I’m sitting here listening to the shallow rhythmic breathing of my mom. We are waiting for the ambulance to come to take her home. That realization has the ring of going home to Portofino Place but also of going to her eternal home. Very soon my mom will be going home.
This kind of understanding took a while to sink in. She came to the hospital 2 weeks ago and we never thought the end was so close. We never had a reason to think that. But now finally it is sinking in. When the gastro doctor said she cannot eat anymore without a feeding tube the truth didn’t sink in. When her team of doctors said that I need to speak with the hospice team it didn’t sink in. When I asked the doctor what she can eat when she gets home, he said anything she wants. It doesn’t matter he told me. Just let her be comfortable and as happy as possible. For some reason it just sunk in. She hasn’t stopped sleeping since I got here. When she wakes up for a few seconds it’s unclear what she is saying. Reality has sunk in.
I’m sad that soon I won’t have a parent. Even her being the protagonist she always was, it will be odd to live in a world without her. She was the protagonist of so many people. I think Ron will miss her the most. She beat him up daily and yet he is taking it the hardest since his life will change the most.
My thoughts go back to the death of my father, being in the hospital and having so little to do with the decisions and I think I was detached from the emotional pain of it. I am thinking of that a lot the last few days. I wonder why it was like that. Dad had Harriet to make the decisions. No one ever asked me what I thought. Now I, being the healthcare proxy, am asked so many questions and yet for some reason I know to confer with my brothers and with Ron to keep them involved. It’s not because I need their input but because they need to have input. I get it. With my mom’s impending end upon us, this will be a time we all remember as a time of sadness, of course, but also of having so much support while being part of a large family. Positivism came from that because we all went through this together.
I suppose the reality of mom’s condition is written all over my face. Dr. Cheuk just came into the room to sit with me and talk. She gave words of encouragement and deep respect for our family. She told me that mom’s kidney creatine level is higher than it should be so she can’t take the blood thinner for the blood clot she has in her leg. She asked if that’s okay. Another decision. She asked when she gets home and gets sick will we be bringing her to the hospital. Another decision. The doctors at Huntington Hospital are extremely caring. She just sat quietly with me for quite a few minutes, silently, and then slowly stood up. We hugged, I thanked her, and she left. I will always appreciate those moments with Dr. Cheuk.
This realization is clear. The end is approaching.