How hard she fights to get her way. Her way makes her look weak, helpless, beyond our ability to aid her.
Laying on the floor like a child, throwing a tantrum because she's hot and sweating in flannel pajamas, but a couple hours before she declared she was cold and needed two extra layers and the heater turned up as high as it would go. But none of this was verbally said, you know. In sounds and motions and inference. We do as she wants, despite knowing the outcome she can't wrap her head around.
We finally lift her up and set her down in a wheelchair, despite her tirade of "no, no, no." It's one of the few things she decides she can say lately. But it doesn't stop.
Refusing to take her evening medication. Refusing to sit, barely stand, barely take one heavily supported step. She doesn't walk anymore, she gets wheeled from room to room. It takes 50 minutes, from start to finish, to get her to the bathroom, changed into different clothes, medicated, into bed.
She fights some of the time, betraying her strength. She's as strong as ever in her non-paralyzed side. I don't believe her when she says, "I can't." What she means to say is "I won't," "I don't want to anymore," "Let me die, because I hate living this way."
And every once in a while, it pains me to say, because I would miss her terribly -- I already do miss her -- I want her wish to come true. All of the things we do for her are reminders of her independent life. This half life she has now is horrible, and even with all of the love and respect we give her, especially through the nights like this, it's not enough.
It never will be. I want her to have what she wants, even if it means she goes away.