Monday, March 24, 2008

A New Trick Every Day

For someone supposedly on the threshold of death, Mom sure has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.
Every day she has a new way of asserting control over her own life and circumstances, of commandeering the attention and energy of me and the team of caregivers at her residence as well as any stray hospice workers, chapains, or passersby.
In more active days it was throwing her walker down the stairs or biting or striking caregivers.
Now it's more often clamping her mouth shut to refuse meds or food--though the dramatic smashing of drinking glasses a few days ago shows she can still do actively angry things.
Today she refused to let caregivers put her false teeth into her mouth in the morning (her upper plate and partial lower plate)--someting she's never done before.
When I arrived at 2:30 pm, the reports started flying in:
"She refused to let me put her false teeth in!" said JR. "She did not eat or drink any breakfast or lunch!"
But a home health aide from hospice had been there left a note: "She drank some milk and ate grapes."
I didn't remember she was coming... but good. Except--feeding her grapes without teeth in her mouth?
A big no-no.
Mom did not open her eyes when I talked to her. I could tell she was having her normal non-booted up day after a very active day.
I tried to talk to her, got the teeth, managed to get them in her mouth, and instructed them to give her milk at least at dinner.
Then I left to pick up an antibiotic for myself and to figure out what to do with the cat.
I tried to get the cat put to sleep today, but the vet said she's looking great, should not be put to sleep. Instead we should pay for a $500 feeding tube to be installed in her throat.
I left it up to John. He said to go for the tube.
So the cat gets intubation, but Mom's on hospice and neither eating nor drinking--allowed to starve, I guess.
Go figure.

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