Friday, March 04, 2005

The Unknown Zone

My mother is back in the hospital, and she is gravely ill. The end stage liver disease is taking a terrible toll on her body and mind.

I just don't know what to do. She had been complaining of stomach pain so I made a a doctor's appointment for her on Tuesday. When I called to remind her that I'd be picking her up within two hours, she refused to go to the appointment. "I don't have that pain anymore, Jill. My right arm hurts, that's all."

In retrospect, I should have forced the issue.

I told my husband today that I am dwelling in the Unknown Zone. Do I listen to what my mother wants or do I decide what to do on my own? Was I wrong to pull her out of the rehab hospital last week? We all sincerely thought she'd be more comfortable and happy back in her apartment- thus helping her get well faster. I saw her every day. I ordered Full Care, which means a care-giver was in her room providing care 24 hours a day. I set-up the visiting home health nurse and the physical therapist. It should have worked smoothly. But the truth is that she was depressed and sick and unhappy the entire time.

Today, she refused to eat. She couldn't stand or hold her head up, she was so weak. A marked difference from yesterday.

I don't know. I really don't.

Why do people have to suffer so? Is it because we refuse to give up, refuse to stop trying to survive? Does this innate resilience hurt us in the end? Am I ultimately hurting my mother by praying to God to help her and heal her? Would she be in the hospital now if I had insisted that she go to the doctor?

There's no question that I am doing my best. But dammit, can't I please just do this one thing right?