Thursday, January 5, 2017

Just Like She Said

If Bob had realized that these were his mother's last words, he might have stopped what he was doing and stood by her side.  But her foley catheter was leaking again and the sheets were a mess.  Besides, he didn't want to wake Rhonda in the adjacent bedroom.  She had just gotten off third shift and needed to rest before taking over in a few hours.

Bob felt guilty about losing his job, but given his mother's current state, he couldn't justify taking another gig out of town.  Because the Medicare days at the nursing facility had finally run out, his aging mom was forced back home.  At first she was able to smile and even talk occasionally, but that was mostly gone.  She mumbled from time to time.  Nonsensical mumbo-jumbo. Or stared blankly.

Bob listened to his mother's distorted vocalizations as he undid her flimsy coverings  He had debated whether to change the diaper or remove the bed sheets first, and settled on the diaper.  The morning news blared on a TV which had been optimistically moved into the room before her arrival.  She no longer could focus on the screen, but at least there was background noise.

Bob's hands moved quick and efficiently.  He sometimes wondered during these long days if he should have become a nursing assistant.  He was strong and able.  He had the right constitution and didn't get queasy when dealing with the indelicacies of the human body.

His mom exhaled and then did something she hadn't done in months. She spoke.

Bob, Bob quit messing with those sheets.  I'm dying.

Of course Bob didn't think.  She has been talking out of her mind ever since leaving the hospital.  He secured the diaper and pulled up the sheets.  It was then he noticed that she wasn't breathing.  Her chest was completely still.  He called out for Rhonda and she rushed into the room blurry-eyed.  They stared at each other for a moment, not knowing what to do.  Then he called 911.

Bob new the chest compressions were futile, but allowed them for a short time before asking the paramedics to stop.

His mother was gone.

Just like she said.  

No comments: