Saturday, September 29, 2012

And some good news, finally!

Hubby was approved for Social Security disability.  No appeals.  It only took them 6 months.  I had expected it to take 2 years and all the appeals.  So medically speaking, is he worse than I think?

Will be grateful for the extra will help.

Really hard week grieving my mom.  My birthday week.  What a combination.  Hubby wants me with him...I told him I just need a little more time.  I don't have the energy yet to face cleaning out his moms stuff.  I'm not sleeping most nights.  Hopefully in another week....


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How much stress...

can a couple handle?

Hubby was laid off/retired in March.  Our income was reduced by 80%.  We cashed in all our savings, sold tons of stuff, downsized by 2/3 and moved 125 miles away the end of May.  From big city hectic life to a small retirement community.

3 weeks ago, I had a lumpectomy.  A week ago last Friday his mom passed away.  Last Friday he buried her the same day my mom passed away.  Today we buried my mom.

Hubby is 1000 miles away taking care of his diabetic, heart patient dad.  I am here taking care of things that have to be done after my mom's passing.  Then I will have to join hubby and help him sell off everything and put his dad's house on the market and move his dad.

My diabetic husband who could barely take care of himself, staying with his dad.

I wonder if we will survive.  I honestly wonder how long his dad will live.  He has a pacemaker in.  He has had numerous heart attacks.  Diabetic. If I remember correctly, he takes 72 pills a day (many of them are vitamins and nutrients) but what a sight to sit and watch him count them all out every morning.

I worry that hubby will say there is no reason to stay here now and want to move somewhere else.  I just don't think I can move again.  I don't see how.  But there is no reason we couldn't move into his father's home and take care of him there - I can feel him thinking that - he just hasn't asked that question yet.

Tonight, I'm emotionally drained.  So hard to bury your own mom.  Maybe the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  I will cherish the memory of her forever.


Monday, September 24, 2012

My mom

Mom passed away at 2:13 pm on Friday.  I am sooooooo grateful that I made it home in time.  And that hubby was able to get back to his parents to attend his mom's funeral on Friday.

Who could ever fathom the timing of this.  Both of our mom's going a week apart.

Both of us separated by more than a thousand miles.  I know he wants to be here with me, but he has to be there.  I feel like I need to be with him, but know I have to be here.  We bury my mom tomorrow.

It is certainly a mixed bag of emotions.  I know I'm not doing well at processing any of this.  I knew mom was dying.  But I didn't really think it would be this soon.  I sat and watched my dad die 20 years ago.  But this was different.  Mom's fingers and the palms of her hands started to turn purple.  The hospice nurse (oh! they were so kind and gentle with her and with us) explained the process.  They thought she had an hour left.  Her heartbeat was 138 beats per minute.  Her breathing was 26 breaths a minute.  They said equated to her running a marathon.  She ran that marathon for 4 more hours.  I personally think her heart gave out.  They kept her well sedated with morphine.

I was sitting on the right side of her bed, praying for her to be out of her pain and I thought her face had started to turn purple like her hands had done.  So I stood up to look at her whole face, and it looked rosey pink.

I walked over the the other side of her bed and sat down and started counting her breath rate.  Still the same that it had been for the last 4 hours.  I prayed that it would slow down.  I knew she was still running her marathon.  That was 2 pm.  At 2:05, I counted again, still the same.  I don't know why I was counting so often, but it gave me something to do.  My 3 sisters were out in the kitchen talking.  My brother was sitting over on the sofa.  Most of us had severe back pain at this point, but I couldn't leave her side.

At 2:08 pm, she suddenly did not take a breath in.  I sat up straight and started counting seconds in my head.  At 30 seconds I said to my brother, "tell the others, mom quit breathing."  Just as my sisters walked in, she took a deep breath.  And for the next 5 minutes - what seemed an absolute eternity, she would quit breathing, then take in a breath....probably less than 1 breath per minute.  Her face drained of blood, her tongue had literally turned black.  We had heard the death rattle for the last 4 hours.  We knew it was time.

I could not look at anyone for the tears.  I just sat there.  I was so relieved because she was out of pain.  But I was in so much grief I thought I couldn't breathe.  Know that she had been in such excruciating pain that at times, she would cry out for God to take her.  My heart just ached for her when she did that.

And now it was over.

We had so many people to call and tell.  So many emails to send out.  She had 5 children and each of us grieve so differently.  I needed to be creative....and was.  The sister next to me rearranges furniture, the next one drinks that youngest one cleans and my brother called me every hour just to connect.

It's been 3 days and it seems like time stopped the moment she quit breathing.  When my hubby called today I told him that I have to stay here as long as my siblings need me.  He agreed.  But his brother flies home tomorrow and that will leave him alone with his dad and he said he was so afraid that his dad would die before I got there.  I said, "Sweetie, you simply have to prepare for the fact that your dad can pass at any second and the only thing you can do is call 911."  And in all honesty, I do not expect his dad to live much longer at all.

How much grief and loss can one person bare?  Yes, Tom's Wife, I know I'm still recovering from my own surgery which not even 3 weeks ago.  I noticed yesterday how painful my right breast has become.  I am trying to take breaks, sit and rest, watch a little TV, as I can.  The good thing is that when I get to sleep, I am sleeping well.  But I am having trouble getting to sleep. My brain simply won't turn off.

I am so worried about my hubby.  Can he survive this?  Will he be the next to go?  I know I need to get back to where his is as quickly as I can.  But I know I need to be here to support my siblings.  I told one of my sisters today that I'm just not functioning right.  She knows how stressful this has been for me.  She came over and we just sat and talked all afternoon.  It was great.

I've now seen both of my parents die at home.  Dad took 6 weeks, mom took 8 weeks.  My husband's mother walked around the side of the bed and had a massive heart attack and was gone in a minute.  I can certainly say that while the latter is a huge shock to the survivors, I would much prefer to go that way.

Life is certainly hard.  It just seems this year we have had so much happen.  Hubby lost his job, retired, we moved, we had my cancer scare, his mom died and now mine.  We have to be at 100% for something going wrong with us physically.  I am trying to stay calm so I can stay healthy.

Tonight, I'm just numb.