December 3, 2012 7:30pm, Pacific time, as I sat on one side of the bed and Popcorn stood on the other, Snickers, Baileywick, Ladybug and Firecracker were in casual family conversation. Mom’s labored breathing slowly came to a stop. Her strained facial expression suddenly became very peaceful. Popcorn looked at me and said, “I think she is gone.” I stood up and bent over Mom kissing her on the forehead. Snickers removed the oxygen mask from Mom’s face and hugged her and we all shed tears of joy knowing that Mom was absent from the body and present with the Lord. Popcorn went to summons the nurse. Nurse Cheryl came in with a stethoscope, and after listening to Mom’s chest for a moment, she nodded and said, “I’m so sorry.”
Saturday, December 1, 2012
I checked in at Manor-Care to see Mom today (Thursday 11-30-12) at 1:20PM. Snickers was there earlier and was out for a hearing test. The Speech/Swallow therapist was there with Mom when I arrived and was doing paperwork. Physical therapy was there earlier, I’m not sure what they did with Mom, and Occupational Therapy was scheduled for Mom at 3:05PM. Mom was sleeping and I could not rouse her. She was that way almost all day. The Therapist has some serious concerns that we all needed to discuss with the nursing staff. I interacted with various other staff as they came in to check on Mom and some time after 2:30PM Snickers and Tadpole showed up again. Tadpole had some nice flowers for Mom’s room. I began explaining to Snickers how poorly Mom was doing today compared to yesterday, she was already aware of this, and soon - several of the staff were there to discuss where we go from here. At this point, Hospice is OUT until further notice. WE want all the skilled nursing staff to do everything they can to help Mom have some healing and recovery if possible. They have her on a NPO (nothing by mouth) order and are setting up for an IV to be started again. In order to get the nutrition she needs, we discussed a surgically installed feeding tube in her stomach but opted instead for the PICC Line method. Manor-Care has a Nurse on staff that can do PICC Line installation at bedside. If the nurse has problems installing the PICC Line at bedside, they will transport Mom back to the hospital to have it done there and bring her back to Manor Care afterwards. Mom was also running a fever of 99.7F and they put a cold wet wash cloth on her forehead and icebags in her armpits. Snickers had a conversation with one of Mom’s old nurses at OAR who said the deal about not holding Mom’s room for more than 21 days is not cast in stone. So, Snickers is now holding out hope that perhaps Mom may be able to return to OAR in time if she recovers enough for that. Today was a bad day and did not give me much cause for optimism but we are doing our best to do the right thing for Mom. I left for home around 4PM.