Thursday, April 9, 2015

Shouting in the Dark

I love the moment at dawn when the birds begin to sing. 

My mother is shouting in her sleep as I write this. Sometimes she talks. I tip-toe to the door of her room and listen if she's speaking clearly enough to be understood. I keep waiting for some profound revelation from the beyond because she's usually speaking to dead people. Like maybe she has a message for me from my dad. Or maybe there'll be some long-held family secret revealed. Usually she's lost though. She and her twin sister are in the woods and trying to find their way back home.

My mom slept most of the day. Mitigating pain and keeping the sufferer coherent and awake is a challenge, apparently. When she was still asleep at 12:30 I called the hospice nurse, and she came over and checked on her. All her vital signs were great--probably better than mine at that point. She got up and ate toast and yogurt and coffee and juice. Then she went back to bed. I slept on the couch and we both woke up around 6 p.m. I turned last night's chicken into chicken salad. We had toast and an avocado with it and called it good. By the end of the meal, I had to keep my eyes on her because  she was dozing while lifting her glass to her lips. This is not a new thing. She does it regularly and the result is frequently a spilled drink and sometimes a broken glass. It pisses her off. I've never seen anything quite like it. She's here in the present and then she slips into some other reality, mumbling, talking, then she's gone and there's coffee or a martini in her lap.

The nurse made new recommendations for the meds, so we'll see if my mom Rip Van Winkels her way through tomorrow or what. The pain is pretty much gone though. When I ask her how she feels or how her pain is, she says, "Smoooth." She used our fabulous lavender microwave hot packs only once today. Before hospice the hot packs were constantly employed. The microwave blew a fuse on Sunday, and if we hadn't already had the okay to increase the pain meds, it would have been a gruesome day.

I actually sent out some writing today. Lately I've been feeling like my focus has just gone to hell, and that there's just so much rejection, and I can't apply for any fellowships, and I can't really participate in the literary scene, and I wish I were at AWP, but I'm not, and you know, whinewhinewhine. So I had some wine, and I thought, rather dejectedly, I'd see how my book was doing. It's okay. The ups and downs of book sales are completely perplexing. At least at this level. If you're on Oprah, yeah, I'm sure your sales go up. The things I'm doing to promote my book are less visible. A little like shouting in the dark.


37paddington said...

sending love. I remember this with my own mom, the talking in the night, the visits with dead relatives, especially sisters. At least the pain is gone. You are a wonderful daughter and an amazing writer.

Ms. Moon said...

I am so glad her pain is under control.
You ARE an amazing writer. I can't believe you have focus enough to send anything out. I admire you so.

Vesuvius At Home said...

I'm impressed you are able to send things out, with everything going on. I'm glad your mom's pain is being managed. I hope it makes things more manageable for you as well.

Elizabeth said...

I love that you're Number 20 in the Society Singles.