Monday, September 25, 2006

I Crave Normal

And I thought about that a bit today. What is normal? To tell the truth, my normal is really that I want things my way. And I must admit that is incredibly selfish. So be it.

For instance, I found my ideal "normal" today when Bill Clinton told Chris Wallace off. I LOVED IT! I BASKED in it. I watched my recording three times, with relief and reassurance. I truly felt like, finally, we're getting to normal. Phew!

And I craved another normal today when I (as I tend to do) spent time keeping my husband company while he cares for his mom. It was a foreign experience. She had been napping for three or more hours. We tried to wake her up. It was not successful. Ken screamed. I screamed. Nothing.

Then I tapped Ken's arm (with the thought that many have reported the sleeping/coma-like are not deaf to what is going on in the room. I clasped my left wrist with my right -- a signal to tell Ken to check her pulse. He signaled with his hand to his chest (moving up and down) that she was breathing. He told me he checks her pulse a lot. Boy, was I scared.

We finally roused her. I felt he should get her to a hospital or something. She was disoriented. Probably said she needed to take her insuliin (she is diabetic) about ten times while falling in and out of sleep. She didn't know if it was night or day. I figured this was the end.

Ken kept needling her and insisting she remain awake. I told him to leave her alone (there are no instruction manuals for the journey to death). He pushed her to consume a small glass of OJ. She kept trying to wipe her mouth with a napkin that was not in her hand (she had dropped it but didn't know). Then Ken pushed her to drink a lot of water. She was clearly dehydrated.

She surely didn't know what was going on for the longest time. She couldn't even process the silly television program we were watching. By the time she had enough liquids and was served some supper, she seemed back to normal. I had a lucid conversation with her. But I was still freaked out.

I left about an hour later. Ken said he would see me "soon" (meaning his sister would arrive to relieve him). Well, silly me. I thought "soon" meant no more than an hour. It was THREE hours later that he came home. I was a wreck. I kind of figured my MIL had possibly died since I left. She hadn't. How was I to know?

Seems she was, mostly, dehydrated. I know what that can do to people since that happened to me when I gave birth to Brian. Ultimately, I needed transfusions because I didn't drink enough water (if only they explained it to me). My brother also was rushed to a hospital because he was dehydrated and making no sense and sleeping a lot. Not related to terminal illlness.

Soo, my MIL is still alive. Ken's brother talked to her doc about an appointment to check on meds and everything. Know what the doc said? "I don't want to see her." I couldn't believe it (but I could on other levels). Isn't there something called the hippocratic oath? But he is a quack. He has been since my FIL had prostate cancer LONG ago (before I had my kids -- who are 19 and 18). When my FIL was having chest pains (after the prostate issues), that quack told my FIL to take Mylenta for indigestion. When my FIL lost his appetite five years ago, the quack put him on antidepressants. After all his best friend had lung cancer -- he must be so depressed. But the man had pancreatic cancer! I get so angry sometimes.

If it were up to me, I would drop this doctor and take my MIL somewhere where people give a shit. But it's not up to me. All I can do is offer my opinion and . . . that's about it.

So, I'm looking for MY normal now. The one where we're not facing this without any help. The one where I don't have to worry so much -- but I do. And I'm trying to find a balance to support him while he's going through this. I really am. But I don't think he gets that I am going through something as well.

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