My mother recently passed away after being in a nursing home for over 3 years because of a paralyzing stroke to the left side. She was able to speak a few words the first year but none after that. She communicated with her eyes and smiling, sometimes blinking. Just depended on her mood and the blood flow to her damaged brain. She was one of the best friends I will ever have in my life. We did things together all through my childhood and teenage years. When I married we were not as close as we were, but still close. This stroke in Nov. '97 was stroke number four. The first was in '90 hospitalized for that one. I stayed two weeks with her in Central Texas and then home with my family for 6 weeks. She was tiny woman - 5 ft and 1/2 inches and about 95 to 105 lbs. most of her life. But she was a feisty little thing and held her temper till she was boiling angry then watch out, she was like a giant after the one she was angry with. She earned the nickname Smiley while in the nursing home because she was almost always smiling.
I told her many times why couldn't I have been born like you instead of my dad's family who were large people. I had rather take up clothes rather than trying to stretch them to fit. She would giggle at that. I did most of her alternations for over 30 years.
It feels rather strange writing about my mother. I never cried but very few tears when she died I was comforting other people. I was so relieved she was no longer trapped in a body that did not work and I know how miserable she must have been. She had another stroke on Dec. 22, 2000.
She ran very high fever for days without breaking and she would not eat or drink much at all. Usually it was from me or my daughter or my husband. I knew for days she was slowly dying, and no one could anything to prevent it. It was her time to go and walk and talk in Heaven with my dad and her parents. She is no longer in that paralyzed body and unable to speak. I feel guilty because I am so relieved she is no longer here. I feel such guilt that I am miserable. The people from Vitas Hospice tell me do not feel this way. No one ever took better care of their mother than you did. I kept after the nursing home if things were not right. I started with the administrator or DON and worked my way down.
I was on a first name basis with most of the staff. If mother could not speak then I would for her. I kept telling her I am my father's daughter and I have the temper to prove it and nobody neglects my mother ever.