Sunday, January 10, 2016

Finding a balance

Yesterday was our oldest daughters birthday. She turned 15 and was pretty uncertain how she wanted to spend her day. Mom was here, so we had to find some balance between what she could and wanted to do and what Makenzie would enjoy. Makenzie wanted to have her hair done, but I thought walking into the salon with 9 people would be a bit much for the hairdresser, so we went to the mall. We stopped by Starbucks to get Makenzie's free bday drink and mom got a hot chocolate. It was nice to get her out of the house. We went to the mall and did some shopping and eventually ended up getting pedicures. Mom said it's been about 25 years since she's had one, so it was a nice treat. 3 out of 5 of us girls are super ticklish, so it was hilarious for the people when mom started laughing until she had tears and Lexie was laughing so hard I am pretty sure the mall could hear her! I giggled but, tried to keep it quiet as the whole place was cracking up at our laughing. I only did it because it's what Makenzie wanted, I hate people touching my feet. Mom had a good time though and we got her nails done too as a treat.  She was pretty tired, so we grabbed lunch and headed back to the house so she could rest until Makenzie's party.

Getting a pedicure 
At Makenzie's bday dinner

With the granddaughter's getting pedicures 
Makenzie had her party in 2 places, first the bowling alley, then the pizza place. Mom was too tired to make most of the bowling but, she did make it the last little bit. We went to the pizza place and had a pretty good time, but mom was not feeling well at all. She tried to hang in there but, she ended up having to leave a little early because she was so  nauseated. Nothing we did seemed to alleviate it, so we brought her home and gave her some medication and put her to bed.  She rested most of the night.

However, I was woken up by my youngest who said "grandma needs you" so when I got upstairs, she was in a lot of pain. She said she hurt pretty much everywhere at a 10. It was close to the time she would have gotten her "regular" dose of pain medication but, she was having "breakthrough" pain. It's not something that is easy to control. Finding the balance seems to be our main vocabulary these days. Too much pain medication and she's sleepy and a little out of it, not enough pain medication and she's hurting and with a high level of pain, she starts to panic and that makes everything way worse. So, we have her on an anxiety  medication that seems to help a little bit. Balance is hard to achieve and hard to understand when even mom doesn't know what she needs. All of the dogs follow her around and want to be right on top of her. It's funny and hard at the same time because most of the time she doesn't feel like having them right on top of her.

We made a family decision today that instead of going back and forth between the two houses, she's going to stay here. It's hard on her to have to move everything all the time and decide where she's going to sleep. Adam and the guys are hanging a new door in the living room so it's more like a bedroom so she has some privacy. Al and Adam are going to be bringing up some personal items from their house so it's more home like for her, some comfort items so she's more at ease.

It's a hard thing for everyone because everyone is doing the best they can to make sure she has what she needs but right now it's hard to know what that is. Most day's she's with it enough to understand and talk to us and have fun. However, on the day's when she's hurting and needs more pain medication, she's pretty out of it and can't really think straight and is sleeping most of the time. She is pretty emotional these day's. Coming to terms with the end of your life, especially when  you know it's coming but, you don't really  know when. Is scary and overwhelming. she cries a lot, trying to make amends or make sure everyone will be okay after she's no longer here. She's having a hard time in that regard. Encouraging her has become my new job though often it's just words that don't really hold any weight because I don't have the answers she needs or the words to make it better.

*Edit: Mom's been having trouble swallowing the past three day's. We are trying to figure out if it is acid reflux or if it's allergies or if it's in relation to the cancer. We are taking it easy on her and crushing her pills and putting them in things like pudding and applesauce. She is not a fan of the taste but at least she can get the pills down. She can eat soft things but things like crackers and toast and some other foods get "stuck" and she feels like she is choking a bit.

Balance... I am afraid at this point the scales are not within my reach.

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