Friday, May 22, 2009

My Mom's status and heading to Vermont

My sister and I spent the last several days with my mom at Parkland Hospital in Dallas TX.  It was really tough.  Last time I saw her was a Rocky Raccoon 50 miler when we gave each other a final goodbye hug.  This time I could give her a hug but it was not reciprocated.  In some ways she looks just the same as Feb, but in other ways, she looks dramatically different.  She is now just skin and bones.  Before she was slender but now she is very gaunt.  

Her pain is supposed to be managed but it did seem sometimes she was distressed.  Dr. Batiste, her Doctor is now going to keep her on maintenance morphine as well as Adavin.  Her Doctor/neurologist, Dr. Batiste was such a kind and caring doctor.  He interacted with her during a brief period when she was a bit loopy but had not had her catastrophic stroke.  Evidently she really impressed him with her stories of trips and escapades.  I think she also must have impressed upon him her desire to live a full and active life because he mentioned her zest for life and quest for adventure.  

I am now heading to VT to run the Vermont City marathon.  When I get back, I will have a 6 hour turnaround to fly back down to Dallas if my mom is still around.  I am conflicted about this because I want her to be in peace (and at times when Cindy I were there it did not seem she was) but I also want to see her one last time and take her on our little adventure (or at least somehow make it so she can visit with her cat one last time).  

Perhaps in a future post when it is not quite as painful, I will write about the fiasco that getting her into hospice has been.  What I perceived as a simple action apparently is a complex bureaucratic nightmare.  And sadly my mom does not have the time to wait for the many forms, authorizations and certifications that are needed.  

My mom would say this is a learning experience and I certainly would be happy to provide my observation and opinion via an e-mail (which can be linked via my profile within this blog).  

Please continue to keep my mom in your thoughts and prayers....


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I'm keeping you all in my thoughts sister.

cowsandpigs said...

Please tell Marjorie (Mom) that she is in our thoughts and prayers, as we light a prayer candle. We hope she finds peace, as we think about her constantly and have not abandoned her. We will always remember the fun times we had together, watching the manatees at Blue Springs, the Walt Disney World Marathon, and Karen's road trip with Marj from Florida to Pocahontas State Park. Thank you for keeping us updated on her condition. The pictures are wonderful. Karen and Ed Seiderman

Tiger said...


I am so sorry to read about your mom. I remember meeting her at Rocky Raccoon this year, and she was such a treat. She was so proud of you running a 50 mile PR. I love the pictures, and I appreciate you sharing her life on the Blog. What a remarkable lady! God's blessings to your mom, you, and your family.

Angela Ivory

CTmarathoner said...

wow have been through so much with you mother...will keep her in my prayers as I circle a Queens park tomm in the Broadway ultra society Trek. I think it is the right thing for you to show your mom how strong you are and to run VT City marathon and to not cancel the trip...good luck in the race. It is my favorite course and i wish i was running it, especially now that i am 50 (last year i turned 50 a week after and did Pinelands anyway). Next year, will be torn bewteen Vt and Pinelands --have run Vt 6 times...enjoy the course --please take alot of photos and enjoy smelling the lilacs and think positive thoughts for your mother.

Just_because_today said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mom's worsening condition. I am not surprised about Hospice, that is the same for the ACS, just a bureaucratic place. I can understand your conflict; wanting her to be at peace yet wanting to hold on to her.
All the best

Runner Tammy said...


Thank you.


I know your friendship meant a great deal to my mother. She really enjoyed your "road trip" to Pocohontas. I think her goal in life was to be an ambassador of goodwill to show others how much fun RVing, visiting parks and traveling in general could be.

She had such courage and enthusiasm and was so happy to share this with everyone.


You are so kind. My mom loved meeting all of my friends at Rocky Raccoon (as well as other races)...she talked about how much fun she had cheering on runners and talking to runners after the race.

After Umstead 100 I was so happy to report to her about your success! While my mom might have had issues in remembering simple things after her Feb accident, she definitely remembered people.


Thank you for your kind words. You remind me alot of my mom. You are such a courageous and independent free spirit who so clearly cares about all of your children, family and friends! A few weeks ago when you posted about your boyscout hike, it reminded me of all the things my mom did as my girl scout leader. We had such fun!


Thank you. It is so unfortunate that such a painful and sad period had a tremendous amount of energy and time spent on inconsequential and ultimately futile beaurocratic issues. I guess the only positive is that I now can share my experience and advice with others and will have this knowledge in the future.

One thing that did help our family tremendously was a very clear and strong living will created by my mom many years ago. While I violated her desire not to have an IV of saline, all other directives were followed explicitly. I would not have wanted to make these decisions (breathing tube, feeding tube, supplemental oxygen, herioc measures, "Do not resuccitate" order, etc.) by myself or with my sister. My mom clearly defining what she considered an acceptable quality of life provided clear guidance for us.

Also, having medical power of attorney (since 2000) really allowed me to ensure her wishes were implemented. And for that I am very grateful.