Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hospice: Day 1

I've been going back and forth lately whether to even talk about what I've been going through these past few days as we enter hospice. Tonight, I decided that I just needed to. It's all apart of this journey.

DAY 1 - Thursday

On Thursday, we stopped mom's TPN at midnight and mom was officially on the hospice program later in the day. (I know there are some people out there with strong opinions of TPN. Some say it's inhumane and starving the human body, but that is not the case. At the end of life, the body just doesn't use the nutrition like a normal healthy body would and,  as a result, the liquid just gets piled up. And it causes more complications and just prolongs the suffering. So, my mom, sister and I made the decision to stop awhile back. A lot of residential hospices will not even accept admission if the patient is on TPN. I thought I should address this.)

As I already mentioned in the previous blog, last weekend, my sister and I visited several beautiful residential hospice facilities. After much discussion we decided on one we thought mom would like and suit her needs.  We returned to the nursing home to give mom an update. She was ready for the move and transition to hospice. Coincidently, the nurse was in the room, overheard the conversation and mentioned that there were four hospice rooms in the same nursing home. It was in the Long Term Care Unit which was just upstairs. He thought he'd just mention it to us.

Mom seemed more happy with this idea. She thought the transition to upstairs would be easier and didn't want to deal with the hassle of moving to an entire new facility when we was use to this one. So, we gave the go ahead since it what she wanted.

We also got enrolled in the overseeing hospice program which would check in with us and provide additional services a few times a week (nursing, nursing aide, chaplain, social worker, and volunteers). Everything seemed like it was finally on the right track and as much as the whole situation sucked, it seemed like the natural progression of  things.

On Thursday (my last day of work for awhile), I took most of the day off work and headed to the facility but by the time I got there, the staff had already moved mom upstairs. I was very happy that she was all settled in and resting when I arrived.  Her belongings even packed away nicely!  I stayed with her for the rest of the day (she slept most of it) until I went to go home to join my husband for a very special valentines day dinner he had prepared for me. He was planning it for some time and he thought we deserved some time to ourselves in all the madness we've been dealing with lately. I was looking forward to it a lot!

But,  things took a sad turn. While getting ready for dinner, I got a call from mom crying and saying how she wasn't happy upstairs in her new room. She complained that the new staff were very slow at responding to her when she needed help or assistance (often times 30-40 minutes).  She said the staff weren't friendly either and she wasn't getting her medications on time. I stayed on the phone with her and talked to her for some time until she settled down. I told her it was a different environment and that we'd work out the kinks in the morning. I told her that I'd talk to the staff in the morning and for her to just get some rest for now. She took my advise and went to sleep.


  1. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for you to continue posting. But I am so grateful that you are sharing your journey. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  2. Your mother is a beautiful women. I am so sorry to read about her medical issues. Your not alone. My mother is in hospice as well. She was admitted 9/26/2013. Today 10/7/2013 her TPN was removed. Over the past year I have watched my mother as cancer has ravaged her body. She is now getting fluid build up in her lungs. The end is near for her in this life. To be completely powerless, to witness her suffering, to hurt inside. I now understand how precious time is. I fortunately am self employed. I have spent every waking moment with my mom. I wish life was easy. I do not know you, but I love you and your family. I wish you all the very best in life.

    1. Thank you Chris. It is hard. If you need someone to talk to about it all...I am more than willing to lead an ear. Thinking of you and your mom.