|Queen-sized hospital bed in the dining room. |
Please ignore/enjoy the amazing paint job.
Mom was ready for the hospital bed, but my parents do not want to be separated. I feel like, for Dad's recovery time as well, being able to snuggle with Mom is important. And you can't snuggle in a twin hospital bed. So this is our version of a Queen-sized hospital bed. It's allowed her to sleep downstairs, but sit up without great effort when a friend visits. There are plenty of chairs around her bed, so even her Book Club came to sit with her last week.
Today seems a little different. She has been sleeping more than usual in general for the last months, and weeks, but she was difficult to rouse this morning. When the nurse came to check her BP, she was cognizant enough to mumble and remind the nurse to take her blood pressure on her right arm (since her mastectomy in 2000, she can't do BP on the left arm), but then she conked right back out to sleep. It's not medication induced sleep, as far as we can tell; her body is just really, really tired. It's a significant change from yesterday, however, when I sat, snuggled in bed with her for a while talk about music and funeral plans (super morbid, but Patsy is opinionated). The photo above was taken yesterday, but I have not seen her open her eyes yet today.
Dad is really tired too, but he's sharp as can be mentally and is still completely independent. He fussed at me for trying to help, which is 100% on-brand. The side effects from 5 weeks of radiation are catching to him, and he's in a lot of pain in his mouth and throat, making eating a challenge. He's be great about focusing on getting calories and protein, even though I can tell it hurts him. (The man does not want a feeding tube.) But he's particular about what he can/will eat, so even I don't know what to cook for him.
We've had 3 amazing meal deliveries for my own family in the past week, which has been incredible -- thank you. I didn't realize what a stress the grocery/cooking had been on the boys and me, and to have that mental load taken care of was a huge relief. It's also allowed me to keep things a little more normal for Graham and Angus, in that we've had family dinner together rather than me just running over to my parents' house after work.
With Mom's current state, however, the nurse has suggested that she not be left alone. We don't want Mom to try to get out of bed by herself, as that could be messy. I don't want that 24/7 burden on my dad, so I will probably start sleeping over at Mom's tonight.
If you know anyone who does caregiving for a living, please let me know, as I know I will have to hire someone to sit with Mom at some point over the next few days.