My mother has been doing so many peculiar things lately, most of which I understand. Not going into the medical issues, suffice it to say that she is in horrific pain that cannot be relieved. She is currently on 100 mc Fentanyl and 10 mg OxyContin every 6 hours and the pain is getting overwhelming. In the past month, Hospice has tried methadone with horrific results and then one dose of morphine with no change, so they did not continue.
Before the methadone, she was actually taking her OxyContin every four hours, so in reality, she is now taking less medication now than she did a month ago.
Now, she is sleeping more than she did before, to the tune of 21-22 hours a day. Her awake time is 15-30 minutes at a time. We have to wake her for her meds and also for her meals. The good thing is that she is still eating, but I am seeing a notable decrease in fluids. When she is awake and not eating, she will simply stare at the wall and then go to sleep. When I speak with her, she often cannot finish a thought, but when I ask her about her past, she can tell me with clarity what happened. One moment she cannot function cognitively, and the next she seems sharp.
Now, this week, she has begun to write on a notepad. While this may not seem strange to most, my mother has not voluntarily written anything more than a grocery list in years and has not picked up a pen since last March! Her eyesight and terrible arthritis prohibits it for the most part. When I saw her writing pad today and commented about it, she simply replied that she does not remember writing anything. Her writing was neater than I have seen in years! She was also writing thoughts like “No pity party!”, “I have had a good life” and “He loved me with all his heart and I loved him” about my deceased father. (She has woken up in the middle of the night two times this week looking for a pen.)
I guess my question is whether this is normal behavior for someone declining? Is this her way of finalizing things? Is this active dying? We have been on such an emotional roller coaster with her. I also don’t want my Good Brother or kids to be blindsided if she passes, but then again I don’t want to give a false alarm. Any thoughts?