Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Doesn’t Mean You Die Even When You Decide To

Posted by terrepruitt on April 1, 2014

HOLY MOLY!!!! Sigh. Ok, I feel that since I started it, I need to continue with it. Right? I mean, it is not my intention to make my blog all about death, but since I asked for love and support, I think it is only fair that I give you all an update. I sat with my mother in her hospital room for roughly seven days. During that time she was presented with an option that would have been extremely painful and risky. The surgeon gave three scenarios that could occur and two of them pretty much ended with immediate death, so she opted to skip the procedure and just spend her last days with a tube down her throat, unable to speak and unable to cry. She entertained visitors. Not many because it was exhausting to her. She also was asked to pick the day on which she would have the tube removed. The thoughts were that her trachea is so encroached with cancer and would be so traumatized by the tube that when they pulled it out she would not have much time before she died.

Regarding the procedure mentioned — for those that are curious — it was a stent. A stent was to be placed in the trachea. The idea was that it would hold open the collapsing trachea so that she could breathe. But, it would only be for a few days. The stent is not a permanent or even semi-permanent solution. It is also metal and rigid, it would not have flexed and moved. It would have been very uncomfortable/painful, because the trachea moves.

She did not want to go. She had a lot left she wanted to do. Knowing she couldn’t do ALL that she wanted to do before she died, she thought she could at least do SOMETHINGS. So she decided to have the tube removed on Monday. She made that decision on a Wednesday. It is MY belief that if she knew all that she would have to go through between Wednesday, March 26th, and Monday, March 31st she would not have picked that day. But she wanted to at least get her Easter cards written out. She also wanted to advise me of who gets what in the stack of Christmas gifts she already bought. She also wanted to spend as much time with her family as she could — who wouldn’t, right? But in order to do so she suffered a lot. The medical professionals taking care of her were always there to administer the drugs she needed so she wouldn’t be in pain, but those drugs made her groggy and unable to think clearly so sometimes I think she held off a bit. Plus the procedures that need to be done to allow someone to breath through a tube are not comfortable. So anyway . . .

Hand holding - for post 04.01.14We got to visit for several days. As I have said several times, she was unable to talk with the tube in her throat. She also was unable to cry because the contractions that happen when one cries caused too much pain. Normally I would not tell someone not to cry because crying is such a great release. I believe crying is good for the BMES – ha, yes, that is a Nia acronym. It helps clear the tear ducts and allows for a physical release. Crying helps clear the mind also. It is an emotional release as well as a spirit helper so to me, it is a good thing. So if you want to cry, cry — except while you are driving or you have tube down your throat and it hurts too much.

I was there until Friday night. I got home around midnight on Friday. I came home to do some laundry, teach a yoga class, do some paper work, and pick up my husband. We went back up Saturday night. We visited all day Sunday and waited around for 1:00 pm on Monday. We all were under the impression that at 1:00 pm it would happen. But we all forgot that “hospital time” is not exact. They do things — even scheduled things — around other things. So our 1:00 pm scheduled extubation turned into 2:28 pm. I trusted the medical staff (although it turned out not to be who we were told it would be) would see that she was not in pain, but we still didn’t know if there would be any gasping and gagging and who knows. I was confident that it would not be a long time after. I saw the MRI of the trachea/esophagus area. Nurses and doctors helped convince me that it would be quick. Well it was not. We are going into our 29th hour.  While my mom is so medicated she doesn’t know what is going on and she feels no pain . . . this is NOT what she would have wanted. Lingering on. In fact every visitor that came to visit her while I was there, her answer to their comment of “I’m praying for you.” was “Pray that I don’t linger.” Again, I am at a loss.

Yes, we all have ideas as to why she has not died . . . . she is not ready . . . . she is doing it in her own time (something we call Natural Time in Nia) . . . ALL TYPES of ideas . . . but really we don’t know. All that I know is that this is really hard on my dad. This is not a case where she might revive and be ok. This is not a hopeful, “Oh, I’ll sit by your bedside until you are awake.” This is a grueling death watch. Judge me anyway you want, I left last night. I didn’t want to see her as I know she would not want to be. I didn’t want to hear the “death rattle”. Ugh!  Since it is hard on my dad, if it drags on until the weekend I will go back up.

Well, this post is way longer than I like to have my post, but I really wanted to let you know what the status is. Also . . . I guess it helps to write it out. One more thing . . . I believe that I would not have been able to handle this if it weren’t for all of you. So many people have “come out of the wood work” to share and support and deliver sparkles. So thank you all for sharing and caring and giving. I have not been told I am loved or said, “I love you” this much in as many days before in my life.

Please keep up with those thoughts, prayers, stories, sparkles, and all that jazz.  It REALLY helps!


24 Responses to “Doesn’t Mean You Die Even When You Decide To”

  1. Joan Meyer said

    I do not have any idea of what to say to you at this point! How difficult for all of you! I sure hope you all get all the support you need for others! I hope your mom can rest in peace and her family and friends as well! Dance a peaceful sleep dance and breathe!! hug your cat and husband….


  2. Melisa said

    Oh, Terre….I am sorry your mother (and you and everyone in your family) has to go through this. It sounds so very hard. Wishing for a peaceful transition and sending much love your way.


  3. Stacy B. said

    I don’t go up to the casket as I don’t want to remember my friend or loved one that way. I would prefer to remember them as I last saw them alive. No judgments here. Bear sent me a picture of his father when he passed and I would not open it as I remember him alive smiling and flirting with the pretty ladies as we walked on Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas.
    {{♥}} Hugs and Prayers. Love the picture of your husband and his comment yesterday on FB. You got a good one! 🙂


  4. Thank-you for the update. Still sending all the love and prayers your way. Her will can be a weakness as well, but she’ll go when she is ready. Maybe her waiting is for you as you gather strength that you need.


  5. susanito said

    Oh Terre. I just read this and your other posts about your mom. What a hard and difficult journey. I am thinking of you, and your family. Sending love and comfort. To all of you.


  6. pegbur7 said

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I get why you don’t want to be there, especially for Tha God awful death rattle. My dad’s went on for over 12 hours and it was horrible. For him, for our mom, for us. There was no where in the house you could go without hearing it. I was praying for him not to linger just as I am for your mom. All in God’s time. Imagine yourself wrapped in warm hugs and good vibes. That’s what I am trying to send your way. Know we all love you and are here for you.


    • Yeah, my dad said it was a gurgle . . . I assumed it would progress to the rattle. Yeah, God’s time is certainly not my time. 🙂 Thanks for the hugs and warm vibes. I am honestly not having to imagine them, I feel them and everyone is helping me soooo very much! Thank you.


  7. Wow Terre. Thank you for sharing. These are difficult times. I don’t know what this anguish is like yet and I’m afraid to know it or experience it. Know that we care about you in this trying time. I wish you, your familiy and your mother peace. Hugs. James


  8. niachick said

    Thank you dear one for the update. I was wanting to ask you about your mom. Having gone through a similar, but obviously never the same, situation with my mom I can sense what you must be thinking/feeling/doing at this point. Sending you my, John, your mom and the rest of the family much love and compassion, understanding and prayers. You know I love you.


    • I know . . . so many people wanted an update . . . only fair . . . especially since the tube was removed on Monday and we thought that would be it.

      Thanks for all you are sending . . . I am getting it! XO


  9. niachick said

    And p.s., I would NEVER judge you as to how you go through these days with your mom. That is the LAST thing you need to even think about, so don’t.


  10. Diva said

    More prayers for peace, strength and comfort for your mom, you and family. Sending my love ❤


  11. Carole Shaffer said

    Cousin, thank you so much for continuing to share, I am sure it must be both painful and yet cathartic. It is definitely a privilege to be able to read the beautiful comments from so many of your wonderful friends. God bless you, and John, your Dad and of course, your Mom.


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