Mom passed away yesterday - on her own terms. I'm so proud of her bravery and courage.
Out of the blue, Mom developed systemic thrush - and she clearly used this as the avenue to end of her life. She had no prior history of thrush, no prior history of chronic infection, really. She would only take 10 to 20ml of water or Gatorade via a syringe but no food and allowed the thrush to take over. I told the Hospice nurse the reason why Mom is taking in a small amount of fluids is that she wants something very cold to ease the burning and itching sensation of the thrush on her tongue and in her throat. I also said she is purposely refusing food because she wants to die and she's using this thrush as her cause of death. She died from lack of nutrition and dehydration over an 18-day period. Her body is a fighter and did respond to the Nystatin and Diflucan - but this was round one. The second round of thrush developed just two days before her death. Mom's will to die was stronger than her body's desperate will to live and the reason why it took so long for her body to finally give in. I gave her enough morphine to keep her comfortable. The Hospice team was amazing.
Based on her labs done just four months ago - she easily could have lived another five to ten years because everything looked "good". I wanted to vomit - because she was suffering - though the labs told a different story. Since then I was asking The Universe for a massive heart attack, massive stroke, aneurysm...something....ANYTHING....to end her suffering. Death with Dignity is not a law in our State yet. Her slow decline started the year my father expired which was ten years ago. However, her real suffering began in 2013. I won't get into the specifics of her suffering - trust me - it has been BAD - but I'll tell you all that a few years ago, something prompted me to ask her if she was ready to die. She clearly said yes. She said God decides when we all die. I miss my husband. I want to be with him. Two years she started praying at first only once every few weeks but in the last month, it was daily. In fact, she prayed as much her body would allow her as the thrush was spreading. When she was too weak from lack of food and water, she stopped praying. When she did pass away, she looked so peaceful... it was like she was sleeping like a baby with a tiny smile....she was happy her years of pain and suffering ended and she was happy to be reunited with my father. I couldn't have asked for a better looking disposition on her deathbed. I thank The Universe for giving this to her - and to me.
Tomorrow after the funeral, a friend will join me and we'll be enjoying margaritas and nachos at a fabulous Mexican restaurant down the street from our home and be celebrating that Mom is finally at peace because she was suffering for so long...it just was NOT RIGHT and NOT FAIR to her and to me as I was the only one left in our family to deal with her suffering....Old World genetics made Mom's body strong and it just kept going like the Energizer Bunny - from Hell. Some people say God, I say The Universe but it's all the same...tomato...tomahto....I believe she lived as long as she did because The Universe wanted me to learn the lessons required to get me on the path I'm supposed to be on. My life plan had come together and then it was time for Mom to pass. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to care for both parents - I became a stronger and better person for it. The lessons I've learned from caregiving two very ill parents - all by myself - because I'm an only child and my parents immigrated to America from overseas for a better life - help me in my personal and business life. I'll be working my ass off to become successful so I can fulfill my father's dream of establishing a scholarship for international students to study engineering (my father was a brilliant engineer. No joke. He has patents in material science and electrical engineering) and to open up an animal rescue group in my mother's name. I got her a few cats and dogs to nurture after my father expired. She loved them so much. They helped her with the healing process of losing her husband.
This forum has been an invaluable resource because only us caregivers "get it" and the rest of society doesn't.
Have a good night. Hang in there....There is a Silver Lining to what we've been through. :-)
Peace and Blessings,