Confusion, Depression and Anger

Over the next few days Mom was very confused off and on.  The St B hospital is a catholic hospital so every room has a crucifix.  One day when Mom was confused she pointed at the crucifix and told us that as long as she saw the crucifix she knew where she was.  I was glad that she had found a point of reference but it was sad to know that she had to.  And after that I would catch her looking up at the crucifix every so often.  A day or two after she arrived at St B the same nurse that had been there the night Mom was admitted came in to see her.  She was so relieved to see that Mom was improving.  The nurse said that when she heard that Carole Pearce was coming up to be admitted she had said, “Oh no, not Carole.”  She had been so upset that Mom was back and then when she saw her that night she hadn’t thought Mom was going to make it.  She had been so worried.  It was comforting to have these incredible nurses that truly cared for Mom.

Mom had some more ups and downs over the next couple of weeks.  Her hemoglobin dropped enough to have a blood transfusion and after having continued issues with food and keeping it down she ended up on what we affectionately called “pudding”.   “Pudding” is a bag full of milky liquid IV nutrient that I nicknamed pudding when I saw that Mom was down one day.  There were days where we got so desperate to raise her spirits we tried anything.  So I asked her if she like the pudding or if we should request to have chocolate or strawberry flavoring added.  It was a cheap try but I could usually get a small smile out of her as I changed the idea of the pudding.  There were a lot of dark days during those weeks.  There were days where I would talk to my Aunt or I would go into Mom’s room and I would know who she needed to visit.  I would call in “the troops” or the “heavy hitters”.  We just weren’t enough some days.  She needed pastors, mentors, family, old friends, funny friends and serious friends.

I also got Mom a little upset by asking to speak with the hospital social worker.  Okay so Mom was a little more than upset.  She was mad.  I had requested that my asking about physical and occupational therapies be kept private but they had to make her aware and I get it.  But boy was she mad.  She just couldn’t understand why I was concerned.  I just didn’t want her going home and not being strong enough.  I wanted to know if there was more we could do for her at her apartment to make her life easier.  But she was absolutely determined that she could do anything if she was in her own apartment.  But I still requested that there be full assessments completed before she was released to the Steinbach hospital again.  And I requested that one of the Oncologists meet with us in her room to be sure of where everything stood.  I made sure I was at the hospital for the assessments and Mom glared at me, made snide comments, and was very nearly rude to the therapists.  She just didn’t see the problem; or did see the problem and didn’t want to face it.  I wanted to know that she could get up the steps into her apartment.  She thought that saying that she could should have been enough.  I just didn’t buy it that time.  She was so much weaker; so much more vulnerable.  I just hoped that at some point she would understand why I had done it.  The months from January to May of 2010 were incredibly difficult;  one rollercoaster after another one.  And even after she was released from the Winnipeg hospital and then the Steinbach hospital it wasn’t over.  Her next chemo was a week away on March 17th.  And we were all scared.  The game had permanently changed.

Leave a Reply