Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The End of the Rope

So this is what it looks like...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Home Again!

Ahhh....I'm home. I got in last night some time after 11 PM, and it feels good. Brody made sure my homecoming wasn't boring; he managed to get sprayed by a skunk.

I decided I needed a break. I had been in Potosi for over three weeks, and mom seemed to not want/need a lot of care so I took advantage of the chance to come home for a while. I was there for the better part of two months, so I'm going to step back and let other family members step in.

My dad has two cats that look like twins: Tom & Jerry. I'm not sure which one this is, but this is a cute pic.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Well...things have taken a turn for the worse. With mom's blood sugar and morphine under control, she's still talking to dead people and she thinks that everything she sees on TV is there in real life. Much like a parrot, she mimics what is said on TV. Over the baby monitor this morning, I heard her talking about low-cost refi and how happy the cows are.


We think there are tell-tale signs that she's entering the active phase of dying. Her urine has turned the color of coffee or tea, the time between breaths has increased, she's confused and disoriented and there appears to be some mottling on her legs. The hospice nurse is coming today and will call me with an update.

Oddly enough this isn't the most distressing part of the whole process. I come from a family of big talkers. "If you need anything, I'm here for you." We get that a lot. But when my sister Karen and I need someone to take the night watch, there is no one available. Not to play martyr, but my sister and I have given up a lot to be here. She came up to Potosi with her kids (ages 7 and 11). She rarely sees her husband. Their kids rarely see their dad. They've given up their home, their friends, their beds, their toys. That's a lot to give up for boys. This has all been going on since June 17th when we drove home to go to the doctor appointment that confirmed the terminal status of her cancer. I have a new house that I haven't even been able to unpack because I can't be there. I have friends I haven't seen in two months. I have a partner that I don't know when I'll see again. Dale's job is crazy and he can't take time off, and it's a 8.5 hour drive so he can't just swing by for a weekend. I have a job that I'm barely able to do. I work remotely by going to a local internet cafe during the day, but I can't keep doing this for much longer.

Karen and I are at the end of our ropes. Mom doesn't want to be put in a care facility and we don't want to put her there. The rest of the family doesn't want to put her there, yet they're not willing to be there when she needs someone there the most. When Karen mentions that we could take her to Springfield to be at her house where the two of us could work and take care of her, everyone else freaks out and acts like we're trying to steal her away so no one could ever see her again. They don't understand that if Karen and I are the only ones willing to take care of her, that is the only place we can do it.

Who knows what will happen. I just want to go home.

Monday, August 06, 2007


I'm thrilled that Dale got to come to Potosi for a week and stay with me at my mom's house. While I had to be in town working, Dale spent a lot of time with my mom talking to her, which is what she enjoys the most. He also went to JC Penney's and got my mom three new pajama sets (that's all she wears) and a new sheet set that is 300 threat count. Dale is easily the most thoughtful, caring man I've ever dated. This week really drove home how lucky I am to have him as my partner.

We also got to meet my brother Randy and my childhood friend April at the Lakeview bar. April was my neighbor until I was ten. She is three years older than me and we were very close friends. She was a lot of fun to be around and is just SO sweet. She still is, and Randy, April, Dale and I had a few beers and talked. I ran into a guy I went to high school with there, and my sister's high school flame, Eddie. Since coming to Potosi, I'm experiencing this "Sweet Home Alabama" phenomenon. If you've seen the movie, Melanie Smooter returns to her hick town to get a quickie divorce from her high school husband (and her past), only to reconnect with old friends and family and learns it's okay to be where you're from. I'm enjoying my time here more than I thought I would. My dad and I are becoming closer, and I'm reconnecting a bit with some friends and family I haven't seen in a while.

Mom is still doing okay. She gave us a big scare yesterday, as she was talking to dead people and not making much sense. Turns out her blood sugar got up to 417 and her morphine dose was too high. After getting those things under control, she's come back to herself and ended up having a pretty good day today.

The county fair starts Wednesday, and I'm excited at the possibility that Dale will come back this weekend so we can go together with some other family. I haven't been in ages, but there's something about the Washington County Fair that I like.

Well...time for bed.