Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quality of LIfe

Verla, Mom and I met with the palliative care team yesterday. Things were a little rough at the start, Mom had a bout of nausea after they had offered her a little jello and a sip of water. Her anti-nausea meds had been on an "as needed" basis so there was nothing in place to prevent it. That has now changed so she is on Zofran every 6 hours. It had been a big day, therapy, walking, staples removed and I think a whole room full of people in white coats was too much.

Mostly they wanted to get to know Mom, hear about her life and talk about options for when she leaves the hospital. She was able, even after barfing in front of everyone, to carry on a conversation and even told how she and Dad met. I share the barfing point only because, had that been me, I would have ordered them out of the room, asked for a sedative and told them to come back when I had some lipstick on.

However, this is a woman who has done what needed to be done no matter what. Even if it meant having Dad carry in a calf with scours (think projectile diarrhea) to the basement shower room across her newly mopped floor or spending her birthday sowing oats.

Quality of life is an expression that comes up frequently these days. Mom said to them, "Do you know what quality of life is?"
"It's having a steaming hot cup coffee brought to your bed every morning."

Because my dad did that for her every day I can remember. Now I take her coffee in the morning. I never realized how much it meant to her.

(Sorry for the poop and barf content--but if you ever spent an extended amount of time in a hospital, it's kind of like talking about the weather)

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