Monday, October 09, 2006

The Sounds of Silence

It’s finally quiet around here. We had to use a combination of three drugs (Lorazepam, Seroquel and Haloperidol for those interested) to get mom to quit screaming and ranting (Hallucinations), rest, and to get her combativeness under control. Saturday night she hit me while I tried to change her diaper. I am sure you would agree that she would much rather be drugged than to be abusing me. Its so quiet now that it's spooky.

A couple of weeks ago mom began choking on her food – she was losing that part of her brain that told her how to swallow. Last week she began to refuse food and water and we had to force her through coercion, bribery and down-right threats to get her to eat even a little bit. We could have had feeding tubes put in, but that would mean that she would either have to be tied down 24 hours a day or put in a comatose stage in order to keep her from pulling the tubes out. That is no kind of life. If there were a chance that she would get better, that would be different. But this is Alzheimer’s and there is no better. It was decided that there would be no feeding tubes and we would let nature (and God) take its course.

The worse part of this has been the hallucinations – the week-long screaming and ranting rage that lasted almost 24 hours a day (this was before hospice) – my mother lying in bed screaming like an animal and yelling obscenities at people who weren’t there. Also no way to live. The prognosis is a week to 10 days – it really depends upon her physical health (good) and her body fat – so it could be 2 weeks. I will try to keep you updated as things progress.


Blogger Gail Rae said...

I'm extremely glad you're documenting all this here. I often wonder what last stage hospice care is like, especially final days such as your mother's; I'm sure I'm not alone. I agree that it is definitely making both the rest of your mother's life and yours more peaceful. I'm relieved that you and your mother are going through this last phase of her life now and not, say, 30 years ago, when the word "hospice" was an archaic term that had no applicability to the lives undergoing The Final Transition.

Mon Oct 09, 02:20:00 PM CDT  
Blogger Brandy said...

Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and your Mother. That I am praying for you both, as well.

Mon Oct 09, 06:28:00 PM CDT  

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