The biggie is that my mom took a bad fall a week ago today which resulted in two broken vertebrae in her neck and a skull fracture, a deep cut above her left eye and bruising. Worst though is that a CT scan showed a massive brain bleed, her third.
This is sad, but she has effectively been on “borrowed time” for a while now and she had made her peace with mortality.
Never underestimate the ability to compound a tragedy though. The nurses asked if we thought she needed something for pain and then administered morphine at around 8 PM Friday night right after they got her settled in a room. I stayed a while and left with three close family members in the room.
When I came back Saturday morning I found her alone and in severe pain. When I asked, the nurses said that she hadn’t had any morphine since the dose the night before. They couldn’t administer more because with mother unable to speak, the request had to come from a family member.
I still don’t know if the three other family members left knowing this or if they just didn’t think to ask.
I found out Saturday evening that another family member had arrived from out of state, but that again no one was going to stay with mother over night, and that they had encouraged my father to drive home alone. The main entrance was locked by then so I went through security and resolved to make sure she wasn’t left alone again.
So, we had our nights together until mother got to go home with support from hospice on Wednesday. Now that she is at home I am hoping that tending to her diminishing needs is more convenient and that family members are taking commitments seriously rather than vying to be the center of attention and substituting arguing for meaningful communication.
Getting attacked for “wanting to get my way” when trying to provide some comfort to my fragile mother has been very hurtful. There are issues that should have been addressed ages ago. It is very sad but after considering the situation I have concluded that staying away to avoid petty squabbles is the best I can do at this point.