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Posts Tagged ‘Hospice’

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

Recollections of that Christmas are strange, some vague and others thrown into stark relief. At times I felt alone in a darkness so profound I wondered if I would ever emerge again. I can remember desperately wanting to make it as happy and carefree as possible, easy and light, a remembrance of all the beautiful Christmas’ we had spent together. Above all it had to be as far removed from the reality of the situation as possible.  Despite the strain in Mum’s face, she was happy. Her family were around her and the love was overflowing. It was all I could have asked for. I was grateful my prayers were answered.

As though Christmas had never occurred it was back to ‘normal’ as soon as the New Year came around.  Hubby had spent plenty of time fuming over my response and as a result I wasn’t too surprised when, early in the new year, he advised me he wasn’t interested in trying to make a go of things, he wanted a divorce. It was a bad move on his part. I had a strong feeling that I should move and quickly. I haven’t felt such an urging before so I did exactly as he asked. As soon as the courts opened for business in the new year I went in, filled out the paperwork and less than three months later it was all over. He got his divorce finalised (the decree nisi) on his birthday. It wasn’t planned that way by me, but I have a feeling Spirit, and of course Dad had a lot to do with the speed of things. I had more important things on my mind. The darkness was drawing in. I also decided to change my name – I needed to sever the ties to him completely.

In early March Mum was rushed back into hospital and we, at least I, had been told that she wouldn’t be going home again. She hated the hospital and couldn’t rest. I was called earlier each day because she was calling for me, so I was there from 5am or earlier until 7pm when my brothers arrived for their hour-long visit! All day I made sure she received her morphine shots to ease the pain.  When they wore off during the night she was too ‘out of it’ to ask for more. My brothers thought she was doing okay because they only saw her after a day with regular pain shots. She was alert and pain free for their short visit. They refused to accept how dire the situation was. Several falls from bed and very nasty injuries and the hospital talked hospice. Mum was terrified since, even in her muddled state, she was aware what it meant. She wouldn’t be going home. It was prophetic that she had always said she would die in a hospital and that had made her more concerned about hospital visits during her life.

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I was taking some enormous risks. I wasn’t sleeping, hardly eating and began having strange ‘black outs’ as I was driving to the hospital. At 120km/hr it was scary, and yes I was exceeding the speed limit.  They had begun when she was at home but I wasn’t going to say anything. She needed me with her. I was the one who bathed her and changed her clothes, helped her into and out of bed. I held her hand and prayed as I sent Reiki into her frail body. I think by then I had stopped thinking about anything else. I had to be there.

The day I was informed she was being transferred to the hospice was horrendous. I had been there again since 4am after she had fallen from bed and had seriously hurt her arm. It was heart wrenching to see the nurses try to dress the wounds, finally admitting when they couldn’t remove the dressings that it didn’t matter if they were changed.  My universe was collapsing.

The day was a nightmare.  The ambulance transfer was a trip from hell. Once we reached the hospice I helped get Mum changed and into her new bed. She curled up and “went to sleep.” I continued to give her Reiki until my brothers began to arrive.  They arrived around 7pm. After a half an hour they decided to leave since Mum was obviously “asleep”. My gut told me to stay. My car was back at the other hospital. Despite knowing I shouldn’t leave I allowed myself to be persuaded to go to my car and go home. Something inside screamed at me to stay, but out numbered and feeling cornered I felt I had no choice. I was so wrong and I can never forget that.

I debated, for the longest time, about going back to her, but I hadn’t seen my children and I was feeling drained. I arrived home as the phone began ringing. My mother had passed away ten minutes after I left her. I don’t remember the drive back, only coming back to myself when I arrived at the hospice as saw my brother there. I was angry. He had arrived first and had decided to sign all the paperwork. He didn’t want to stay at all. He didn’t want me to stay either, but he did want me to go back to Mum’s house with him  (where he was living) to talk about what ‘we’ had to do. A new nightmare was about to begin, one which would threaten to drown me.

image from bleeding_eye_by_flauschvampire91

image from bleeding_eye_by_flauschvampire91

That walk through Mum’s front door felt like a knife wrenching through my heart. Inside my head a scream reverberated. I wanted out! I wanted a little space to think! I needed to find something to hold onto! I was adrift in uncharted waters and I was drowning already. Somehow, some way, I had to find how to keep going and stay sane. I felt I was faced with a stacked deck, just how much that was true was to come to light soon enough.

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Next week – A New Nightmare Begins.

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

I was waiting for the imminent disaster to fall on me, or us, not quite knowing what it was and thus unable to prepare myself for it. I suspected what it was, prayed it wasn’t and waited.

Time passed and things limped along, until the day arrived when Mum had to be admitted to hospital.  I can’t even begin to say why I knew this was different. The energies around Mum seemed thick and Dad’s presence was so strong. As she always had done in the past she rallied and the hospital were almost ready to let her come home – but only after we had made an appointment to see the doctors!

image from www.the guardian.com

image from http://www.the guardian.com

It really didn’t take Einstein to work out what was going to happen. We were told very simply that Mum had finally reached the terminal stage and that because of her condition she could only go home if they (the hospital) could be assured that she would have someone with her 24 hours a day. In less than a heartbeat I discounted my business, it wasn’t important, and told them I could look after her during the days. My brother, who hated living alone and had moved home before Dad died would be there in the evenings and nights. Even though he was at home, they looked to me to settle the matter.  It was my responsibility and I told them we could manage it. I was the eldest, it was what I did.

It goes almost without saying that my children were right behind me, it was their Grandma after all. It hurt to have to tell them the bad news, but I think we were all expecting it one day, we had simply hoped it wouldn’t be soon. I say soon, we had been prepared for years but when the time arrives it is always too soon. . I thought my hubby was also “on board”. They had gotten along well in the past and being embarrassed that things weren’t great at home I hadn’t talked to Mum about it. Since I was basically supporting him, and had been all along I really didn’t expect any hassles.

Is it ironic that I truly enjoyed the months I spent alone with Mum each day? When I could see how things were and had been happening every day, I felt ashamed that I hadn’t done something to correct it. I didn’t like how Mum had been looked after as she became more fail. I didn’t like the fact that I was so preoccupied with my woes that I hadn’t seen what was happening when I visited. I hadn’t visited enough! So, without telling my brother I started spoiling her. I bought her things which would tempt her to eat, treats to make her smile, little gifts she wanted but he disapproved of. What he didn’t know wasn’t going to cause a problem and I wasn’t seeking a pat on the back for loving my mother.

If I could have given her my lungs for her to breathe instead of the horrible asthma attacks compounded with the emphysema – I would have. I couldn’t do any of those things. I could send her healing to ease things, so my Reiki training was very useful. I could help her through the attacks but I couldn’t stop them and I knew time was running out. She loved watching that crazy soap, “Days of Our Lives” and each time I saw that hourglass and heard the theme…..”like sands through the hourglass” I had to bite my lip to stop tears.  I bathed her and washed her hair, bought new nighties to brighten her days and a lead light lamp which caused a furor.

I didn’t broadcast what I considered small things to help her through the dark days. I loved her and it was irrelevant that I tell anyone what ‘a wonderful daughter I was’. It’s strange how people perceive things later.

We talked a lot about “afterwards” and I explained to her all I knew and believed. Dad’s scent was so strong in the house and she admitted she could feel him. She was frightened that there may not be anything afterwards, and I fear it was one of the reasons she clung on for so long, but our talk brought some measure of comfort and I could feel her accept that there may be more for her than she had feared.

A month before Christmas I arrived home after a difficult day of asthma attacks to be welcomed by this statement. Hubby, “This isn’t working out. I’ll be moving out on Friday. I’ll take my things when I’ve worked out where I’m going.”  For one second I was dumbfounded and then I blazed like a volcano erupting. I know my voice was like ice, as though I had killed something inside.

I remember saying, “Don’t think about waiting until then. I’m not leaving you in my house alone until Friday. Pack your bags and get out now. You can call to talk about the rest on Saturday. Now – GO!”

With a frosty glare he opened his mouth and I said, “Don’t think about it, If you don’t leave now my son will put you out.” (My son is a big man and was capable of doing just that, in fact he would have loved it. Which shows the level of discontent still in the house).

image from footage.shutterstock.com –

He left, I had too much on my mind at that time to worry about it. I was advised by my insurance company that if I wanted to be covered in the event of ‘things’ being missed later, I had to have the locks changed. He came back when the locksmith was changing the locks. Such was the animosity in hubby’s face that he, the locksmith, was reluctant to leave. Truthfully, I think I would have welcomed him trying anything. It would have been a distraction. I was becoming numb and anything would have been a welcome distraction.

But, the end was fast approaching.

Losing myself.

Losing myself.

Each day I felt I was losing myself. I had no one to talk to, I had to remain strong for everyone and yet I felt the cracks widening more and more.

.

Next week – Losing my way

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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