Monday, August 25, 2008

Laying Low

After Steve died, I started smoking like the proverbial freight train.  And when Daddy was diagnosed, I started smoking more.  And so, Saturday I began taking Chantix again.  Wasn't looking forward to starting it, but even I know when too much is more than enough.  ...and a strange thing happened after 3 days on Chantix...

I felt good.  I felt happy.  It's having an antidepressant effect on me, and I didn't know how bad I really needed that until I began feeling better.

Work went so well today, even with the 52 incoming shippers.  Mom came off of hospice because, in her words, she had too much time in.  Hospice is for those who have 6 months or less left to live...Mom has fooled the doctors yet again. 

I'll never forget when she was on life support several years ago.  Dad and I had gone to the hospital to sit with her, and the doctor had just done an examination on her.  He was dictating at the nurse's station, and even though I heard every word, the ones that stand out glaringly in my memory are "the patient will need rehabilitation...if she lives."  She stayed on life support longer than she was supposed to.  It was more than two weeks she was on a vent and was on the roller pumps for more than a week.  She was kept medicated in a state of "conscious unconsiousness" for what seemed forever.  She was not lucid, confused reality with her dreams and sometimes thought we were there to kill her. 

After a month, I had pretty much accepted my mother would remain in the same condition.  She was moved to a step-down unit after all that time in intensive care, and the medication she had been given took a good while to wear off.  Often upon entering her room, we would find she had moved from the bed to the chair, but she still wasn't speaking.  And then one day, I called her room from work to talk with whoever was sitting with her that day, and she answered the phone.  I cannot tell you what that felt like.  I said, "Mama??"  and she knew me.  When I hung up the phone, I cried.

She still had a long way to go.  Once when visited, she saw her reflection in the glass of a painting that hung on the wall.  She was mesmerized and a bit baffled.  "Look!" she said, "there's a portrait of me!  How did they do it?"

After she was discharged, she went to a nursing facility for two months.  She had a ball with the other ladies there.

Yes, she has fooled the doctors before, and she has fooled them once again.  I know that one day, when she's ready, she'll stop fighting. After all she's been through, not one of us could begrudge her that.

1 comment:

helmswondermom said...

I'm glad your mom has fooled them again, and I hope she goes on fooling them for as long as she wants to.  This was a very sweet entry.  And I'm glad the Chantix is helping you.  Stay on it!!!
Lori