Friday, April 15, 2005
Remember the old Amoco commercials with the car engine that rev's up to the "Red Line...Red Line...Red Line!"...and then sputters to a complete stop? That is the vision that kept going through my mind yesterday as I sprawled in bed with the flu.
Somehow, I got through the week filled with meetings with hospice personnel for mom...her discharge from the hospital...the complete room set-up with electronic hospital bed that was delivered 10 minutes prior to her arrival...interviewing the 24-hour caretakers...surviving the withdrawal of the selected caretaker the night before she was to start...finding another caretaker who could provide the criminal background and TB test paperwork and start THAT DAY...helping mom feel comfortable with the new level of support including the visiting chaplain...and starting to notify other family members of mom's grave condition.
Once everything was set-up for mom, I sputtered on my own. Completely collapsed. My skin hurt, my teeth ached, my stomach was veritable roller coaster in motion, and my head throbbed incessantly. Finally, after more than 6 months, I felt utter relief at no longer being the sole caretaker and responsible party for mom's health. I had no idea how heavy the load was from the worry. The hospice care is really a bad news/good news scenario. The bad news is obvious because of mom's prognosis. The good news is that they now take care of everything. Her pain. Her health. Her meds. Her wounds and their dressings. Her baths and hygiene.
Oy vey. I am so grateful for their help...mixed with a whole lot of sadness, a heap of relief, and a newfound void of guilt.