So before The Husband's mother passed away I tried to go to the old folks home early in the morning to see if she'd eat. At that point she'd stopped eating & drinking pretty much anything.
On a side note, I don't know why nobody says "died". Because that's really what happens isn't it? But nobody wants to say it. They want to sugar coat it to make it sound more appealing...we're so worried about how things sound that we even want "death" to sound good. Sometimes people just say someone "passed". I don't like this because it always makes me think they passed gas. Then I start to laugh which is always the most inappropriate thing you can do when someone is conveying that a loved one has just died. And if I manage to suppress the laugh I get that weird scrunched up face that people get when they're trying hard not to laugh. Kind of like the "ugly face" you get when you try not to cry... only for laughing.
Oh, another thing people say is "they crossed over the rainbow bridge". I don't hear this much anymore...probably since the rainbow has become a gay symbol and it could have an entirely different meaning.
But back to my original story... The first time I went, the little aide was sitting at Alyce's bedside trying to feed her. She got up and I sat down. The feast was three piles of mush. One pile of scrambled egg mush, one bowl of oatmeal mush, and another pile of mush that I had no idea what it was. It looked exactly like the stuff in the oatmeal bowl but it was on the plate beside the scrambled egg. It was also drizzled with some kind of red droplets of what I assumed to be some kind of jam in an attempt to make it look appealing. An attempt that failed miserably...just saying.
So I started in with the oatmeal. I'd take a spoonful and hold it up to Alyce's mouth and was instantly overjoyed because she acted like she wanted to eat it. She kind of sucked a little bit off the spoon. At least in my mind that's what she was doing. In hindsight she was probably trying to tell me to "take that fucking shit away from my mouth". Only I'm pretty sure, she would have left off the "fucking shit" part. Even I feel the need to sugar coat things... in my own way.
So after numerous attempts to get her to eat a minuscule bite, I started on the apple juice. One of the nurses told eldest daughter Kathi that it was easier to get Alyce to drink by putting your finger over the top of the straw while it was in the glass, put the straw in her mouth, and then take your finger off, thus allowing the liquid to drain out of the bottom. And it worked!!!! Woo hoo...she was drinking.
When eldest daughter Kathi got there I was so happy..."She's eating and drinking" I told her. (At this point it hadn't occurred to me that she may have been trying to tell me to take the fucking shit away.)
The next day, Brother John was there when I got there. He was sitting next to the bed with his iPad on his lap.
Me: "Did she eat anything?"
Brother John: "No."
Me: "Did she drink anything?"
Brother John: "No."
Me: "She drinks it if you put it in her mouth with a straw, like this"...
And I proceeded to show him how you could put the water in her mouth with the straw. And it worked...sort of. The first few straws full went well. I should've quit while I was ahead. Which is kinda the story of my life...
But did I quit? Fuck no...if one is good, two is better, right? So it stands to reason that if four is good, five is better.
That fifth straw was the clinker. Alyce started to cough a little so I put the straw back in the glass and wiped her mouth with the ever ready wash cloth. She kept coughing a little more. Not big coughs, but she couldn't really cough big because she was so frail. And because she was so frail, it's not like I could roll her over on her side more and thump her on the back. The whole reason she was being spoon fed in a semi reclining position was because she had so much pain in her back. So back thumping was out of the question. And because it hurt her so much to turn her over I couldn't even try turning her.
Brother John was standing behind me. Thank God...otherwise he would have seen the look of sheer panic on my face. All I could do was silently pray..."Please God, don't let me kill her...especially with Brother John standing behind me". In hindsight, just the fact that I killed her should have been horrific enough, but I was more worried about having Brother John watch his poor old bedridden mother choke to death after being "nursing home water boarded" by some well meaning schmoe...namely me.
Fortunately for me, and more importantly, Brother John, Alyce quit coughing and all was well...at least as well as it could be considering her circumstances.
Someday...maybe I'll learn to quit while I'm ahead. Probably not. In any case I think it's another fine example of my theory that "God watches over fools and children".
Lord knows I'm no child...it's the stoopidist thing.