As many of you know, I made the decision to put my 91-year-old mother into hospice care on January 2. She'd been eating less and less since November, had a leg wound that turned septic in mid-December, and was in the hospital from 12/17-1/2. She hasn't eaten anything solid since she went in the hospital over a month ago, and she's dropping weight like crazy. She's barely opened her eyes in that entire time, and she just sleeps all day. She also has been refusing to take her medication.
I've been getting regular updates from the nurses at her memory care facility as well as from the hospice nurse, and while she's barely conscious and refusing everything but a single Ensure most days, she does still have pretty good vital signs and is strong enough to take a swing at the nurses when they poke and prod her too much. The nurses send me pictures of her, and she looks dead already. I've spent every day waiting for "The Call" to tell me the end is near.
This morning the nurse sent me a text saying, "Mom says 'Good Morning!'" along with a picture of my mother sitting up in bed, bright-eyes and bushy-tailed with a big grin on her face. This is my mother about six YEARS ago, not even a couple of months ago! The nurse said Mom wanted her to turn on the lights in the room, asked why she was in bed, and was very compliant about taking her meds and swigging her Ensure. She then requested a chile relleno for lunch, which I dutifully brought to her.
I went tearing over there to see through the window for myself, and sure enough, she was dressed, weirdly clear-eyed (she has terrible macular degeneration and normally looks blind with eyes half-closed), and sitting up in her wheelchair. Her legs, which have been horribly swollen with edema, are thin, and I saw her ankles for the first time in probably 20 years. She's always been pretty heavy, and her middle is still large, but her legs are like sticks compared to how they once where. She was definitely weak and didn't seem strong enough to cough when she needed to, but she was far healthier than she was pre-Covid lockdown. As I said, she seems like she was in 2014, except I don't think she was totally clear on who I was, which is a recent development since her hospital stay.
Yes, the hospice organization sent us the book about the stages of dying, and yes, I know about how sometimes a person will rally a bit before the end, but do they rally to THIS extent, or has she magically turned a corner? Considering she hasn't eaten as much in two months as she'd eat in a normal week, I can't believe she has this kind of energy, and I would assume that just today's activities will wipe her out tomorrow, but what on earth are we seeing here?
Has anyone else experienced anything like this?