Sunday, October 22, 2006

I barely know what day it is....

Only because my brother mentioned wanting to go to church when he wakes's Sunday already for me but everyone else is asleep, finally.

Sil, auntie & I are taking shifts for the nights. The nurse left yesterday, @ least I think it was yesterday, which was Friday in my time frame since my 'day' has not ended yet. We gave mom a shower the first morning, it took 3 of us. We did not even get her in the shower. We sat the shower chair in the middle of the restroom & used the hand held shower to wash her up w/ towels under us all over the floor, that worked well. Did I already mention this? She deserved to look & feel fresh.

The first few days were a whirlwind....I was anxious because I could tell my mom was in pain. They sent a PILL for her to take but she could NOT swallow! DUH! So they would crush it & then give it to her in a spoon of water...sometimes it would cause her to choke, other times it would just sit, dried out, on top of her tongue.

They didn't send ANY pain patches in the increased dosage, they sent none @ all. Finally we got them to understand 1) they didn't send ANY & 2) she needs/was prescribed an increased dose.

The nurse finally got a prescription for a liquid pain reliever instead of the be administered every 2 hours. Friday night...we were giving it every hour (nurse said it was ok) & mom was in obvious pain, discomfort & distress. And it was really bad when we would move her....even after giving it every hour.

The nurse prescribed a higher dosage the next day & finally, mom has been sleeping peacefully today. There is still some noticeable distress when we move her, but not much. There is so much but I can't think of it all.

The last day we had a nurse, they woke me up @ the morning shift change because they needed help changing my mom's sheets & everything. She & all her bedding were SOAKED. I was irritated @ that. I went to sleep thinking I could rest & trust this nurse to care for my mom only to find that she hadn't changed her all night, causing her to soak through everything!

After the final nurse left & it was up to us (me, SIL & aunti {mom's sister}) to care for mom, she has not been wet since! We check her regularly & take good care of her keeping her clean & fresh. I am NOT the nursing type so SIL takes charge & my role is to help move mom & support her body while she is cleaned up. I have my limitations. My grandma tried to tell me one time, I HAD to clean her & I 'better' learn. But I didn't feel bad or guilty or anything because I KNOW my limits & I'm ok w/ that. There are plenty of willing hands to help. And my sil & I + auntie, make a great team & I am proud of myself how well we take care of her, personally.

The swelling has pretty much gone away in her legs. She is still jaundiced/yellow.

After my 'shift' Friday night, I went to bed, it still took me awhile to fall asleep. Then sil woke me up to help her change mom (it's a 3-2 person minimum job) I thought I just couldn't even move. I felt so weak & tired & achy. But by morning...about 3.5-4 hours later, I felt a little energized.

I didn't get to take a shower until after 4 pm...finally, I was alone w/ no one demanding or needing anything from me & it felt good. I was mentally & physically better after that.

Mom's fever is becoming continuous despite the tylenol. Nurse said it was to be expected. She also said, closer to the end, she will have very rapid breathing? So I keep watching for that. Sometimes she has very shallow, rapid breathes but it is not regular. Her hands are starting to turn pale, it's hard to tell but it's not a natural color.

I was giving her bits of water on a sponge or washcloth yesterday...but now I can't give her anything w/o her choking, which sounds much more painful. I start to feel very anxious when she is in distress...I feel like *I* am in distress. Well I supposed it is stressful to see a family member suffering. But anyway...I feel like her pain medication is really for MY peace of mind. If she is peaceful & I know it, then I am peaceful. I have no problem giving her her pain meds as regularly scheduled.

I worked on making a slide show we did for grandma's funeral.

I keep feeling like the nurse was here 3 days ago...but it was only yesterday.

My brother & cousin are starting to ask me how long I think it will MY opinion, like I'm a nurse. I can only repeat what the nurses told me but I don't know. No one really knows.

A lot of my brother's friends from church came tonight & sang worship in the living room so my mom could hear. That was nice....then some stayed really late, that was not so nice. lol Everyone stayed up late & they were loud. It was hard for us to get the littles to sleep & for my aunt & sil to get to sleep before their 'shift'.

My aunt, uncle & cousins arrived from OH tonight too....3 am their time...around midnight? our time. They drove here to see my mom.

I think I am ready for a shift change.

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