The soft breaths coming from across the room let her know that her mother was finally resting peacefully.
Yesterday, that seemed impossible. What was often a dull ache in her thigh, stemming from a blockage in her femoral artery, progressed into a tingly, radiating pain that spread through her entire thigh and down the leg. The pain continued even as the leg went numb.
No amount of massaging would help alleviate it. They tried shifting positions, but Mom was too weak to hold her own weight. A second hand was needed to help her stand, and that was good for five seconds or less. ‘Walking it off’ may have helped, but that was no longer possible.
One of the biggest frustrations while staying in a hospital is the staff’s lack of urgency. My mom was in pain. She was evaluated, and prescribed medication. Two HOURS later we finally received it. Two hours of shifting position. Two hours of watching the clock and calling for the nurse to see if the meds had finally gotten there. Two hours of knowing that everything your Mom needs to feel better is within reach, but you aren’t allowed to retrieve it or administer it.
She let the gentle snoring repair her broken heart.