C – Welcome to Room 15

July 14, 2015

4:23 a.m.

My eyes pop open.

Wide awake.

I stay still, searching out the rhythm of the oxygen concentrator in mama’s room.

There it is, rolling, steady.

Aside from the hum of the machine, the house is quiet. I decide to get up anyhow, in the still. I will peek in on mama in just a minute, after I go to the bathroom.

In less than two minutes, I hear her.

She is screaming, “Oh, ow, ow, OW!”

The house seems to shake.

I scream in response, from the bathroom, “Mama fell off the bed! Mama fell off the bed! Help!”

Immediately, my husband gets up and we both run to mama’s bedroom.

Where is she?!

Certain I would find her on the bedside floor, she wasn’t!

Mama is moaning, and I turn to see her against the wall of the doorway. She fell, indeed, letting the closet door break her fall.

The minutes are a blur.

She cannot raise up without our help, but I know that we shouldn’t lift her.

She is in pain.

Her right leg is bent beneath her left at a 90 degree angle. She can wiggle her toes. Her shoulder is bleeding. Scraped it on a chair mid-fall. Her oxygen is still on her face.

Mama tells us she was just going to the bathroom and lost her balance.

Just going to the bathroom.

I tell her I have to call Hospice, but She is certain she’ll be okay and asks me to wait.

Another 2 or 3 minutes go by, and I tell her I have to call.

She nods.
_ _ _ _ _

Ten hours later, Mama is admitted as in inpatient at the McLeod Hospice House. Her hip is broken, confirmed by x-ray in the hospital emergency room earlier. She cannot stay home anymore. Her options are: 1) seek out hip surgery or 2) go to the Hospice House for pain management of her symptoms.

Mama chooses number two.

She cannot get out of bed. Nor can she use a toilet or bed pan. And she can’t sit up.

Pancreatic cancer is still the intruder that will take her, but the hip. That hip. It has changed the game plan. This is not what momma wanted. Nor us. But here we are, at the Hospice House.

Welcome to Room 15.

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