Birthday

Today is my beloved wife’s birthday! Happy birthday, love!

The last two weeks or so have been an avalanche of awful. I would not have made it through without her. I cannot thank you enough, my love.

Everyone wish my wife Jen the happiest of happy birthdays!

Bad Day

Today has been a painful, emotional, difficult day. I’ll give details later, probably, but just know that as bad days go… this was one.

As I’ve done previously over the past couple of weeks, I am sharing cat pictures to distract myself from bad things. Enjoy my deflection…

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The cats are turning our house into a messy house.

I’m Confused and Conflicted and I Don’t Know What to Do

It looked like Mom took a turn for the worse last night. We all rushed over to her again and watched as her breathing got labored and she was moaning and rattling. Visiting hours ended. I could have stayed overnight again but I had to sleep and didn’t want to take up one of the three overnight visiting slots so I went home and went to bed. I slept for nearly eight hours but still feel exhausted. I also thought it was okay to leave because I had a gut feeling…

…and I was right. As the night wore on the breathing became more normal and the rattling almost stopped. She’s back to where she was when I stayed overnight on Friday/Saturday. I have to go back to work. I can’t miss a huge chunk of a third consecutive week. My boss and my boss’ boss both told me it was okay, but I can’t continue to do this for my own reasons. My conscience won’t let me. That means I can’t stay over night during the week either. I just can’t do it anymore.

We had a hospice nurse tell us that parents don’t die in front of their children. They hang on until the kids are out of the room and then go. I don’t believe that is factual at all. Is there anecdotal evidence to support the theory? Yes. Mountains of it. A little internet digging shows that there are zillions of people who claim this happened to them. Is there scientific evidence? Not that I see. I think people attribute cosmic interference to pure coincidence. Having said that, maybe it’s time to give in and embrace the anecdotes. Maybe it’s time to devote less time to the vigil.

I know what I have to do but I fucking hate that I am even considering it. I just want her to be at peace. I want her suffering to end.

Two Cat Household

Nothing new with my mother. She’s in a dedicated hospice facility and the room is 1000000 times better than her room at Lawrence General. Her breathing is rough. She doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, but it is super tough to listen too.

In other news, we have two cats now.

Robin:

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Lily:

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Here we see both of them in the same image. What were they doing? They were watching The Bachelor. I mean their eyes were glued to the screen. It was a little unsettling.

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Coming to the End

I got about an hour of sleep last night after work but before I went over to the hospital. I got maybe 20 minutes of sleep overnight as I was taking the night shift of staying with my mother. When I got home I got maybe another hour of sleep. I punched in to work a little before 1:00 and was almost immediately told that my mother’s doctor is saying she’s coming to the end of the line. He expects that she will go either tonight or tomorrow.

Jen and I are going to go over once we get out of work, which for me is in just a few minutes (I’m leaving early) and for her was still up in the air, but won’t be too long. I am not planning to stay over night again. I just can’t do it. I will be back as soon as I can tomorrow morning though, and I will be available to bring my father back and forth as much as he needs.

The doctor said if we haven’t said our goodbyes yet, we should. I had a moment of clarity from my mother that was all I ever needed. I told her I loved her as I was leaving the ER last Tuesday and she said she loved me too. Given the advanced state of her dementia, that was pretty much the greatest thing that could happen. I am never going to forget that moment. On Friday last week we had another moment where my father and my brother and sister and I were all in the room with her saying goodbye. At that time we all thought the end was upon us and we didn’t realize she was going to hang on for another week… she’s a tough old gal, my mom. I will never forget that moment either.

I will never get a better goodbye than either of those moments. I will hang onto them forever.

Send my mother some happy thoughts tonight, if you would.

Hard Time

I am having a hard time with the state of the universe today. It’s just difficult. Everything. Here are some pics from the gas station this morning on the way to work to try and distract me from all of the shit.

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In happier news, Lily the kitten got out of the room we were hiding her in this morning. We were probably going to let her out today to see how the two cats handled integration. All is well. They have integrated. Robin the mother cat is adorable. Lily the kitten is adorable times 10.

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I am going to go take a nap. I’m the overnight shift tonight.

No News

I was able to get about 7.5 hours of sleep last night and that was very much needed. I didn’t get any news about mom overnight. My sister was there last night. I think my next overnight is tomorrow. My brother, Jen, and I got to meet with the doctor yesterday afternoon and he reiterated to us that every patient in this situation is different, so we don’t really have any signs to point to that will tell us how things are progressing. She’s in Care Measures Only, or Hospice right now so it’s just a waiting game.

I just heard from my sister that, as I suspected by the lack of text messages, overnight was quiet. We will see how things go today. I am going to try and work through the morning. We will see how that goes too. Hopefully I’ll be able to get Dad to see her again today. He isn’t able to stay for long, but I hope we can get him as much time with her as we can.

Overnight

Jen and I spent the night in mom’s hospital room. We both slept a little but not too much. There was no real change in mom’s condition other than she actually seems to have fallen asleep, and that has slowed down her breathing rate.

My sister is planning on getting here around 8:00. We will go home when she gets here, check in briefly with work, check on our pair of cats who don’t like each other very much, and then sleep for a while before heading back to the hospital.