Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nicci, Day Thirteen of Hospice

I've been gone a couple of hours and just returned home.  My brother and sister are here and told me, "Blog about Nicci:  She's taking wonderful care of Mother."  

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I've been frustrated about not being able to get back onto continuous care after Mother had that additional stroke Monday night.  I know it is an art form to try to determine when someone is going to die.  Everyone does this at a different pace.

But I also know that I've sat at the bedside of a lot of dying people in my work as pastor, and I knew something had changed radically with Mother and she was spiraling down rapidly.  And I wanted more help.

We now have it.  We were able to keep our night nurse, now through hospice.  And for the days, we have Nicci.  I had left this morning just after she came, so had not yet spent any time with her and didn't know much about her.  But now I know:  she is a consummate hospice care-giver and her goal is absolutely:  "No discomfort."  

She's watching her closely, monitoring her every grimace, adjusting, hovering, and asking us to give meds as necessary. (In case you did't know this:  only nurses can actually give the meds.  Patient care specialists and certified nurse assistants can't give the meds.  When they are in attendance, the family must give the meds.)  And I've learned now to do it.  We can give morphine every hour, if necessary, and more has been ordered, so there is no chance of running out

We're all more calm now.  We sense that all is covered.  Nicci during the day, Suerae at night, I'm starting to breath again.  At least a little, since I still tend to mimic mother's breathing.  Her sleep apnea (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) has eased some with the heavy doses of morphine and with supplemental oxygen.  

Maybe I can get some work done. But probably not.


Dana Norton said...

I wouldn't count on getting any work done right now. Continued prayers your way. Thankful that you've been blessed at last with continuous care.

Judi said...

Christy, You are doing work...the sacred work of walking your mother through her last days of life!
Blessings and prayers from your loving sister in Christ,