My mom was in some kind of hospital setting for 4 months. She went into the hospital due to an exacerbation from her COPD. She had to have a breathing tube due to how bad she was when she got to the hospital. She ended up with multiple infections and almost died a few times. While she got somewhat better, she was never fully better.
When she discharged from her skilled nursing program she went onto Hospice care. One of the big philosophies of is quality of life. For my mom, her quality of life was dependent of her being “her own” care giver for as long as possible. Knowing this is what she wanted, I did the best I could to make this happen. Sure she had lots of people coming in and out of the house all week to run errands, do household chores and just make sure she was OK, but she felt like she was on her own. For my mom it was the best situation.
For me, not so much. We weren’t in a relationship that would allow her to live with me – I did want to be somewhat sane when this was all over. I have a family and a job so I couldn’t move in with her either.
So everyday I checked my mom’s Facebook to see if she was alive or not. My mom was an avid Facebook stalker and would be on there all day long. So I could do a simple look and see that my mom was actively online or had been on in the last few hours.
But everyday it was like my mom was Schrodinger’s cat. At any given point in the day she was both dead and alive in my head. When she would go more hours without going on line it would spark more anxiety. There were a few times that her lack of being online was due to the internet being down or her finding a good marathon of Harry Potter. But for the most part when she wasn’t online for a few hours it was because she wasn’t doing well and she wasn’t able to get up out of her chair.
I don’t know how other people manage their anxiety in these kinds of situations. Some days I felt like I was going to loose it and my skin was on fire. Other days I could talk myself into the thought process that my mom was fine and was just knitting. Those days and moments were few.
During the time my mom was at home under hospice was difficult. I had to trust the nursing staff, which I did, and rely on them to notify me when things weren’t going well. It took a lot of praying each day and checking in with God that it was going to be OK.
Even with the trust I had, I still checked her Facebook status several times a day and often every few minutes when I wasn’t ready to call to find out the verdict of Schrodinger’s theory.