I called Linda, the hospice nurse assigned to my mom’s case, yesterday, and she said she’d call me back today after seeing my mom. She called me at work, late morning, and I took the following notes:
- My mom is usually “very quiet” lately. Today, Linda said, she opened her eyes and looked at Linda, then closed her eyes again, as if to say she didn’t feel like talking today.
- The nursing staff got her up for a shower this morning, and weighed her. She’s at 99 pounds, still eating very little.
- She has Ativan scheduled three times a day, rather than just as needed. (Linda said yesterday, why not give her the Ativan so she’s relaxed and comfortable, rather than waiting until she’s anxious and weeping and THEN decide she should have some? I agreed, let’s keep her comfortable, not agitated.)
- A lot of her medications were recently discontinued, as the focus has changed from aggressive treatment to comfort measures. She usually takes her meds pretty well, though for example, some days she might have Ativan only twice instead of three times, but that’s all right. Today, she was refusing all of her meds.
- Incredibly, her cardiovascular status is stable.
- She told Linda last week that she’s ready to go and be with her husband, but she told someone else within the past few days that she doesn’t want to die.
- Linda said, “Although Jerilyn and I have said we’ll let you know when your mom enters the preactive phase, it’s possible that it won’t happen, that she’ll just — go to sleep.” I told her I understand that might happen.
Linda also said she’ll make an effort to give me a call about every five days or so with an update. I appreciate that, because while “no news is good news” in most situations, even just hearing that there’s no significant change, and getting an update on her recent mood and demeanor, things she might have said, those kinds of details can be a big help when I’m trying to relay to other relatives how she’s doing.