She had been fading for a while, but still somewhat active (listening to the radio, watching shows, making dinner) until she went into the hospital two weeks ago, just as LO and I landed in Europe for a long-needed vacation. Her legs swelled because she has congestive heart failure, emphysema, accelerating kidney failure, and other things going wrong.
My Mom has long wanted to avoid any heroic medical measures, so the purpose of the hospital visit was to get the swelling down and for a few days of monitoring to readjust her meds.
My sister is taking lead on Mom's care, because she was laid off the other week. My Aunt, also a former nurse, is staying at my parents house for a few days to help. My Brother pops in every once in a while. My Dad is letting my Sister lead and has been asking me questions on whether I think Mom will get better. He is also writing down things for his "bachelor book."
I saw my Mom for the first time in two-plus years yesterday. Her face was sunken. She is on oxygen. She is all but skin and bones at this point, and while she can walk with a walker, she needs assistance for everything. She can answer questions with one or two words, but she either sleeps or stares into space most of the time.
There is no going back, the only question is how long will the decline take.
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