Just when I thought it was safe to go back to griping…..I have some crappy news. My mum is actually dying sooner rather than later. A doctor called me from the hospital at home (that should have been my first clue) and we set up a meeting the next day. She was lovely actually, a South Asian woman with close cropped white and black hair who basically told me that they could not longer treat mum with fluids as her veins had collapsed and with her advanced dementia she would not survive much longer. I had my sister on speakerphone. It took me a few beats actually to get what she was saying. You know doctors; they tell you the medical facts and then double shift to a new paragraph without actually using the words you need to hear.
In most cases diabetes insipidus can be treated, but in her case, her brain doesn’t recognize and regulate thirst anymore. Her kidneys are just releasing water not keeping it and we all know that we cannot live without water. So, why not just make her drink water? Well, she couldn’t possibly drink enough to keep up and as my husband put it, it’s like trying to fill a swimming pool that has a hole in it. Bless him.
So. It could be days or it could be weeks. We talked for about an hour about mum, what she was like, the type of woman she was. It was really nice. She even shed a tear when I told her the story of our stroll down Robson St, hand in hand, mother and daughter in colour coordinated outfits. Then I stopped in for a bit to say hi to mum and then I called my husband. He told me that I shouldn’t go to work the next day. Funny, being self employed, it never occurred to me to not go into work. So when I arrived I told the manager I couldn’t work the next couple of days. I made it through my shift and when I got home, I put down my purse, took off my coat, climbed the stairs and fell into my husband’s arms sobbing.
And now the work begins. You know, the phone calls, the arrangements, the family drama, the driving, the tidying, the visiting in shifts, the tough decisions that go along with the business of caring for a dying loved one.