While my parents did quite well at parenting, they excelled at consistency. I knew my boundaries, and I knew the repercussions if I didn’t respect those boundaries. I am quite certain I haven’t done nearly so well in that area. I am a work in progress.
I approach my blog with the same goal. I enjoy hearing from each of you as I strive to share our own journey. Sometimes the little things become big things. That is exactly what has happened. Little did I know a month ago what would transpire. For those reading my blog for the first time, bear with me as I get right to the point.
My son and I were attending a late-night movie in mid-December. It is a huge pet peeve of mine when people text or talk during a movie, and we had our phones silenced. During a quiet moment, around 10:30 p.m., I realized my phone was buzzing. I had multiple texts from my husband requesting I call him immediately. We raced out to the lobby, and the journey began.
The surface information at the ER suggested that my mother had a stomach virus that has been making the rounds in our area. As we approached 3:30 a.m. the ER doctor informed us that she would need surgery immediately. We had attributed a chronic stomach ache to diverticulitis. No one had caught that she had four hernias, two that were very severe.
Okay, so we have a few days in the hospital. I’m up to the challenge.
As I left her hospital room late one evening, a nurse suggested I should leave my phone by my bed ‘just in case’. This time the call came in at 3 a.m. She was bleeding internally from the surgery and needed a second surgery immediately to correct it. That’s when it all started to fall apart. We all got the same virus that triggered everything.
People were busy planning their Christmas Day celebrations. We looked forward to a turkey dinner at the hospital cafeteria. All things considered, it was pretty good! My mom, however, was not recovering well. It seemed as though she was just giving up. The medical staff let us know the next step was a move to a rehab facility.
I was not emotionally prepared for the next step.
A nurse wheeled her down the hall as I because nauseated by the events unfolding before me. It is a great facility, don’t get me wrong. They have a fantastic, caring, attentive staff. Her nurse is exceptional. Her primary care physician is the medical director. I was having flashbacks to when my grandfather was in a nursing home, however. Waves of emotions and bad memories flooded over me. Suddenly I was ten years old again. It was if I was walking down the very hallway that led to his room. The distinct odor was missing, but otherwise it seemed to be a perfect replication of the place where he would eventually die. I bawled my eyes out all the way home.
Each day has seemed to go the same way. I call her in the morning and ask how she is. “I feel terrible’. ‘Why do you feel terrible? Are you in pain? Do you feel sick?” “I just hurt everywhere. I don’t know. I just don’t feel well.” Later in the day I show up to find her actively participating in her rehabilitation. It’s confusing, to say the least. I show her photos of her grandchildren every day. We play games. I sleep beside her.
I don’t know what the future holds.
So that is why I have not been responding to your kind comments. This is a way to say thank you, to say I appreciate you, and also to say one more thing.
Family comes first.
My dad regularly said, “Pick a few things and do them very well.”
I’m trying, Dad.