The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

Big man crying

They do, you know.

When I get tired I get all screwy.  And I’m tired.

I was trying to dry out a get well card from my mom’s sister, Aunt Sybil.  And damned if I didn’t bawl.

Aunt Sybil calls wishing she could talk to mom but she can’t.  So she cries on the phone.  I haven’t talked to her but my wife and brother-in-law has.  Mom  hasn’t.

This has been the month of Mom’s illness.  She’s spent the month back and forth, mostly forth, in the hospital.  Her idiot doctor was doing her very badly, not treating her for her blocked intestine but simply cleaning out what was clogged from both ends and then sending her home only for her to start throwing up and be back again.  It has been hell for mom.  I feel selfish just mentioning how much time we’ve been spending driving her here, waiting in intake or the ER or her rooms.  She’s had several on several floors.

Finally, with a change of doc came some action.  Last Thursday evening she went into surgery.  Or was it Friday?  Days run together.  Nobody really believed she’d live through it.  She did.  They took her to ICU where she was until a couple days ago.

Most of the time she was in ICU she was only half here, mostly not, babbling and incoherent.  Now, in this room where I sit with her, she rarely shows up.  Her mind goes all kinds of places.

She has re-lived all kinds of things from what she’s been babbling.  Night before last she was back dealing with the Texas City Disaster.  She lost a brother in that.  And she’s called dad.  He’s been gone ten years.  (Damn, ten years?)

I have kids.  I’ve spent my time with them and since keeping them sitting around here has gotten to be a burden for them I haven’t come up here like I should have or would have liked to.

Two nights ago, after my wife and I went to bed, our phone rang.  It was a nurse who verified I was mom’s son and handed mom the phone.  She went on about bleeding and being in bad shape and all kinds of things weird.  I drove up to the hospital.  It was 11 PM.

Mom was still holding the phone, trying to get my brother.  I put the phone down and told her I’d called him.  It calmed her some.

The doctors call her problem disorientation.  That doesn’t quite describe it.  She’s constantly halucinating, rarely aware of where she is, usually babbling nonsense and occasionally yanking on IV’s, her NG tube and the covers, trying to get up.  When she’s trying to get up she usually gets nasty.  She curses and has called me a few choice names like Jackass and worse.  Last night she whacked at me a few times, too.

Drugs, they say.  Morphine.  And maybe lack of sleep.  And a little infection, maybe.  Maybe hospital dementia?  I think they’re full of shit.  Just because they manage to get her to remember her name or the month (not the day) they think she’s not so far afield.  They haven’t sat here hour upon hour listening to her babble.

I’ve gotten up half a dozen times to calm her, unwind her, settle her down a little while I’ve been writing this.  If she isn’t watched she’ll pull something or wind up in a twist.

After I got here night before last I just stayed all night.  I told her I  had to go about three and she whined like a little girl and said, “no…. I want your company.”  I stayed.  I had to get our car back to my wife and watch the kids yesterday so I went home in the morning.  I gave the kids assignments and napped three hours on the couch.  My wife called at noon from the room and said she’s still wacked.  A little later my brother-in-law called and said the same.  I came back as soon as I could and I guess I’m here for the duration.

I’m tired.  My cousin called just now.

OK, back again.  Not going to get this finished.  Sine that line just above my mom has called me bastard a few times and keeps trying to get out of the bed.  Now she’s wadding up the sheets and trying to get up.

There was a moment, a few seconds, this morning around sun up when she showed up long enough to smile at me, say say she loves me and pat me on the cheek.  I guess that’s why I stay.

October 22, 2008 - Posted by | Blather | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. That is definitely why you stay. Being a caregiver is very difficult work. I hope you find some space to get some rest yourself Ted.

    Comment by justjuls | November 6, 2008


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