Keep On Living Until I Feel Alive Again

My heart is completely broken since my dear Mum passed, nearly one year ago. I feel the deepest fractures within my very soul most keenly when I breathe. I spent 43-years and 362-days of my life with my Mum, and her absence is overwhelmingly felt.

I know I have to move forward. I have to keep on living until I feel alive again.

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Grief is a surreal place, caught somewhere between hearts bursting with love and breaking from loss.

So much has happened in the time that I’ve been away.

My sweet Mum was taken via ambulance and admitted to hospital on July 14, 2016, due to vomiting and diarrhoea. Her fever was high, and her breathing was short and laboured. Mum was moved from emergency intake to a unit the following day. The doctors did all they could to address her vomiting and diarrhoea by changing her feeding tube routine, but the best results were when her feeds were dramatically reduced to 1 canister of “formula” per day. I had been reducing her feeds, as well, because I felt in my gut that she was having trouble tolerating the intake, and her body was not processing properly what she was getting. I knew this was an early stage of ultimately losing her, and that made it proper to explore what our next steps would be. It was not an easy choice to make, but it was both medically responsible and ethically sound to proceed with Mum’s well-being and comfort as our priority. I discussed hospice placement with Mum’s attending physician, and she began the process.

Mum was transferred to a hospice in the late afternoon of July 26, 2016, and had received her last feed of 150 ml earlier that morning. While in hospice Mum got water flushes via her feeding tube, as well as sips of water by mouth.

Mum lasted until August 11, 2016, when she passed away peacefully at 01:00. She had my big brother and sister-in-law by her side when she took her last breaths, as I had recently returned home with my niece to grab a few things, rest a bit, then return to let my bother and SIL sleep. It was the night nurse who called at 01:01 to let me know Mum had passed, and we all (myself, my niece, my mister, my kids, and some very dear friends) returned immediately to the hospice.

We stood around Mum and listened to music. We kissed her goodbye. We cried. We hugged. We cried.

Right around 03:00 on August 11, 2016, we watched as two men from the funeral home took Mum away.

On August 12, 2016, we (my brother, SIL, niece, and I) went to the funeral home to make arrangements for Mum’s cremation.

On August 13, 2016, I returned to the funeral home with my mister to identify Mum’s body and spend an hour with her to say goodbye. The picture below is from that day.

This is a terribly painful post to write. Grief is a surreal place, caught somewhere between hearts bursting with love and breaking from loss.

This, That, and the Other

Tired

Photo via Google

So many things have me exhausted these last few weeks, and that’s been the main reason I’ve been too tired or distracted to keep up-to-date on my blog. I am bad!

Just prior to resuming Homeschool this past September, I started a new job at the local Shoppers Drugmart/Pharma Prix. So far, I’m really liking it. It gets me out of the house and talking to people my own age, as well as the added bonus of a little income. The store is open until 12:00 every night, and since my mister works during the day, it fits with my availability of 5:30pm – 12:00am, plus weekend and holiday days. The downside is being tired from the closing shifts, but that’s manageable. ;0)

I’ve noticed a few odd happenings with my mother, as well, since starting my job. It seems my schedule changes are throwing her off course, and impacting her in a way I had not anticipated. She’s extra confused lately, and a few of her more unusual traits are actually becoming more unusual. She’s presenting additional oddities lately (insomnia, spontaneous bladder evacuation on her bedroom floor once, her paranoia is increasing), which have me concerned, too. I’m/we’re reassuring her and trying to keep her calm, as well as documenting the behaviours to share during her appointment on November 7th. At that time I will be petitioning for a medication change, also. Our health care system is encouraging families to care for their elderly, and I want to, but I am not equipped to manage the myriad of negative side-effects from the toxic, garbage that l-dopa is. Not to mention, I would hardly call a “medical treatment” a success when it may stop her tremoring, but it causes 20 other serious side-effects. Doctors piss me off so much, and it’s blatantly obvious they’re not interested in proper care as much as they are the fucking commission they get for every single script they push and peddle on people. That, and too many doctors are not willing to try a different approach, despite studies showing positive effects. Anyway, I’m bracing myself for a fight to get my mother off the shit she’s on now, and onto cesamet, a cannabinoid derivative higher in CBD (for a body calming effect) than THC (hallucinatory effect from heating marihuana), which has proven effective in trials with Parkinson’s patients. I may just be pleasantly surprised, and have the doctors work with me to this end, but I’m sure not going to hold my breath.

At any rate, that’s the last few weeks in a nutshell. I’ll do better in future. Thanks for hanging-in there. ;0)

Day 22 ~ Best Thing to Happen This Year

Calvin and Hobbes Dancing

Photo via Google

Day 22 ~ Best thing to happen this year:

The best thing to happen this year was finding a house big enough for my whole family. We searched and agonized to find a place we could call our home, that had enough room, and a layout with few stairs that wouldn’t pose a hazard for my mom. We found exactly what we were looking for, and the finding of it lifted a huge weight off of us. We couldn’t be happier, and hope to live here for many years to come. ♥

31-Day Blog Challenge