preparing for the inevitable -- this is, as My Mom said so many times over the years, "part of life."
Tonight I had the energy and resolve to call the home. "How's our patient?" I asked tentatively.
"She's fine," said a chipper caregiver. "She's sitting up tonight. She's eating dinner." I listened in disbelief. "Would you like to talk to her?" she asked.
"What?!" I gasped out loud.
The caregiver explained that My Mom was having a really good day. (We later thought perhaps she had a minor stroke earlier in the week and had recovered. Who knows when you're 90 and in the full throws of dementia, it's always only a guess. One thing was clear, something had changed.)
Since back when My Mom was able-minded we've had a phone mantra. I always start a call by saying "Is this My Momma?" and she always answers with "This is your Momma." Because we've done it so long, she's maintained the exchange even though she no longer fully understands what talking on the phone is all about.
I took a deep breath and allowed the caregiver to put My Mom on the phone, completely uncertain of what would happen. Sitting up and eating dinner were both open to interpretation. Her idea of a 'good day' may still be far below par.
"Is this My Momma?"
"This is your Momma."
I'm sure I turned white as a ghost. I struggled to not drop the phone.
"How are you?" I asked loudly, so excited to have a conversation with My Mom past the expected due date.
"Well I'm fine," she said sounding like My Mom did 20 years ago. "I guess I'll see you this weekend." (the weekend part was purely an educated guess. For years I arrived for a visit on a weekend. But she had put two sentences together. That was unbelievable.)
"You will!" I said. I expressed enthusiasm. Not that she had risen from her death sentence. Honestly, I was just excited that she had communicated so definitively. It has been at least a month or two since she sounded so sure of herself. It wasn't until after we hung up that I began trying to process the unexpected turn of events.
My sister was taking the next day off work to rush over. The first thing I needed to do was let her know that I may have sounded a false alarm. A nurse, my sister still wanted to visit and check My Mom's vitals. She's the one that came up with the stroke scenario. She wanted to see it for herself.
When My Mom first moved to the home one of the caregivers used to call her Lazarus. She'd sleep for hours on end, when this gal would think she was out cold, she'd scare the wits out of her by suddenly walking up behind her in the kitchen.
I don't know that I see My Mom getting up and doing any walking, but having my sister take a look at her tomorrow seems like a good idea.
I don't want to go through this emotional roller coaster on my own.

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