Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saying Good Bye

 My precious mom took her final breath on Monday June 14, 2010 at 3:35 pm.  I am hurting deep inside I cannot explain the feeling.  Its like as if there is an empty space inside, I can't eat or sleep.  I believe she suffered alot toward the end even tho she was being kept as comfortable as possible. Mom never complained when she was sick or wouldn't go to doctors, she always said she was 'ok' because she didn't want us to worry about her.  I believe that even on her death bed she kept her pain from us for that same reason because I never heard her cry out. 

My brother, dad, myself and my son Paul & daughter Tiffany stayed at the nursing home day and night.  I never left her side for fear that she would slip away while I was gone.  I prayed and asked the Lord to take her and stop her suffering and also to have mercy on her soul.  The doctors and nurses said that the last to go is your hearing.  I know that she heard us when we spoke to her because she would move or jerk her body in response to our voices.  I told her to ask the Lord to come into her heart and to repent of her sins and ask Him to forgive her and take her into his kingdom.  My spanish is only for my family I don't speak very well, but that day I know the Holy Spirit allowed words to come out of my mouth that she understood.  

My parents are Catholics and I did not want to offend them by asking someone from my church to come pray over her.  Yet, I felt a need so great for prayer and asked the Lord to intervene the way He had done the whole week she had been in the nursing home.  My Lord never fails!!!  As I prayed and talked to my mother the door opened and a man walked in & introduced himself as a Pastor.  He said he had come to pray for my mom,  I thought my dad was going to say no because he wasn't a priest!  To my surprise dad allowed this man of God to pray over my mother and then sat quietly afterward as he spoke to all of us.  Within the next two hours three more Pastors all affiliated with the Hospice program walked into the room one by one at different times to pray for my mother.   The last one told my dad he was also a grief counselor and that he would come day or night to his house to pray or talk to him after my mother passed.  I was rejoicing within because of the way the Lord answered my prayers. I asked for a Pastor and he sent three!!

At the end there was a change in her movements and somehow we knew this was it. I asked that she say goodbye.   She opened her eyes and looked right at me then towards my brother, dad, and Tiffany.  Her eyes took in the entire room and then she slowly closed her eyes and took her last breath.

I miss my mother so much it hurts thinking she isn't next door or outside, but I am so grateful that the Lord took her when he did.  Dementia had escalated so rapidly that eventually she wouldn't even recognize any of us. Now I know she's not blind anymore and she can see, and her mind is clear.............until we meet again I love you mom..


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Final Stage

Our tree of life began with many twigs that eventually became branches, these branches extended out in different directions and filled with leaves in different colors.  The fullness of our tree depends on how large our family is or becomes. Green leaves are beautiful and signify the beginning of our life and as they turn color it means that  we are about to lose one of our branches.   Which means that we are going thru different experiences in our lives.

My mothers tree was never very big and is now very bare with yellow leaves and a few green ones here and there.  She comes from a very large family of nine siblings, yet she herself had only two children.  I always wondered about this and decided to ask what happened or if there had been a problem.  To my surprise she and my dad decided that since they had a boy and a girl they didn't need anymore children.  (Never mind that all my life I was very lonely and always wished that I had a sister or another brother.) Now that Im older and going thru this experience of having to deal with the disease and the possibility of her passing I wish I had someone to turn to when I need to vent or cry, but there is no one. 

Mom is now in a nursing home that is locked down because they have several patients in the same condition as her and some like to wander.  I am having guilt feelings for placing her in this facility and because Im not able to keep her home and take care of her.  Even tho I know she is where she can receive the care that I can't give her.  Just knowing that she is in the final phases of this disease and that she may pass any day is is really taking its toll on me and my dad.  I have noticed he is not doing so well and know that I'll be repeating these steps with him someday.  Hopefully it won't be for a long time because I don't think I could go thru it right away. I have already said goodbye to the mom I knew and Im trusting in the Lord to help me and give me strength to help this new woman til her time to pass comes.  

I am so thankful that I know the Lord and that he is in my heart, and to know I can turn to him in my troubled moments.  My parents don't.  It hurts my heart to not know how God will deal with them or anyone else that does not know Him.

Pray for me..........

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One Mind & One Accord

How does the mind work? The mind is very complex and a very interesting choice of study. We know that the left side of your brain controls the right side and vice versa. It is known that we retain the most information that we will learn in our entire life around the age of two thru five. The mind can retain photographic memories and put them in a file somewhere deep in the brain, so that as we grow older we may choose to remember or not.  Yes the brain can also hide many things that have occurred in our lives and that we choose not to remember.

While growing up our memory retains most of the good and happy times in our lives, such as parties, friends, places, and good friends. We remember the bad memories but don't talk about them by choice.  As adults we remember and cherish our memories of child birth, our childrens accomplishments, and even the sad and unhappy events. Sometimes our minds choose to forget sad hurtful events, but this is by choice. When the mind starts to skip and wander forcing us to think of some memory and we can't is when the problems start.

Doctors used to say that when you reached your golden years or become a senior citizen we tend to become forgetful and lose our concentration so we are senile. This has changed and now it is called Dementia.

Dementia is a disease that eats up the brain cells and you lose all or most of your short term memory depending at what stage of the disease your in. Yet the long term memory is there and many things from the past can be remembered vividly.  As your brain cells deteriorate your moods also change and a person can even become violent. At this point it is wise to put the person in a special home where they can be taken care of by professionals.  My mothers doctor explained that the only way to get some kind of idea as to how this disease works the mind is to picture a window screen and look at all the tiny little holes it has.  She went on to say that as the screen gets older the holes open up or tear and get bigger and bigger.  The outcome is that we finally need to get a new screen because there is nothing there to protect us from whatever.  Unfortunately  that is what happens to the brain cells, they start to shrink until the brain itself  is so small there is no memory left.  We cannot buy a new mind or get a brain transplant so eventually when all memory is gone it is then called Alzheimers and the person we knew is no longer there.  

My mother has this disease called Dementia and it has been very sad and painful watching the many changes she has gone thru.  She hardly has any short term memory,  yet because of  the long term memory she is able to tell me things from her past that happened in detail.  I have had many interesting conversations with her about the past and all that transpired.  She tells me stories about people that I have never met or knew.  In these conversations with her I have realized what a pampered child and young adult she was before she married.  The suffering she endured after she got married and to what extremes she went thru to keep her secrets buried inside her head.  Now because of the Dementia she speaks out and doesn't care who knows or hears what she is saying.

As I sit here writing this crying for the mom I knew who is gone mentally, she is in the hospital after a big set back.  The doctors are trying to help us find a home that will accept her and to speed up the Med-ical qualification.  They are aware of the danger she is to herself now and for us to not be able to watch her 24 hrs a day.   I pray that God take her and end her misery, this may be wrong to ask for, but she is suffering so much.  She has pnemunia and an infection, is having hallucinations and all the negative side of this disease is coming out.  My only regret is that my mother never knew the Lord as her personal savior as I do.  She was a good woman all her life and I know the Lord is merciful......Thy Will Be Done..........

Friday, June 4, 2010

Where did the month of April go?

The month of April  passed by so fast I feel as if I've been under water everyday.  I went places and did things just so I could actually feel the air and smell the flowers. 

There were graduations, baby showers, birthdays and sneak getaways, but I don't remember too much.  I have been so busy with my parents and all their many doctor appointments and their daily living  that each day just blended into the next.

We are trying to find a good convalescent home for my mom but they are so expensive that we have hit a block wall.  She needs constant attention and we (the family) realize that no one has the kind of money that will provide this care.   I never realized that it would be such a hassle to put someone in a home.

Being a senior citizen and sick is very sad because the system can only help if you have the means to pay for treatment or are so poor with no income.  If there is a retirement fund such as a pension and social security payments you may not qualify.  My mother does not qualify because there is too much money in the piggy bank. 

I am so tired and hyper at the same time staying up late at night trying to come up with a solution.  I pray that God will intervene and give us  the answer or make a way for my mother to receive the care she needs.