Long Day, Part 2: The Sick
2006-12-28, 9:40 a.m.
(Still the 26th...)
When we got into town, I insisted that we go over to talk to the hospice people. Which we did.
They brought in three people to talk to us. Mom started crying like the second we got into the office. One of them was some kind of nurse, another was the clinical director, the third was a pastor/grief counselor.
We were in there awhile.
What it boiled down to was Mom telling them that everyone but her wants her to let him die already. (It kinda sounds like an episode of Survivor, somehow. "Everyone else voted for Bob, he goes off the island!") And (say it with me, kids), she's "just not ready to let him go."
At this point, I ah, kinda had a public twitchy-fit at those words. Suffice it to say they figured out early on that I am quite done with all of this already. The clinical director said that everyone else but Mom was on a different page, and I was practically in a whole other book. (Oy.)
So mainly they explored why Mom wasn't ready to let him go, since she wasn't exactly sounding like someone who was ready to deal with hospice. She said she doesn't want to be alone (never mind that she pretty much is), and the whole "I still think he wants to live" thing, and she feels like she's rejecting him by wanting him to die. And she doesn't want to "play God" by choosing in any way to let him die. God better take him, because she does not want the responsibility of letting him go.
(Same old, same old.)
It was reiterated that yes, the money thing is a factor, especially since she didn't get her shit together with that and get rid of the money in time so she'll owe $48,000 in a few days. That it kind of forces a decision upon her, which she just won't make.
I gather they could "do a ceremony" for her if she ever says yes, and if they take him off the ventilator he could die in a few minutes. If he's left to live as long as he can he could go another year. (Or forever.)
It was left as, "call us if you ever decide, and you should really look into getting a grief counselor NOW" but I don't think she will. Or at least I know better than to believe.
She promptly called various people on the way over to Dad's, the last of them being Aunt Susie. The weird thing being was that at this moment in time, she was all, "Well, what if I let him die in January? Are you busy then? Would you go to a ceremony?" Aunt Susie was all, "I'm sorry, but if (the PITAS) are there, there is no way I am going. I can't stand those people and I will barely be able to hold it together to be around them during the funeral."
(At this point, I am rooting for Aunt Susie to go yell at Auntie Dolores anyway. Why not, it'll be the last time she ever has to deal with her and she can get off scot-free!)
Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "Yeah, January, my ass. That ain't happening. She's so doing the whole 'I should let him go because other people told me to' thing for the moment, but it won't last."
After the inevitable Dad visit, we picked up Mauricio and went to dinner. At the end of the meal, Mauricio then proceeded to do what I can only call a monologue directed at Mom to let him go already. He made the points that she'll look for any reason not to deal with it, she's fucked herself financially by not dealing with it, she's already alone in the sense of "nobody home with me," he made the "God is with you" argument (this didn't make a dent on her, btw), reiterated that she shouldn't keep making him suffer because she can't let go, etc., etc. It went on for awhile. It was great.
He wanted her to think about things tomorrow and come to a decision. We are to meet up with him for another dinner and hospital visit tomorrow night before picking up his girlfriend. (Another long night.)
Now, I was supposed to get together with my friend Jackie on either Wednesday or Thursday. I was thinking to shoot for Thursday at this point and help Mom clean tomorrow (in this narrative, let's call that Wednesday, even if god knows what day I'll post it on). Well, I heard from her late tonight and getting together on Wednesday would be easier for her, so at some point I will toodle into south SF via BART and go shopping and gift-exchanging or something, then meet up with the rest of them.
I think Mom is quite pissed off to be left all alone tomorrow, but she couldn't really argue the point.