Lying in bed after spending the morning in the hospital and then the afternoon on my sofa. I had a fall yesterday and landed badly on my knee. I have been thinking of writing this blog for days but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Well finally I’ve decided it’s time.
I have spoken on a previous blog about my nan being really poorly last year. All the family had been called in to say our goodbyes because the Dr said she was dying. Miraculously she recovered and fought back against all the odds. Nan recovered enough to be able to go on holiday, twice to North Wales. She had recovered well enough for my mum to start preparing to move nan in with her. Almost 12 months to the month since we almost lost her, and having lost my Uncle and my grandad, nan was rushed into hospital again where she stayed for almost 4 weeks.
She had many litres of fluid drained from her stomach where it had been collecting. Her kidneys have all but packed up due to being cancerous and now she’s in end stage heart failure. She was discharged from hospital, back to the nursing home with guidance for the staff to keep her comfy because there’s nothing else they can do for her. There was no time limit on how long she had left but she was no longer fit to be able to move in with mum. She became really confused, slurring her words and couldn’t focus properly. I sat painfully watching her trying without fail to fasten a button on her dressing gown. She was that bad 2 weeks ago the doctors prescribed end of life care meds. However, her body defied the odds again and she’s still with us. However, therein lies the problem.
As you can imagine, it’s been such a rollercoaster of emotions for everyone. One minute your saying goodbye to someone you love, the next minute they bounce back, only to then go downhill again so quickly. I’ve been going to bed every night checking the volume is high on my phone in case I get a call through the night. It’s all I think about when I go to bed, wondering if tonight will be the night I get the call. Then waking up the following morning with a mixture of relief and sadness.
I’ve visited almost daily and nan is just wasting away in front of us. That’s bad enough but sadly she has now given up, deciding to stop all meds and she is now making it so very uncomfortable for us to be around her. I know some of you may be thinking ‘how can you say that’. Well, let me try to explain what I mean.
Over the last week my nan has given up and all she talks about is dying. She is asking staff as well as me and my mum if we will be her full time carer. She is making us feel guilty for not being able to take her out of the nursing home to look after her. It’s just not practical because she needs the nursing care. I know that’s not enough to make me dread visiting but let me add something to the mix. My nan is asking me, my mum and anyone she speaks to, to help her die. Now can you see why I dread going? I can’t sit there for longer than an hour now because it really upsets me. My nan is so desperately ill and has been prescribed end of life care; not yet administered at this stage. She has a terminal illness as well as end stage heart failure. The doctors say there’s nothing else they can do and she’s in constant pain. When you sit facing someone you care about suffering so badly it really bloody hurts. When someone you love is pleading with you and anyone else to help her die I can see why people really get embroiled in this whole mess about assisted dying.
I can understand where her mindset is, and can totally get why she wants to be in the arms of my grandad. However, I’m also really angry that she’s putting us in a position where we have to say no to ending her life. We have to sit in front of her while she constantly tells you she wants to go. She doesn’t read anymore, doesn’t do puzzles or watch TV so you can imagine there is very limited conversation.
I wish the end would come for her and I feel really bad saying that but she’s suffering so much. I obviously don’t want to lose her but I also don’t want her to suffer anymore. Why is it acceptable to put pets down to end any pain and suffering yet we as humans cannot do the same for our fellow humans…..? Life can be very cruel.