Mom is not doing well.
She's still alert and talking to us; she knows who we are, but she's eating almost nothing and not drinking very much either. We try to spoonfeed her pureed food, but she is not able to swallow it.
The doctor says she is weak; her throat and swallowing muscles are weakening. They told us in 2004 that not being able to swallow is the typical final stage for both Lewy Body Disease, which she has, and for Alzheimer's.
I couldn't really imagine it then--how is it possible to be unable to swallow? But now I see her eager to eat something, taking it in her mouth, but unable to move it to the back of her throat. Instead it falls out or her tongue pushes it out in the attempt to move it. Then in irritation she says, "I don't want any more" and clenches her teeth.
My brother Jim from Denver came out for a visit this week and had three good days with her. We took her to the Santa Monica Pier and to my house to sit in our kitchen and talk and try to eat. When Jim was saying goodby, she told him, "I love you."
She probably will not make it to May 1. We are thinking the service could be as early as April 26 or even April 19. It will be in our church in Santa Monica with our pastor who knows her because I take her every Sunday. He also knows Emily from various pastors meetings.
She is peaceful and aware of her condition. She wants her suffering to end and says, "I just want to go to heaven."
A week ago she was asking how much money she has left; when I told her, she said, "Enough to go to Japan!" I let her talk about making a trip there. But two days ago she said, "I don't think I have the health to go to Japan." "No, I don't think so," I said.
We appreciate your prayers as she makes this final part of her journey.