Gurhia baji left Monday. She’ll be back in a few weeks so it shouldn’t be that bad. Mummy did get teary-eyed, naturally.
She and I sat down on Sunday to make a list of things to feed Mummy. Since her palate has completely changed, we have to sort of reinvent the wheel. Through trial and error we came up with ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mummy gets anxious when people are over, because she wants to sit outside with them in the living room. It helps if we don’t talk as loud as we normally would, but not very much. It takes her a while to go to sleep because she’s so anxious to sit with everyone and talk.
Right now, her main problem is anxiety. She constantly wants someone to sit with her, hear her talk about how much pain she’s in, and give her medication for her pain. Even after we’ve given her all that we can give her, she still complains of pain. We have to decode what type of pain she’s having.
Sometimes, she’ll be anxious and trying to move about while complaining of back pain. That tells me she wants a position change, so we’d turn her to her side and prop up a pillow underneath her.
Sometimes, her diaper is itching her, so we just open it and readjust it, and that works. Sometimes she wants cream on her legs for dryness. Sometimes an eyelash went in her eye.
For all these things, she will complain of immense pain, get really anxious, and start calling everyone. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what exactly is causing her pain/discomfort. We’re still figuring out how to decode all this new stuff. It’ll get easier. It is already getting easier than what we initially anticipated this phase to be.
This month amidst of all of this we are supposed to be moving house soon. Packing should start sometime this week. No, we have not found a place yet. Yes, I’m panicking. Yes, it’ll all work out eventually. The plan is to move Mummy last, and have her room be the first one to set up at the new place, wherever that may be at this point….
Hopefully, once we move and get settled in the new place, maybe then the sense of normal will set in. I don’t know how these few weeks, months will pass. It could very well be that everything is calm and under control, or it could be that we’re freaking out and hyperventilating into paper bags.
We’ll just wait and see!
Mummy’s routine is now settled. She wakes up after at least a ten hour uninterrupted sleep thanks to a new medicine the doctors have given her. It’s medicine time and food time. In the morning, we normally feed her fruit yogurt and applesauce, followed by water. It is very important that she has water continuously. The nurse did say that her water intake needed to be increased, otherwise she would be at risk for dehydration again.
Usually around this time every morning, Papa and I have to change her diaper. By now, we’re used to it, it doesn’t gross us out anymore, and we do it efficiently. It still is a workout.
Lunch time, we feed Mummy a mix of lentils and rice (khichri). It’s light on her tummy, and it’s nutritious too. I try adding extra water to it to increase her water consumption. Then medicine time. She normally naps after medicine time because her medications calm her down.
When she wakes up, khichri again, or yogurt or fruit or applesauce again. Then medicine time. The only time she gets irritated is when we have to give her her medication, or change her diaper. She hates both. That’s when she might get angry and try and hold my arm away, or squeeze my fingers to show how angry she is but it usually passes.
Our main challenge right now is getting her to drink enough fluids. Food isn’t as important as water is. The last thing we need is her going back on IV. It’s uncomfortable for her, and it’s something that can be avoided if we just constantly try and get her to drink water.
As far as new deteriorations that are happening, every day something new is popping up. She sometimes does the opposite of what you ask her to do. If you ask her to open her mouth, she’ll sometimes close it. If you ask her to stick her tongue out, sometimes she sticks it in. And sometimes, when you ask her to swallow water, she spits it all out, in quite an impressive trajectile, might I add. Thankfully I wasn’t in the direct line of action, otherwise it would have been a direct hit.
She has also started talking to herself in her sleep. Before, she would talk to herself. Now, throughout her entire ten hour sleep, she is talking to herself. And during the day, even more so. Which also dehydrates her, so we have to be even more diligent with providing her with fluids.
She is becoming weaker, and she does cry a lot more. Everyday it becomes more apparent that these are indeed her last days. She is losing her appetite more and more as well.
We don’t know how long this phase will last, but what we do know is that 1) these last days of hers must pass as comfortably as we can make it, and 2) whoever wishes to visit her, greet her and call her: this is the time.
There is no better time, because time is running out, and it’s better to live without regrets, than to spend time regretting. She can talk on the phone, afternoons are best. Visitors are encouraged to come as early as possible. We understand that everyone’s busy and with work, school, etc and it might be difficult. She usually goes to bed by 8, 9, or even 10 depending on the day, so it varies. Just communicate with us and we’ll let you know when is good.
She likes visitors, so it might cheer her up a bit.
Keep her and us in your duas. Also take this time as a reminder for yourself, and make dua for yourself in your old age, for your parents in their old age, and for everyone you care about in their old age. Aging is a reality not a myth, you don’t know what situation you will be in or your parents will be in when old age approaches.
May Allah protect us and those we care about from trials, tribulations, sickness, and sorrow, especially when we are old and weak, ameen.