Positively Brutal

The phone keeps ringing.

Carol gets calls from doctors, nurses, family.  Her mother was in the hospital at the beginning of the week because of difficulty breathing.  She has congestive heart failure and one of the effects of that is a build up of fluids around the lungs.  This happened about a month ago and at that time the doctors inserted a needle and withdrew some of the fluid manually.  This time though they were reluctant to do that.

The doctors call Carol because she is the medical person for her mother’s Trust.  So Carol is faced with hard decisions.  Actually the doctors do most of the decision making, but Carol had to decide something this time, and that was, at the beginning of the week, to send her mother back where she had been but this time in hospice care.


Hospice is the end of the line.  It means that all parties concerned and lucid enough to be concerned have agree that there is nothing now to be done for a person but to make that person as comfortable and pain free as possible in the final passage.  Hospice doesn’t even use antibiotics.  No breathing tube will be inserted.  Carol’s mom is now on a morphine drip.


Carol has asked the doctors and nurses not to use the word “hospice” around her mother.  She is concerned that her mother will become very afraid.

At ten last night Carol is responding to an email from the daughter of the man Carol’s mom married about ten years ago.  The daughter says her father called crying and distraught.  He is 95 years old.  He is getting the picture that his wife of 10 years will soon be dying.

Neither of us slept well.

This is just brutal. 


We took a walk to Ellwood yesterday late and the sky was dramatic.  A storm was coming in.

2 Replies to “Positively Brutal”

  1. Difficult days ahead for Carol, you, and the family.
    But hospice makes such a difference for everyone going through the last days of a loved one in their care. Lots of truly caring folks who just want to make the transition easier. Your family in SC and NC will be thinking of you and Carol.

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