I have a quite personal reason for posting this today. Last week, on Sunday, 8 days ago, my mother went into an inpatient hospice care, after being at my sister’s house on outpatient, on location care for just about 3 days. Alive Hospice in Nashville began giving her pain medication upon her arrival, and she passed away Wednesday night, July 30. Everything happened fast. Her condo closed on July 18th (we had moved her out on the weekends of July 5-6 and 12-13). On Monday the 14th she had scans to see how the trial cancer meds were doing. On Wednesday the 16th, the doctor said it now showed some spots on her liver. In just 5 days, she was in enough pain that she had to be rushed to the doctor, and he suggested the hospice option. The next day we were about to have some radiation treatment started at the doctor’s suggestion to help alleviate the pain, but the sedative/pain meds they gave her prior to that wiped her out and made her so sick they couldn’t get the treatment done. When the hospice nurse came that night and we began to tell her about what had been happening and some things Mom had said and done, she said it sounded to her like Mom had begun the process of leaving us. Things continued to move rapidly from that point. The next night we were calling relatives saying it was coming down to days, so family came in for the weekend. Hospice brought a hospital bed to the house on Saturday. All Saturday night Mom was restless and it became clear by morning that she needed to be moved to the hospice facility so they could hook her up to better, constant flows of pain meds. That was Sunday, July 27th. I spent most of the following hours of the remaining days in that room, going home around 10:30 each night and going back around noon the next day. Some family and friends came, and I was saying “goodnight Mom, see you in the morning, Love you” before I was about to walk out the door until morning, and I noticed her breathing had slowed to almost nothing. It was about 2 minutes after that they said she had passed. During that I was trying to call my sister and brother back , both of whom had just walked out not 2 minutes before.
The hospice (Alive Hospice in Nashville TN) was outstanding. Everyone should have a group like this available to them for times like these. The nurses and doctors, and the facilities and the atmosphere was stellar. We all talked to Mom during this time, and she got a couple calls from grandkids, and she seemed to listen , as her breathing changed markedly when the speakerphone was held near her. And as my sister had just said goodnight just before she passed, we all feel that this is when Mom let herself move on.
Things CAN happen quickly. Our choice of Alive Hospice allowed us to mark this time in good surroundings.
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"Old age is a special problem for me because I've never been able to shed the mental image I have of myself - a lad of about 19."E.B. White
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