Thursday, May 31, 2012

Watching Mom breathe

I am once more sitting with my mom and watching her breathe.  She was having such a hard time earlier that my sister and I thought this could be it but a change of position calmed her breathing right down.

I am surprised that mom is still with us.  She has had little to nothing to eat or drink in 8 days.  Her oxygen levels rose back into the 80's I think yesterday. Maybe the day before. It is hard to keep track as the days all seem to run together. Her heart rate is on a roller coaster ride I think.  That is probably related to how much morphine she gets.  She often has lengths of time where she sleeps peacefully so even though she can have morphine every two hours we usually don't disturb her while she is sleeping well.  But the cut back in drugs allows her heart rate to rise again.

We try to keep Mom comfortable as far as is possible. We find a position that allows her to sleep and we are so happy but she has to be rotated periodically and I'm always sorry when the next position is uncomfortable for her.  She starts doing crunches repeatedly.  I don't know how she has the energy to do them for hours on end since she isn't eating more that a few bites of yogurt each day.  She can't sit up as far as she used to but her head still leaves the pillow and if you place a hand on her torso you can feel all the muscles tighten.   We hope that when she gets her resurrected body, it will have abs of steel. 

Mom has lost a lot of weight and continues to urinate fluids from her body stores.  Her little intake of fluids can't begin to match the output.  So much of her water weight is gone that we noticed today how thin her ankles have become.  I've never seen Mom with anything but thick ankles, (a trait I was sorry to see passed on down the gene pool), but they are normal size ankles now. Her fingers are blue, and I can't decide if that is from lack of oxygen or just because all her veins are showing through the skin.

For a couple of days we were able to get yes and no answers from Mom to questions such as, "Are you too cold?" Today she is not engaging with us at all.  Not verbally and not with her eyes.  For a while she was turning her head when we spoke so we knew she was hearing us.  Today she shows no recognition at all.  She is however, talking to someone in Swedish.  Yesterday she mumbled words that we couldn't understand at all. Today her Swedish is quite clear.  She has been answering yes or no to unheard questions. I would love to know for sure who she is talking to. I presume it is her parents and sister, maybe grandparents but as yet, I've not had the privilege to see with whom she speaks.  Since she is speaking Swedish I presume it is someone from Sweden anyway.  It is amazing that this room could be full of spirits waiting for Mom's time to come.  We hope that somehow they are able to give aid and comfort where we don't know how.

I went through all our scrapbooks and started scanning every picture I could find with my mother in it. I found quite a lot of them from her girlhood to recent pictures.  It has been fun to look at them all. I have also posted a different picture every day as my profile picture on Facebook in honor of Mom. She is a beautiful woman.

My daughter and a niece have each written very loving blog posts about their grandmother.  You can read those here and here.

It is now tomorrow so here are a few of those pictures of Mom:

Ready to catch the train
Leaving Sweden for America

The bride
Mr and Mrs Keith Morgan
Mom holding me
Mom and me
My wedding reception
Grandma with baby B
Grandma with baby J
Grandma and Grandpa with baby H
Mom in Swedish costume
Mom and me
Always a wave from the porch as we drive off

No comments: