I realize that I have not posted in quite a while… it’s been a little busy around here.
At the present time, Mama Trudy is resting, quietly and Don has gone to church, the dishwasher is running and there’s a load of clothes in the washing machine. There’s also a piece of toast in the toaster waiting for me, but I decided to take this time to write an update on Mama Trudy. I could use a of coffee, too.
Yesterday, I wondered what God is preparing me for. It certainly is no walk in the park giving care at this stage of her life. Don’t misunderstand me… I am so grateful to be able to be here with her. I thank God everyday for this opportunity to love and care for her and share this time with her, but the challenges have been present.
Challenges? Yes. Like trying to figure out what medications she can and cannot take. Cannot take Ativan or a full dosage of Phenergan. Wow, those were “active” two days. Arms and legs and mouth moving all the time. Not restful, that’s for sure.
She’s had major issues with nausea and sick stomach and we believe we have reached a happy medium with liquid Benadryl as prescribed by her doctor. She does have some activity with it as well, but she doesn’t try to get up and walk by herself. Right now, she’s talking to someone and no one is in the room. She can be quite entertaining and she laughs at herself when I tell her what she’s said in her sleep. I can deal with her talking, but it is so hard to watch her suffer, so we do all we can to keep that to a minimum.
It’s so hard for a creative mind to stop being creative.
A sip or two of tonic water helps her stomach settle. If she is sick to the point of hanging over a bucket, a fourth of a Phenergan will help her and yet not cause her to hallucinate or be so restless. I powdered the Phenergan and mix it in a spoonful of Greek yogurt and she eats it right up. She loves Greek yogurt… the unsweetened, unflavored kind. The Greek yogurt was my brother Jon’s idea. Big kudos to him for that one.
When her stomach was hurting so bad and she was so nauseated, she even refused to eat or take any medications one night. Slowly she has began to eat again. Not much, but she is eating three times a day.
Breathing and anxiety has also become an issue. Well, actually, she is breathing (oxygen level at 99-100), but when she lies flat on her back, she feels like she can’t breathe. We’re working on that, too. Cutting back on the amount of oxygen she gets to give her brain a chance to slow down and rest.
She’s been unable to walk to the bathroom now for about two weeks. Hospice has provide a potty chair for her bedroom.
I’m thinking about a wheelchair so she can move to other parts of the house when she feels like sitting in a chair… just for a change of “scenery.” That will be trial and error because it takes so very little to cause her complete exhaustion now.
The two spurs in her right shoulder render that arm almost useless to her. She is able to bend at the elbow without pain, so she still feeds herself. Thank the Lord. I’ve only needed to feed her yogurt one time.. the first time she ate it.
Friday, she got her hair washed and I styled it as much like she likes it as I could. She looked so pretty, I took her picture. She is truly a photogenic marvel as she never feels as good as she looks.
Yesterday, after being up all night with Mama, we moved the day bed into her bedroom for the times that someone needs to be with her through the night. The two chest of drawers look odd in the living room now, but oh well. We placed a chair in front of them and called it “Good.”
She tries to read her Bible and devotionals but has trouble staying focused. She perseveres, however. Last night, she was able to read. That always helps her.
So, that’s where we are. She talks about being ready to go Home and there are times that she wakes up disappointed that she’s still on this earth. But her spirits are good. She is such a trooper and always thanks me for everything I do for her, even when she is so sick. She is the epitome of grace and love. God help me to age with this much grace.
As long as I don’t see blood… I make a pretty good nurse.
ALL the glory goes to God, whose presence is with us constantly.