Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Friday: Bike to Work Day and my mom's Status (no Hospice yet, but some plans that would make her happy)...Please keep her in your thoughts

My sister and Mom at the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon. They moved around the course to see me at lots of places. I think my mom really enjoyed this day because she got to hang out with Cindy for several hours as they waited for me to move slowly along the course.
At "Take your Bike to Work Day", where I won a Tour de Cure biking shirt. This is a really cool event that I am looking forward to participating in. It is mid-June and starts at Reston Town Center, where my sister lives.

With my new friend Bill(?) and my friend Sandy from work enjoying the treats, comraderie and pitstop of "Take your bike to work Day".

Getting ready to continue my journey to work

Friday I partook in "Take your Bike to Work Day" (or as others call it Bike to work day). This is one of the highlights of my year (Umstead 100, VT100, Rocky 50, MCM, JFK50 and of course free scoop day are on this list:-) I have done this for the past 5 years. Some years I meet up with friends, others I end up seeing friends and other years I make friends.

This year I did not meet up with anyone but was pleased to see my friend Sandy from work (who has done several centuries as well as several national and international bike tours...she is hard core!) as well as meet several of her biking friends. I know Sandy from FDA-CBER's mentoring program (she is someone elses mentor) and because occasionally she will bike up alongside me as I am running home from work and she is biking home from work.

On my way to one of the pit stops a nice gentleman (I think his name was Bill) ended up being at the same red traffic light. He was really nice and we started chatting at the light and ended up biking about 2 miles to one of the pit stops I was stopping at (Fallsgrove then I moved onto Rockville). Our 2 miles just flew because we were just chatting about biking, running, hiking and life in general. We biked together because he had only a vague impression about where the pit stop was. I knew where it was and at one point thought he would move faster than me, so alerted him that the pit stop is a bit obscure. But then we ended up just hanging together chatting.
I told him I had biked to work virtually every year and in fact I think every year I have won a raffle. One year it was because I was waiting for a friend and for each drawing they would give out a new set of raffle tickets. By the end I was hard pressed to carry my new bike pack, gloves, lock... Last year I won a krytonite lock. Since I already had one, I gave it to Tristan. considering my bike was stolen in Oct, I should have kept it for myself and used it!

This year my streak continued. I won a "Tour de Cure" bike shirt. This event which raises awareness and is a fundraiser for research related to Diabetes is coming up on June 14th in Reston and for sure I will be attending and participating. I may try to both volunteer and bike at this event.

The rest of my day was spent trying to tie up a few items at work and then waiting for my sister who just arrived back in town from a class.

Oddly enough my mom has recovered a very tiny bit. My sister came to my office and we were able to talk to her together. Apparently my mom was trying to talk and look at the phone.We are still planning to utilize hospice care for the time being, but in fact now it sounds like she will have days or even possibly weeks left (guess doctor's might not know as much as I thought...I thought 3 days without saline was a death sentence but learned people who are not active can survive for up to 3 weeks!!!).

Well, this has led to a slight change in plans in that we have the Saline drip re-instated and my sister will be using one of my frequent flyer passes to fly to Texas on the first available flight, next Tuesday. I go to VT to run while Tristan goes to visit his family in CA (my mom would want this--particularly Tristan visiting his family because he hasn't seen his mom in nearly a year). Then almost immediately (6 hours later!) we take a one way flight to Texas. With my big strong husband's help, we will drive my mom back to Pocohontas State Park, her favorite park, then to our house all along the way seeing all sorts of sights.

I think my mom will like this road trip in the making.

We might even drop in on Tristan's relatives in NC who my mom met and really liked. She of course would support visiting all sorts of people on what may go down in our family's history as: "Mom's Celebration of Life Tour 2009".

My only fear is that we will get pulled over in some state and the transport of a barely responsive adult will yield questions and perhaps some misadventures. But that would probably only make my mom laugh harder from heaven.

While others may want to die with grace and dignity in their own home/bedroom, my mom's home was travels, the great outdoors and adventures. And I don't think anyone would use the word grace to describe her. Maybe: goofy, happy go lucky, adventureous, kind, sweet, funny, carefree come to mind, loved a great practical joke (or just jokes in general); but not grace.
She wanted to live out her 200 year plan and clearly this is a bit unrealistic but we will show her a good time on the trip back from Texas..biggest ball of twine, here we come!

By re-instituting saline she may be able to have a few more weeks of life based on Friday's talk with her doctors. In this time if a miracle is to occur, she will have to dig deeper than any of us...otherwise, she will be able to peacefully drift off with her cat: Pocohontas and either my sister, Tristan or I with her.

I am going to pray that she is able to pass peacefully during our adventure or else somehow taunts science and recovers in a way that will enable her to live her life fully in a way that she wanted.

The logistics of this trip are still being worked out. I know we will need to purchase a wheelchair, ensure she has adequate palliative medication, and figure out how to ensure she will be comfortable as well as decide do we drive 20 hours straight to get to VA (as per mapquest) or stay overnight at a hotel. This question of course we will answer during the trip based on safety but of course we could just pre-arrange a hotel (or even try to find/arrange a hospice for one night at the mid-way point).

Last night when I talked to my Aunt Carol we were able to joke that my mom would probably think this trip was the best thing ever. My mom loved to live life on the seat of her pants never knowing what adventure was around the bend. And I expect if she does survive the next 2 weeks, this will be quite an adventure!

Finally, if any of you have contacts or suggestions for Hospice Care in about Knoxville Tennesse (halfway point), please contact me via this blog or by e-mail.

1 comment:

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Well, sister, your mom sounds like the kind of woman who could pull a miracle out of her hat if anybody could. Let's all hope for that.

But if she does not, I am glad for her sake and yours that you will have this last road trip as a permanent memory to reflect back on for years to come.

Have fun sister.

Your mom is in my thoughts.