Confusion – a very polite term to describe the effects of drugs on one’s brain or the effects of cancer on one’s brain. We’re not quite sure yet what is causing the confusion.
Yesterday mom was quite confused. She started by telling me that something was going on at the care center involving the hispanics and the blacks and that the nurses would not talk to her about it. Boulder County has a growing hispanic population and some people of the hispanic culture do work at the center, but believe me, there are no black people. African Americans are not the dominant culture here, as a matter of fact I believe their numbers are in the less than 1% range – so that tipped me off that what we had was "confusion".
When I spoke to the nurse, she affirmed that my mom was confused but she also said that she had a urinary tract infection and that that can be the contributing factor. They asked if I wanted to start her on antibiotics. So, I called Pat the hospice nurse.
Pat told me that bacteria in the urinary tract is common, especially in nursing home environments, and that we had treated mom for that before as well. She seemed to think that this could be the onslaught of the cancer spreading to my mother’s brain. We decided to move ahead with the antibiotics and we would have a better idea within a few days if the confusion was caused by the infection or by the cancer.
I spoke to mom this morning. She is a little less confusion but still speaking with a very thick sounding tongue. She did say a few things that were off the mark, but most of the conversation was lucid enough. It is so hard to tell what is going on – this is such a nasty condition – it just strings you along and gives you so many highs and lows.
Yesterday they moved my mom’s furniture out of the house. It was a relief to see that done, and yet it was one of the hardest things to experience. To see this representation of her life slowly fade into nothing is very difficult. The good thing is that it is so much work that you can lose yourself in the project and forget at time what the project represents. When the movers left, I cried. Some of that furniture was in my family for 50 years, a lot of it was furniture that my mom and dad bought together when they moved to Florida and so in some instances, it represented not only a loss in relation to my mom, but reliving the loss of my dad as well.
As I stood in front of the bed they slept in for many years and watched as it was dismantled and taken away, I felt very alone and very sad. I thought of all of the times I visited them in Florida and how that home, for all intents and purposes, was their dream home – their dream life – after living most of their lives in a small ethnic neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, they finally had the opportunity to experience the American Dream – they had a corner lot , 30 trees, a pool , and a beautiful home filled with all new furniture – most of which was taken away yesterday. The memories attached to those pieces of furniture were endless, the lives that were lived in and around those pieces are now either gone or dwindling and soon they will be in different homes that will never know what they have been a part of or who sat on them, slept on them, cried on them and laughed on them.
Life goes on and although in my head I know that is the best – I wish someone would explain that to my heart. I love you mom and dad, and even though the material possesions are going or gone, the important parts of you will live on in me – for as long as I live. I promise you that.