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Old 03-04-2010, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Bette, I am so sorry. I know you said in another thread your Mom was 89. Mine is 87, and still living on her own in FL, but very frail. She's the "last man standing" of 11 siblings. We have joked many times about what will finally "take her down"....it sounds odd but I think, in a way, it's our way of dealing with the issue of her mortality without being morbid. Her mind is still very sharp, so it's really sad to see her physical health declining. I hope, whatever the plan is, she's at peace and doesn't suffer. Thinking of you, honey....
Wow! I thought I was reading my own post for a second. My mother is 89 and one of two surviving sibling out of 14 (good old Italian family) Her next oldest sister, 91 is the other and very frail after a moderate/bad stroke. My mother will definitely be the last survivor. She's the middle child, #8. Nearly all after her were smokers and passed in their 70's-80's. Most before her were non-smokers and lived to their 90's. She gave up smoking during the 50's so she probably added years to her life. Her mind is still fairly sharp, though she has bad short-term memory.
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:35 PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you were comforted by being with her when she entered a peaceful state.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:02 PM
Location: Fresno, CA
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Bette, so sorry for the loss of your mom.

It can be so difficult watching a parent age and decline. Truly a blessing if they have a peaceful passing; still such a great and sad loss.

My mom just died December 27th, one day after her 87th birthday.
For a number of years, I had braced myself when I looked in on her each morning fearing she might have passed during the night. It made every day seem like a good day to discover she was still with us.

She had Alzheimer's and most of her memory and much of her judgement was gone. She had some behaviors that were very challenging. Still she had such a warm, bright spirit and a wry wit. I miss her each and every day.

On December 4 she had a small stroke and went to the hospital. She seemed to bounce back. Then she had a perforated bowel from an old hernia and the dr. said surgery was a must. We didn't think she would survive and really thought we were saying good-bye when she went into the operating room. Again, she seemed to be making a good recovery. She had a bacterial infection and rebounded.

She wasn't very comfortable as the therapists said she was too stiff to get out of bed. She wasn't eating well enough because of some gastric distension and they put in a feeding tube which caused mucus build-up and choking.

Christmas was an uncomfortable day and we just sat with her as she slept the day away. The next day, on her birthday, she was in unusually great spirits. We brought balloons and gifts and played some of her favorite gospel CD's. I sang some of her favorite songs ("Will the Circle Be Unbroken" etc.) with her and she surprised me by how many words she was able to sing with me. Such a promising day.

The next day the dr. removed the feeding tube at my request to remediate the choking. Mom was bright and chipper. I was very surprised to walk in and see her permitting an aide to feed her. She had long adamantly insisted on feeding herself and refused any help.

Shortly after lunch, we were talking and she started to choke. Each time before she had been able to clear her airway. Always scary. I realized she wasn't going to be able to do it on her own this time. I bounded toward the nurses' station across the hall. I looked back as I got to the door. Her eyes had rolled up and her mouth drooped.

She didn't revive when they cleared her airway and they called for staff to resuscitate her. Then someone called from the nurses' station, "She's DNR." I, of course, was the one who had requested the DNR. But this certainly wasn't the scenario that I had envisioned in doing so.

I could only think, in that moment, that I had a live chipper mom two minutes ago and that there was a chance of reviving her. I yelled that I had power of attorney and to please save my mom. Staff came from everywhere as I stood at the door and prayed. They brought her back once but in short order she was gone again. As I called my brother, the kind young hospital dr. came to tell me they were attempting to revive her again. He very compassionately reminded me that if they were to revive her I likely would not get back the same mom that was there a few minutes before and that she likely would experience additional significant pain and suffering. He reminded me how lucky we had been to have her for such a long time and asked me if it might not be more caring and unselfish to let her go. I knew of course he was right and they stopped resuscitation efforts.

After all the commotion, we were surprised what a peaceful countenance Mom had when we were allowed into her room. In retrospect, I think perhaps she may have kind of known her time was very near and that's why she seemed to be doing so well her last two days. She was a person of deep and abiding faith but had still feared the prospect of dying. I'm so grateful for those last two days with her.

I don't think I could have written this within the first few weeks after she passed. I still boo hoo a few times a day but it's getting easier.

My condolences and best wishes to you and your family, Bette. We truly were blessed to have had our moms for as long as we did.
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