Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday Again

Although no medical disasters occurred yesterday, as they have seemed to so often this semester on Tuesdays, particularly in the afternoon when I am working at the Center, I did get two calls in the late afternoon and evening from the hospital saying my mother was not eating. I didn't have time to go to the hospital to see my mom, so I didn't get to check on this myself.
Not surprisingly, I didn't sleep well, thinking that my mother would very soon die from this self-denial, and that the doctors were sure to confront me with the question of whether I wanted to entubate her or withhold nourishment--not a decision I want to have to make.
My mother long ago signed an advanced directive saying she did not want heroic measures performed on her should she be gravely ill, but I no longer have that document. Now she is not capable of signing it or anything else, so it would be my decision to make, even though I know she said this 5 years ago.
But on the way to the hospital this morning, where I went instead of yoga class, I thought that since Mission is a Catholic hospital, I am probably not going to be offered that choice. They will use the tubes no matter what.
However, when I got to the hospital, what awaited me was not what I expected. While my mom was way out of it last time I went, on Sunday, today she opened her eyes and smiled at me, recognizing me. I asked her whether she was hungry because her food was there, and she said yes. She has to have her food chopped up and drinks only thickened liquids, so she won't aspirate them. So I got a nurse to sit her up and began feeding her pancakes, eggs, coffee, orange juice, milkshake, and applesauce. SHe ate a little of everything. Then she said she wanted tea instead of coffee. I got some tea, but it wasn't thickened, so she choked, and I had to call the nurse to get it out of her. That was upsetting. I won't make that mistake again.
She asked to see my dad, so I went to get him, and stopped for some gorgeous flame colored tulips on the way. She was so glad to see dad, holding his hand, as he dozed. Jeremy dropped by later in the day, and I think my mom appreciated everyone's presence, and didn't want us to leave.
I went to class and picked up my third papers. Not everyone was there, but most were, of the 14 I have left. I should get down to grading.


Lou said...

I am happy for your mom that she had a day of company and smiles.

Robbi said...

Me too. It makes up for the papers, which are mostly awful, despite my effort to avoid this inevitable result.