3 Hour Shifts

Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 3:00 am

I’m moving through life in 3 hour shifts. It’s been over three days of spending my nights on the futon next to moms bed and about a day less than that since she’s made a sound that resembled a yes or no or I love you.

I sleep whenever I can.

I was doing ok this weekend until I went to check on my son, what with being concerned on how his grandmother dying in the back bedroom was affecting him. My eyes met his and I turned into a blubbering idiot.

And here I am worried about him.

My sister-in-law and her wonderful circus of kids managed by her and her husband came over last night and we’re an amazing distraction from the reality of inevitability happening in our lives. Eventually, I had to separate myself from the gathering and tent to mom. Help with a diaper change, meds every three hours, reposition her in her side, swab out her mouth and keep it moist. Hold her hand and tell her again that we, and I love her.

The alarm goes off and more meds: .25 ml of morphine under the tongue. Write it on the whiteboard. Three hours at a time.

This morning (or this is still tonight, right?) she is beyond being able to indicate yes or no with a nod or shake of her head. Her breathing is labored. It can’t be long, right?

I can’t quite sleep because of this weird anxiety that wraps around my chest & back. It’s almost like that catch when you first start falling, but it’s not near as fleeting. Maybe it’s worry or fear that I can’t bring myself to feel yet. Maybe it’s the adrenaline of emergency mode that wears off from time to time.

I can’t really afford to allow myself to think too much or I’ll be paralyzed completely, so I think about what needs to be done now and then the next steps after that. It’s that emergency mode driving me forward. It’s efficient but not something I can maintain for weeks. Her next dose of meds are in three hours, so, life now comes in three hour segments.

“Hey, Siri, set an alarm for three hours.”

“Setting the alarm…”

I’m exhausted.