Caregiver Log: Meantime

A friend once said, “They call it the meantime for a reason…”

She was not referring to mean as meaning equivalency or purpose, but rather mean as in vicious and foul. And yes, enduring the decline in my mother’s health has been unpleasant. The knowing the end is coming but not knowing when or how is difficult. Yet, wishing for its end means only one thing.

Untreated Acute Leukemia does not go away on its own.

I don’t sleep well. 3am wake up and not being able to get back to sleep until after 5am is common. My mind starts running. The stress, sadness, and grief are ever present, but I often don’t have time to deal with them. They wait for me in quiet hours.

I try to explain to mom what is happening, what 95% blast cells means, that her symptoms are caused by the disease. Her body is not behaving as it once did. Infection moves rapidly and knocks her down quickly. Bruises and bleeding are more and more common.

We spend our time taking care of business affairs- bills, phone calls, appointments. We also spend hours and hours watching our favorite cop show. It’s something we can both agree on and enjoy. My days have become mornings with mom, afternoons of work, and evenings of crime drama.

I try to patron local restaurants once a week. I go to the brewery on Saturdays to get downtown and do something a little different. They recognize me as a regular now…

This Saturday will be the end of my fourth week. I have been doing laundry, cleaning my living space, playing sudoku, writing and drinking wine on the front porch. I take the occasional walk along Grand View Drive. I listen to the neighbors across the street argue.

And I wait.

Did I come too soon? The week I arrived most workers at the University were told to stay home and work remote. If I work remote here or there it matters little. The second week brought infection, the third week brought bleeding, and the fourth week… more confusion and slowing down, fear of driving herself.

I am grateful to not have much to report. But this is the quiet before the storm. I don’t know what I am forgetting to ask and when she’s gone, it will be too late.

She’ll be in the wind…

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, April 2020

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