Friday, October 27, 2006

Sitting and Waiting

12:24 a.m.

Sitting here waiting for the phone to ring.
Waiting for my sister to call with news about my Mom.
Waiting and sitting.
Sitting and waiting.

The day started off pretty normal.
General cleaning.
Playing with Cam.

The the calls started.
My Mom.
She thinks she is at my Aunt Rose's house.
She wants me to come get her.
My Aunt Rose died 2 years ago.
She is at her own house.

Jess was with her this morning.
Saying she was confused.
She ate some toast.
1/4 of a piece of toast.

Jess left for school at 10:30 a.m.
My sister was supposed to be there at 11:00 a.m.
We decided to give my Mom some responsibility and leave her along for short amounts of time.
Had been going well all week.
Social worker thought it was a great idea.

But today is different.
The confusion.
What is it?

My sister can't leave from work now until 2:00 p.m.
Finally I can't take it anymore and go get her.
She is mad.
She says I will be sorry for how I treat her.
She would never leave me someplace I didn't want to be.

We gather her clothes for her Doctors appointment at 3:30 p.m.
We start out the door.
Cameron first.
Me second.
Mom last.
Turn around.
No Mom.
I go back.
She is grabbing as much as she can in her arms as she walks to the door.
I ask: What are you doing Mom?
Mom: We can NOT leave my things in Rose's house now help me!
Me: Mom, this is your house.
Mom: Don't tell me this is my house! I know my house. This is NOT my house!
Me: (calmly) Mom let's walk around a bit before we go and look at some things.
Mom: Fine.
Walk into my Mom and Dad's room.
Me: Mom Is this Dad's clothes?
Mom: Yes! Why did Rose steal your Dad's clothes?
Me: She didn't Mom. Rose passed away. This is Dad's room and these are his clothes.
Mom: Stop IT! This is NOT MY HOUSE. I want out of here now.
Me: OK, Mom. Let's go.
We walk to the sun room.
I open the door to let Cameron outside onto the porch and turn to let my Mom pass by me as well.
She is grabbing flower vases and knick knacks.
Me: Mom, what are you doing?
Mom: I will NOT leave my stuff at Rose's house.
I take the things from my Mom and put them back in their place.
Mom: Someday Tammy you will have to answer to God for how you treat me. You will be sorry.
Me: No, Mom. I won't. I have no guilt. I do the best I can. I am just trying to help you.
Mom: I would never treat you this way.
Me: I know Mom. Let's go.

We walk to the car.
We drive next door.
I pick up Cameron to carry him in the house.
I open the door for my Mom.
Mom: Put that child down and take me in the house.
Me: Mom, I can't put Cameron down or he will run off while I help you. Take my hand and I will help you to your feet and I will walk behind you into the house.
Mom: No, I am not getting out of this car.
Me: Please Mom. Please.
Mom: No! You won't help me. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Me: Please Mom, Cameron is heavy and he is ready for a nap. Please come inside.
Please help me help you.
Mom: No. I am staying here.
Me: OK Mom. But I have to take Cameron inside he is cold and sleepy. He will get sick if I stand here much longer. I'll be right back.
Mom: That's right just leave me here. It doesn't matter if I get sick or die. I have my head cut open. A pacemaker. I can't walk. I can't eat. And you just leave me here.
Me: Please Mom, I am doing the best I can.
Mom: Go!

And I go.
And I am sad.
And I am angry.

I carry Cameron to the couch and lay him down.
I get him some milk and his blanky.
I turn on the Wiggles.
And I call my sister.

Me: Connie, Mom won't get out of the car.
Connie: What?
Me: She won't get out of the car. She says I will be sorry for how I treat her.
(I repeat above conversations with my Mom to my sister.)
Connie: Get her inside. She needs to get changed and her hair fixed for the doctor. I will be there shortly.
Me: Ok.

I go outside.
I kneel on the cold wet ground.
I lift my Mom's legs one by one outside the car door.
I place her cane against my hip.
I reach my hand to her.
She stands.
Me: See that wasn't so bad was it Mom.
Mom: Don't you worry girl. You won't have me to burden you much longer.
Me: What?
Mom: You heard me.
Me: Don't say things like that Mom. You're not burden.
Mom: Then why did you leave me out here? Get me in the house before I freeze to death.
Me: (tear running down my face) Ok, Mom.

My niece Tiffany arrives 10 minutes later.
Tiff: Hi Grandma. I'm here to take you to the Doctor. How are you feeling today?
Mom: Oh Lord. I am feeling so sick. I can't take much more of this. I am so sick to my stomach.
Me: Mom, you need to take your meds and I will give you a Phenergan for nausea.
Mom: Get me some water.
Me: Yes, Mom.

Mom takes her meds.
Tiff helps her undress and redress.
Connie arrives.
They leave.

I cry.
I slam a few cupboards.
I rethink everything that has been said.
I am angry.
How can she treat me this way?
I am just trying to help.
Doesn't she see that?
And I am grateful.
Grateful I don't have to deal with it anymore today.

4 hours later.
I go out to get my mail.
I see Tiff and Connie pull in my Mom's driveway.
I call her house.
Tiff answers.
Me: How was the doppler ultrasound Tiff?
Tiff: Great! She has no blockages in her arms or legs. Everything is clear.
Me: That great. Thank God.
Tiff: But...
Me: But what?
Tiff: When we got home and were walking up on the porch Grandma started throwing up.
Me: Had she ate something or was she just gagging?
Tiff: No, it was puke and Aunt Tam...
Me: What?
Tiff: It looked like coffee grounds.
Me: Oh God. No...
Tiff: I know I am scared.
Me: She has to go to the doctor or emergency room.
Tiff: I know, so does Aunt Connie. She is deciding what to do.
Me: I'll be right there.

I grab my coat.
I walk the 100 yards next door to my Moms.
The same 100 yards I had driven 4 and 1/2 hours earlier in a car because my Mom couldn't walk that far.
My sister Connie is on the porch.
I walk up the steps.
She hands me a garbage can.
I look inside.
It looks like a coffee filter and a cup or so of coffee grounds.
Me: Is that what she threw up?
Connie: Yeah.
Me: She needs to go to the doctor.
Connie: I know but I am not taking her. Elaine (Our other sister) will have to do it.
Me: Ok.

We walk in the house.
Connie gathers the medications and puts them in a bag.
She writes down the meds she has taken today.
Baby Hunter (Tiffany's 1 year old) is walking around cooing and playing.
He is dressed like a bat.
He is adorable.
Mom: Tammy go get the blow dryer and warm my feet.
Me: What Mom?
Mom: You heard me. My feet are cold and I want to warm them up before I leave.
Connie: Mom I will put an extra pair of socks on you.

Elaine and I go outside to get the car ready.
I carry Kleenex and pillows for my Mom.
Elaine warms the car.
We lay the seat back.

My Mom comes outside.
Connie and Jim carry her to the car.
Elaine and my Mom leave for Covenant Cooper aka St. Lukes Hospital.

Connie goes back inside Mom's house.
I walk the 100 yards back home.

8:56 p.m.
The phone rings.
It's my sister Connie.
Elaine called from the Emergency Room.
They have my Mom in a room.
She is on an IV for fluids.
They did a rectal exam and checked her stool for blood.
It was immediately positive.
The doctor tells Elaine She has bleeding in her intestines and probably in her stomach too.
Could be from the medications or ulcers or other things.
They are doing tests.
Does she have a stance on heroic measures?
Elaine: (shocked) Um, no I don't think so.
Doctor: Get it done.

Connie and I talk about the meaning behind heroic measures.
What did he mean?

Just in case?
Or is there an imminent possibility of death?
What the hell is going on?
Connie says Elaine told her once Mom was settled down a bit she was going to go ask the nurses if she could please talk to the doctor to clarify what he meant.

that was almost 4 and 1/2 hours ago and I am sitting here waiting.
Sitting and waiting.
Waiting and sitting.


genevieve said...

Thinking of you.
Please update when you can.
I don't know what else to say, but I will be thinking of you, Tam.

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