After six nights of only stressed induced sleep-- you know the kind where you get up the next morning and your eyes are stinging and feel like there is sand in them from lack of sleep? Not sleeping over 20 minutes at a time.
All from worrying about my Mother. Basically I've moved in to watch her fade away from this life with as much dignity and grace that old age will allow.
She woke up screaming to be taken to the hospital a few weeks ago and we drove to the ER. I've never taken her to the ER before and to make a long story short, they xrayed everything and withdrew all pertinent fluids and came up with nothing. Perfectly fine. But I heard the word Alzheimer's posed as a question which has never been spoken before.
Anyway, they gave her some meds to calm her down which threw her into almost a rage which didn't suit this genteel Southern Lady at all. It took her four days to recover from the ER visit and they sent us on our merry way with a basic antibiotic for an impending infection which she may or may not have.
Here's where things go really south-- after the hospital visit and four or five days on the antibiotic she's getting progressively worse. Her symptoms are almost like she has been poisoned and I see, for the first time, those ugly red spots on her lower limbs.
Those ugly red, splotchy, raised dots that indicated to me that vital organs were shutting down. I'm later relieved to see them dissipate(is that the word I want? probably not) slowly.
And I'm so afraid to close my eyes on her. I finally look up this medicine on the internet and I read that this medicine is NOT to be given to the elderly, specifically anyone over 65.
It's a big holiday weekend. Doctors are out of town, and I damn sure don't want to take her back to the hospital for young stud and weekend beach bum, Dr Shawn Whatshisface, to fucking shut her down with the pharmaceutical favorite cocktail du jour.
I count minutes and gauge severity of splotches and watch her rummage all hours of the day and night. She takes a shower @ 1:30 am. Not a good time but thank goodness she can do it on her own. She doesn't know day from night sometimes.
I know at any minute I can call the rescue squad if needed. We are probably 3 minutes from the hospital. But we hold on. I fix her favorite things and applaud when she nibbles a few bites. She weighs 98 lbs and is 4'11" so she's always eaten like a bird.
She begins eating more and gains more clarity a teeny bit each day but you desperately search for positive signs of life when you could be actually watching the last hours of life. She turns the tv remote to the program she wants to watch instead of bringing me the remote and asking me to help her out.
I still didn't sleep last night. Probably only an hour and a half altogether. I've watched out for Mother all evening again and peered at her from down a darkened hallway with nightlites lighting the way in most all the rooms.
I come in closer for the usually dreaded morning observations. eyes stinging, hands trembling, swallowing hard. I see that Mother has dressed nicely, and combed her hair for the first time in two weeks (besides weekly salon visits) AND she has put on lipstick.
We were going to try and catch her doctor this morning but by the time I got through he was booked for the day and will be out all week.
I expend a huge chest swelling sigh... Although it's moment to moment and can take a u-turn, for today it looks like she's going to do just fine.