I didn’t know there were stages in dying until I searched with Google tonight. My mother is passing through the initial stage and has moved on to one of the symptoms of the final stage. She feels restless and needs to change her position in bed. Every 3 or 4 minutes.
She needs my help to do this, so I’m sitting beside her bed reading up on how we humans die and how to do the best I can for her. I want her to be comfortable and peaceful.
My mom broke her hip, had an operation and was sent to a rehab facility. She was supposed to stay there a week, but as my sister Liz said to my mom two days ago, “This is a prison break, Mom. We’re busting you out of here.”
From the first hour she was there, it was like they didn’t see her as an individual, but as just another sick person needing physiotherapy. She turned 90 while in the hospital. Do you think they might have realized how frail and weak she was? It didn’t seem like it at all.
My sister told me they had her sit in a hard chair at a table in the dining room. Dinner still hadn’t arrived 45 minutes later. My mom felt so awful my sister took her to her room. Luckily, Sis had brought some food for Mom and she ate a bit. My daughter complained about this, but they said that’s the way things were done.
I came the next morning. My mother was in a wheelchair staring out the window. She said she needed to use the washroom. I rang for a nurse who began berating Mom, saying she had just taken her 10 minutes earlier. I decided Mom had to come home.
Once at home, the facility called and told us Mom had a bladder infection. That was why she needed to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes. We have the antibiotic and are giving it to her.
Mom quit eating anything yesterday. The day before she only had chicken broth. She hasn’t been eating enough for months. One thing she made me promise was to never, ever let anyone force-feed her if she was dying.
Mom didn’t want to drink yesterday, but is drinking water today. She has no interest in anything but trying to sleep. It’s 11:22pm and I’ve changed her position at least 20 times since I began writing. I might be up all night, but I just feel blessed by God that I can help my mom leave this life like she helped me to enter it. New moms don’t get much sleep either.