The past few days have been a crazy blur.
Friday morning, Jack and I rolled out of bed and came downstairs just as we do every other morning. Grammy usually stays in bed until about 10:30-11:00 a.m. She came down around 9 complaining that she wasn’t feeling so good and that she wanted to eat something so she could take her pills.
As the day went on, she was starting to feel a bit better and we started trying to make plans for the afternoon. So, after a shower, she was wailing upstairs in pain. I immediately called the oncologist and they said to head to the ER.
As a side note, my Mom is on some pretty serious pain meds. Every day she takes or applies these pain meds which would be like an elephant tranquilizer to anyone who was not in pain.
While in the ER, you can’t help but feel helpless. Anyone who walks by in a white coat or scrubs is someone you just want to pull by the arm to make the suffering stop. I am not shy about asking for someone to come in or suggesting that they order certain tests because of prior experience or to request pain meds.
As my Mom lay there, she told me that her pain scale was at a 10. She could barely speak. As we sat there listening to monitors beep and a poor man hollering for help down the hall, I prayed. My head was full of selfish thoughts of God taking the pain away so we could keep her here with us or even a big enough dose of pain meds that it took the pain away enough to keep her going. Looking back, I know that my thoughts were selfish, but my goal was real. She is not ready to leave us, and I don’t think that we will ever be ready for her to go.
So, after watching her writhe in agony for 10 minutes, I chased down a Physician’s Assistant who looked exactly like Weird Al Yankovik and asked him for some heavy duty pain meds for my Mom. He brought in a dose of Morphine a few minutes later. That didn’t even take the edge off. I asked for more. He brought in a dose of Dilaudid. Only brought her from a 10 to an 8. I stalked the nurse after the required 20 minute waiting period for more. Another dose, and only down to a 6/10. Nothing was making her pain go away. Again I just felt helpless.
My Mom held my hand and told me that she knew that she was going to die that day and that I shouldn’t be mad, but she is tired of fighting and she is ready to go. Since this wasn’t the first time that she has said this, I told her that even though she feels like she is ready to go, God will make the decision when He wants her, and her time is not up yet.
What seems to help the most is to list all of the things that she enjoys with Jack or the things that she is looking forward to doing/experiencing with him. This can often times take her mind off of the pain or off of dying.
I know that it is selfish to want her to keep fighting, trying new chemos, being poked and prodded by doctors and nurses for all of her counts each week, but without her, its just me. Since my father died in 1992, she has been the only parent that we have had for almost 20 years. My sisters and I have been very fortunate to have her at every soccer game, every play, and clapping for us as we crossed the stage for our graduations. But why can’t we have her with us for all of the births of our children or for my sisters’ weddings someday? What is the rush that she has to go so soon?
I know that I need to trust in God for He is good, but I still feel like we are getting the short end of the stick.