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Our eleventh day into our hospital stay. She is not so good today. Yesterday she was alert, a bit angry, very forceful with the doctor, demanding an immediate release … to which he complied! But today I came in and she was very drowsy, although sitting in the chair propped up by cushions, yet very vague, slurred speech. The second time this happens. She asked if we found whoever had been missing!? Her mind is wandering, but she felt reassured when she saw me and went to sleep peacefully.
Today the results of the culture are in and she was started on the pertinent antibiotic. No way can I take her home in this condition. It is early afternoon and she has gone back to sleep after the second visit by the specialist. Doctors here are never frank. Or maybe they don’t know, or don’t want to commit. The result is the same. I am left in the dark, I don’t know what is really going on, I cannot make an educated assessment, all I have to go on is my instinct, my gut feeling and my fears. These can never give you an answer which is reliable.
My fear is obvious. I love my Mom, not only because she is my Mother, but because of who she is. So my fear of losing her is just as great as my love for her. This fear colors my judgement. I am too close to actually see what I am looking at, and assess it correctly. Is she worse? Yes. How much worse? I cannot tell. Was she just as bad once before? Yes I think so, yet she seemed to get a bit better. What is scaring me is that she keeps seeing people where there are none. She has not recognized anyone except once she thought it was my Father who had passed away twenty two years ago. I’m scared because I saw this twice before, when her sister was on her deathbed she called out my name, I answered. She frowned, then said: No, not you. I am named after my grandmother! The second time was with my Father on his deathbed, he kept looking around and asking : who are you? This is what is scaring me, that she might be in that stage and nobody is telling me anything, or that she might not be in that state and it is my fears that are the base of such an assessment. A real Hamlet dilemma. Is it real or am I projecting? And there is nobody to help me out.
So many minor and major decisions, so difficult to make when in such a state of exhaustion and stress. Even minor decisions are now a burden. A friend just called to ask me what kind of lunch I would like and I cannot think of anything. I have reached such a point. Not only am I finding it difficult to make decisions, I have become extremely sensitive to any kind of even perceived criticism. A friend this morning called to ask after her, then she casually said: you should have … I burst into tears, I felt that I had been remiss, I should have done something that I hadn’t. My friend was shocked by my reaction and was on the telephone for another half hour trying to calm me down.
I am bone tired, I am soul weary and am mentally numb. Too heavy a burden, and though intellectually I know I am not alone, emotionally I am feeling very much so. I am losing my one and only lifelong friend, the one human being who has been there for me all my life.
5 February 2014

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