I got mom home for the holidays. She went into the hospital on December 3, 2018, went from there to a nursing home until everything could be put in place to bring her home. December 22, 2018, she came home on hospice. For the holiday break from work, I stayed home. I was able to spend some time just hanging out with her.
There are people who come in while I’m at work and the hospice aide comes in 5 days a week. A hospice nurse visits twice a week. Things have been ticking along.
Sunday, mom was much more “active” than she had been lately. She kept saying she was packing her stuff and leaving; she tried getting out of bed; she was talking to people I couldn’t see — and they were answering. The worst part is she has a Foley catheter and she was pulling on that. I fed her. I changed her. I did laundry. I changed her. I did laundry. I changed her. I fed her. I did more laundry. The entire time she was calling for help or carrying on conversations with people I couldn’t see. Finally, at about 1:00 AM, I changed her for the last time that night and did something I never do — I closed the door to her room so I could try to get some sleep.
Monday morning I got up and she was chatting away. Then I heard her yell. She had spilled her bottle of tea in the bed. I went in and she had taken everything within her reach from the dresser and placed it in her bed. The blankets were off and thrown around on the floor. She had pulled an orchid out of the pot. The broken pot was on the floor and her diaper was half off.
I finally called the hospice nurse to see if this was a new phase or if it was caused by an infection. While I was talking to the nurse, mom is ranting and pulling things off the dresser. I finally cleared the dresser of everything in her reach.
Hospice sent a “comfort kit” back in December. I tossed it in the refrigerator as I was told and left it there. Monday the nurse told me to get it.
I gave mom a dose of Ativan. Frankly, that stuff scares the shit out of me. Just about any other drug I can deal with, but Ativan scares me.
So in the progression of the disease — dementia — this is just one more step along the downhill slide. She was doing well on Friday and Saturday, so I knew we were in for a steep decline, but dipping into the “comfort kit” — I didn’t think were were there yet.