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Death Watch Continued

Posted by terrepruitt on April 3, 2014

Well, I didn’t want to turn this into a blog about death, but I have so many wonderful people asking me what is going on it is just so much more efficient for me to write it out. It saves time and heartache . . . I can just give one update and then point people to this. I don’t have to keep repeating myself. This is turning out not at all how we were told it would turn out. Which is really starting to annoy me because with everything that is now happening the medical staff is saying, “Oh that happens, sometimes.” Really? Well, no one told us that all this stuff might happen.

My mom has cancer. The size of her trachea has been reduced due to the cancer. The thought was that it would be reduced and damaged even further by the tube’s insertion and extubation. She had a tube in her throat for 10 days. The tube was connected to a ventilator but it was rarely breathing for her. For most of the 10 days she was breathing on her own, but the medical professionals felt that she would not be able to breathe without the tube. So when they told her she needed to pick a day on which they removed it the feelings were that not long after that she would die. But that has not been the case. The tube was removed at 2:28 pm on Monday, March 31, 2014 and she is still breathing on her own, today is Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Some of the “stuff” we were not aware of that could happen, the stuff my dad keeps being told sometimes happens is she is waking up. She wakes up and talks to him. One time it was for two hours (I think that was Wednesday). The nurses say she talks to them. She responds to inquiries about specific meds. She says thank you when then rearrange her. Her brain is not damaged nor is she in a coma, so she wakes up.

She is not hooked up to anything, but an IV for fluids. She gets fluids and meds. But she is wasting away . . . as happens to a body that does not get food after six days. A slow drawn out death.

I didn’t know that she would wake up and have moments of lucid consciousness. I thought the drugs they administer would keep her unconscious. So I am kind of annoyed that I am missing it. But at the same time I was happy that it was a couple of hours that my dad was able to spend with her. Alone. She was sad that they didn’t make it to their 50th wedding anniversary. That would have been 2015. There are many other things she was sad about but that was one thing she shared. I came home because I was under the impression that it would not go on this long. I was also under the impression that she would just sleep until the end.

Everyone copes differently . . . some of us continue on with our lives while other shut down. Shutting themselves away to wallow in sorrow. How people cope is a personal thing. Neither is right or wrong . . . it is just how we deal. I have been lifted up by teaching my classes and moving. My Nia students care and are supporting me. One of my yoga classes, the students don’t know. In one class where I was just subbing they didn’t know, but the peace and serenity in which they practiced REALLY helped me. It was so lovely to see their faces while they held their poses.

If it is not too much trouble, please keep your prayers and positive thoughts coming. They really are a source of strength to me.

Feel free to comment.

20 Responses to “Death Watch Continued”

  1. niachick said

    Your mom’s spirit is strong. The shell surrounding her spirit (her body) will continue to shut down as the medical professionals have told you. I didn’t know she could speak due to the cancer so I think it’s beautiful that she’s talking and sharing with your dad. Thank you for keeping us posted. You are a strong, beautiful, compassionate woman. Nia is a perfect outlet for your emotional, mental and physical release; I’m happy to hear you are continuing with your classes. I pray for a peaceful transition for your mom. Surrounding you, your mom, your dad and the whole family with soft cushy love from me and Frank. I love you.


    • The only reason she couldn’t talk the first 10 days she was in the hospital was because of the tube. I didn’t even know she was speaking. On the call in which my dad said they visited it was not clear to me at that point. Last night I asked because he said she was thanking the nurses.

      I am getting worn out. Although Nia and yoga are helping me —- and the PEOPLE taking it and dancing with me.

      Thank you for the prayers. That would be awesome. And thank you for the soft cushy love. It is so felt and appreciated!


  2. suzicate said

    The most difficult thing in the world is to watch someone you love slowly die. My heart goes out to you, Terre. I’ve been through this cancer thing with loved ones. Lifting you up in love and light, dear friend. Big hugs. Do what you need to do to bring peace within…you’re right there is no right or wrong way, it’s personal.


    • Seriously! Geez louise. I am not there (with her) and I am struggling with the idea of going. I don’t want to see it — PERIOD. But I would like to tell her I love her one more time and have her respond. So I am stressing out over this decision. ARGGH! It is sad and bothersome that cancer is so common. Thank you for the love and light. It REALLY TRULY IS lifting me. All of the goodies (love, light, prayers, positive thoughts, comments, stories) I have been receiving have really helped. I kinda feel bad dragging so many people along on this journey, but — as selfish as it is — everyone is helping me! Whew! The way I deal with my grief is my own personal choice, and obviously I feel that making it public is helping me. 🙂 Thank you, Suzicate.


  3. pegbur7 said

    Continuing to pray for you and your family. Praying for peace, strength and an ability to withstand all that comes your way.


  4. Michele said



  5. Joan Meyer said

    Thanks for keeping us posted……. I’m thinking of you often and sending prayers and hugs!! Your whole family is going through so much and you seem to be doing it with such dignity!


  6. Carole Shaffer said

    We are still with you cousin. How is Daddy doing? I guess that is kind of a silly question at this point. We are still pray for ALL of you. I think God is not quite done preparing her glorious eternal home yet. And as you said, giving your Dad some alone time with her. God bless you Terre, my heart goes out to you. I love you.


    • 🙂 He is getting tired. This is turning out to be a very long process. But, I am guessing he is there so that he can “visit” during the moments she wakes up. He said she doesn’t remember previous visits, but how can you not want to be there? But it is exhausting.

      I think that we will never know why . . . but it is . . . and there you have it. And as you can probably deduce at this time there are no visitors. I should have put that in my post.

      I love you too.


  7. Christine said

    Your strength and the way you are handling this is inspirational. I can’t imagine fully how tough this must be on you and your family. I’ve been praying for your mom and thinking of you often. I’m here for you if you need me.


    • I am starting to get really grumpy. I have never felt that letting someone starve to death is the human way for people to die. And thanks for your offer, Dear. I hope you are feeling better. I felt so bad about Monday and not being able to help!


  8. Carol Hamilton said

    Still with you Terre; sending love


  9. Betty Galloway said

    Terre, I am so sorry for what you are going through and I am praying for you and thinking of you daily. I went through this with both of my parents. My dad passed in 1995 with cancer and he lingered for some time though he was conscious and aware until 3 days before he finally let go of life. The hospice nurse told us that the human spirit and will to live is strong and that the soul knows when it is time to let go. She felt that my dad was hanging on because he felt there was still something he had to do for my mom, sister and I and that one of us needed to tell him it was ok to go. Neither my mom or sister were able to do that so I was the one that had that talk with him. My mom passed in 2005 and had had a stroke while in the hospital for other issues. We brought her home to my sister’s place and spent two weeks nursing her until she passed. We had hospice help but it was primarily my sister and I who provided her basic needs for those two weeks. I know how hard it is to watch a loved one pass out of this world and out of our lives. I don’t know your beliefs but I know we all have something within us that makes us carry on. And I have been experiencing the need for that something myself in recent weeks as I have been dealing with some emotional loss and conflicts in my life that are extremely difficult. That is part of why I have not written sooner. But I wanted to let you know that my heart is full of love and compassion for you and that I wish you strength as you deal with this. Blessings, Betty


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