Into the Bathroom

“Will you come with me” he asked as he sidled himself up next to me as I was walking down the hall. “Where to?” I asked, trying to be funny and nice to this Uncle Fester looking man. “Into the bathroom” he mumbled.

“Oh no, I can’t help you, I don’t know where the bathroom is here” I responded, wondering if he was lost and could not find the bathroom or his room. There are those seniors here who are disoriented or totally gone.

The gentleman followed me into my mother’s room. I gently told him “you can’t use the bathroom here”. “LISTEN” he hissed, “do you want to do it or not?”

That was a dialogue between me and a man in the nursing home. He was a resident, not a worker thankfully, but he threw me totally off guard. I looked at him and said “My mother is sick, you can’t come in here, and NO, I DON’T WANT TO DO IT!”

I was stunned –twisted-shocked.

This occurred right after walking into my mother’s room, seeing her on her side, unable to get up any more, no dignity left, bruised and swollen from the doctors trying to get IV’s into her. She has a fever, and she allowed the doctors to place a naso-gastro tube in her. However, the machine that helps suck out the fluids is broken. They are searching for another. She lies moaning in pain until the nurse comes in to give her some morphine.

The room smells, I have asked them to come and change the bedding.

My mother knows I am here. She gives me her best shot at a smile, and squeezes my hand. I cry, mumbling that we will make her comfortable, and rub her legs. I feel helpless in this descent, but I try to comfort in the best way I know how.

They say she has an ileus, which is an obstruction of the bowel. It can pass, but we do not know what is causing it. She does not want to go to the hospital, and she does not want anything invasive.

I do not want her to suffer, but the voice in my head tells me that I should pray for the best outcome for her…whatever that may be in her karma.

Larry is coming home to take me back to see her for a while. Fortunately I am only 20 minutes away.

But for myself, I went to Gina for a magical massage so that I am less stressed. I am having a small glass of wine as I wait for Larry to come home. He is late. My stomach hurts. Off to find some cold cucumber for my eyes and remind myself to b r e a t h e.

Patti O Pickup


akfnp said…
hi patti,
ive been a lurker on and off via judy up here in ak. its kind of hard to reach out via this (strange) blog connection, i hope you wont think this intrusive. please consider calling hospice. they are the experts in palliative care. although they dont readily give out xanax and valium to family members, (dont think ive not been asked thousands of times:) the support they give can be very helpful for everyone involved. in my former life i spent nearly 9 years working for a hospice organization. they come into the nursing home setting and help manage the care so you and your mom can get the extra tlc you need right now. if you would like any additional info, let me know.
Chaska Peacock said…
Oh, Patti....I have done the nursing home number, only in my case it was my husband who was dying at age 65. I was too numbed out (with an affair I was having to keep the pain at bay) to be able to write about it. Tried to do that later, but cannot bear resurrecting it all.
In our case, hospice did not cover someone in the nursing home. I hope yours does.

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