Saturday, September 6, 2008


Exactly half a day after writing that my mother-in-law, who is in hospice, had become unable to eat or drink, I settled in for the evening...a longggg her room. Up, down, up, down...she was restless and it was a long night for all, even though the nurses were there and I was on the pullout bed. My husband has also been spending nights there on an alternating basis..we trade off.

The next morning, I was up and straightening up the room when Hello! Mima sat up, wide-eyed, and began giving commands. This, from the woman who was entirely unresponsive and had had nothing to eat or drink for about 3 days. She indicated she wanted some hygiene and personal care NOW, grabbed my hand and said "you...Stay!" and tried to swing herself right out of the bed. Well, that was quite a party for the nurses, who were as surprised as I was. An hour later, Mima was all back together, clean and fresh in her bed, and ate two servings of ice cream. She did this for the next three days.

Now we're back to the not eating or drinking, but I think each descent is deeper...she's now on more morphine and CAN'T swallow. So it goes, and it's not fun for her. They're trying to keep her comfortable, which is more of a challenge. I'm very thankful for her medication...I can't imagine what it would be like for her without it.

I've read all the friend comments and taken them to heart...thank you again for all your prayers and great advice. My back DID go out, and I spent a horrible couple of hours lying on a hard tile floor, legs up on a chair, then bed rest as Jack stayed at the hospice. I've been doing stretches, as recommended by my good friends here, and I've got a lot more movement, and will continue doing them. When I'm fully back to the computer (soon??) I'll be requesting the specifics on that because I want to keep my back strong. But I'm now standing upright, and walking, which is a relief, yayyy!!!

It's time now to get back to the facility...thought I'd stop in here and steal a couple minutes. My response to an extended family member's sentiment "Mima just won't let go" is "Rock on, Mima!" She and God will have their last say, as they will, and it won't be to others' time frames. I'm glad. We should all be so blessed to keep dancing even after the musicians are played out. Death shouldn't have to be convenient.

I applaud that sort of stubbornness. Mima, you have my lasting admiration.


Farmgirl_dk: said...

I hope to someday have as wonderful a daughther-in-law as you are, Robbyn. How is your husband holding up? I hope you are able to keep up your strength and your back is done giving you issues - this is - without a doubt - one of the hardest, most challenging life experiences we face. My thoughts are with all three of you.

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

Ecclesiastes (and the song Turn, Turn, Turn) tells us that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. You are right, she will die when it is her time. Even in this difficult time, try to enjoy each moment you have together. The last days with my Mama were some of the sweetest, and the memories of those last days together will always be in my heart.

Brenda said...

She has mine too! A strong woman you've got there. And how sweet that you care so much for her. I felt the same way for my mother-in-law, even though her son and I had long divorced. Yes, those stretches make ALL the difference in the world.

Twinville said...

Mima must be a very strong, brave woman to fight so hard through all her horrific pain and discomfort. It must be very mentally and physically challenging to endure. I believe that most people would be begging to die, or at least giving up entirely.

God bless you for being such a strong spirit to help hold her up and be her wings during this emotionally exhausting time.


sengdroma said...

What fight and spirit Mima has. Good for her. Although times like that must make it harder for you and Jack, it brings back memories which you know will be rudely taken away at any moment. You get to glimpse the woman again before frailty snatches her back.

~Robin~ said...

Your post reminded me so much of my great grandma Violet when she lived in a nursing home! I think she bossed everyone that passed her doorway, issuing orders to "get that damned horse out of my apple orchard!"

Grandma didn't HAVE a horse OR an apple orchard!

Some things we'll never forget...

Praying for you, and your family...

From one Robin to another..

mommymommyland said...

I am so sorry for what you must be going through. Lie seams to throw difficult challenges at all of us sometimes. Personally, I think it is G-d's weird way of testing us and making us stronger. I know this may seem hard, but have you tried telling her it is okay if she needs to go? That you will be their for her husband and son and that you all love her very much and don't wish to see her suffer and longer? Sometimes that can really help, both of you.