Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Purging Things

I wrote yesterday's appetite post on Friday and forgot to post it. Here is the timely update:

My mom died in her bathroom. Between the description I was given and the condition and scent in the apartment, it has been very hard for me to be in that bathroom this past week.  I scrubbed it clean and still it was hard just to be in there. My brother and I spent three straight days - over 8 hours some days - cleaning out the apartment to be out within the time of her rental agreement's in case of death clause. All those hours, all the water I drink . . . I did anything I could to not have to go in there to use the bathroom. This is near midtown Manhattan - the Murray Hill section. There are not a lot of public restrooms. Like it or not, I had to use it at least once each day. I thanked God for a strong bladder. 

On the forth day, Saturday I was sorting through my mother's belongings with my sister and brother when I realized I was feeling nauseous. (not from the company or the conversation - I think it was food poisoning). I had a light breakfast but was not feeling well when we drove down to the apartment that morning. I barely made it into the bathroom before I got sick. Over the next six hours I was in the bathroom over and over again - sick, sick, sick. All I cared about was getting my head (or another part of my anatomy), aligned over the toilet in time - every time. What happened in that bathroom the previous week was not part of the equation at that moment. 

It is interesting how circumstances change your perspective. 

If I could have traveled in that condition I would have left. I couldn't. It took me from 10am until 7pm to feel I could make the trip back to our daughter's for the night. On Sunday I did not feel able to eat anything until 2pm, except sugar free jello and a 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Then I desired a plain bagel. I kept that down and by dinner time I was back to normal eating - but starving. Keeping the pounds off means I do not make up two days of eating after being sick. It was dinner time; I had a meal - just one meal. It felt good to feel hungry again. 

Today, once again, I didn't find myself hungry all day. I ate because I have to eat to be healthy and mentally sound - that's all. It is the best I can do today. It is enough. 



Vickie said...

We think of people dying in their bed, in truth most die in the bathroom. My mom who worked with the elderly in skilled care and in nursing homes has a phone next to the toilet. If she is dressed, she has her cell phone on her body. I have a phone in the garage. That is a phobia of mine - kids getting hurt out playing, my husband shoveling in winter.

I think of that whole scenario as the "hierarchy of the don't wants". When I was in the garage, folding huge Sunday papers with the oldest on very cold winter mornings, the laundry and cleaning the kitchen always looked pretty darned good.

It is just as well you have a deadline. I have known people who have stretched the cleaning out/shorting for all eternity. Better to just get in and get it done (in my opinion).

So thankful when you find a minute to post.

E. Jane said...

Yes, many people do die in the bathroom. It's where my father had his fatal stroke, so I know what you mean. I believe there is a purpose for the living to go through the belongings of the deceased. It's like a lifetime passing before your eyes, and provides important time to think. Blessings to all of you...

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

I am sorry you were so sick...it's funny because I just mentioned that on the night my father had his heart attack and died, I was sick and I think it was a psychic reaction. I am wondering if there was something similar going on for you...forcing you into that room in order to get some closure or something. Or maybe just coincidence.

On another similar note, my grandmother fell in her bathroom (early in March) and could have very easily died there because she was too stubborn to use her med-alert button (for 12 hours!). It was a horrible mess...as her POA, healthcare proxy, and trustee, it's my responsibility to get everything taken care of. I am still in the process of that.

I continue to keep you in my thoughts...

Jane Cartelli said...

My father would have died in that same bathroom if my mom had not come home from work at the time she did, 7 years ago. She helped him out of the bathroom and he died a few minutes later. Both my parents died in that apartment.

There is an emergency alarm right next to the toilet. Neither of my parents used it. My father forgot it was there. My mom would have been too stubborn to use it. She would not have wanted to ask for help. Hell, on our last trip it was amazing to have her hold on to my arm for the very first time, while walking!

I knew last month that there was something significant in realizing how much it meant that she admitted she needed that little bit of help.

KCL - I saw that in your previous comment and I was thinking how crazy it was to have a similar illness experience.

Anonymous said...

With so many triggers to eat at once it is a testament to your fortitude and good sense that your mind was able to control your baser impulses.

You must be so tired.