We know what to look for. We know her breathing patterns and can tell when her middle lobe is collapsing. We know her walking patterns and can tell how weak she is feeling based on how many trips and falls she has. We know her eating patterns and can tell how much her enlarged nodes are affecting her swallowing. We know her drinking patterns and can tell when she is dehydrated and shutting down. We know her sleeping patterns and can tell how much pain she is in based on where she sleeps, how restless she sleeps and how hard it is to wake her up in the morning. We know things are going really wrong when she grabs that one white blanket.
But even though we know these things, it is impossibly hard to not feel weak and helpless. Because even on the good days you still have the reality that something can happen at any time. That despite your best efforts, they are not always enough to stop it. And on the bad days you know there’s the chance of not being able to keep it from getting worse. Only able to watch it snowball quickly out of control.