A friendly neighbor visiting Mom. In reality he lives in the room next to Mom but struggles to find his way back. So when the door is open, he comes in.
It was quite a week. Such a week that I feel like I have to do a review for myself to put it all into perspective. After last week’s Monday, I knew some things had to change immediately. My heart was hurting, literally and I knew I had to somehow push through the pain and move more. “Movement for life” (see posts) was born. It was hard to say the least, but I think it helped and the chest pain has gone. In addition it put a lot of questions into perspective and I listened to the signs encountered. My left hand however is still very swollen and the fingers are slightly curved. I can’t make it completely straight, nor can I make a fist. It really gave me a lesson and a very painful reminder of how much we use and rely on our hands each day. It’s been since last Monday that I had a decent night of sleep, as the pain keeps me woke or interrupts sleep on a nightly basis. The pain has moved into my upper body, such as arms and shoulders, and of course the hand.
On top of it, there was a little run in at the nursery home that had me literally pissed for days. I might add that it takes quite a bit to aggravate me to this point of no return, but they managed. It wasn’t even a huge thing, but it’s always the principal of the matter that makes it so wrong. Mom has grown found of the little Easter nest I had made her earlier this year. It holds some of her favorite animals and shelve sitters that reside on her nightstand. On that day, I get to the nursing home and find one of the employees trying to convince Mom to partake in some activities she doesn’t care for. Mind you that she still thinks that her situation is temporary, she wants to go home and the last thing she is interested in, is someone ordering her that she should sing in some choir. The person glances at me as i enter and leaves quickly, knowing that we had several conversations in the past to leave Mom alone, to please stay away instead of forcing these things onto her. It only rallies her up and I have to calm her while listening to her wanting to go home now. That I have to get her out of here and that she is telling me I good faith to do so. It’s still not the point and what gets me is the state of being Mom is in. Right away I can tell that something is off and she doesn’t respond to me. She is mostly unapproachable and my fear that something is wrong is growing. It’s almost lunchtime and a nurse comes in. I asked if Mom’s glucose was measured already and everybody is just taking this relaxed, nonchalant “I don’t care” kind of attitude. She would have to ask so and so for an answer she responds, and I ask if she please could do so because Mom obviously looks distressed. Mom’s glucose levels are dangerously low at 49, but lunch is coming shortly she says, so no big deal right. I’m starting to get irritated and the time is now, not shortly, not in a few minutes, just look at her, we might not have a few minutes. I dig through my purse and give her something sweet to eat, that I carry just for her. Sadly this is not the first time this has happened. She eats it and at least is coherent now while I make sure the food is coming NOW. A few bites later Mom is feeling better and is slowly coming around. Her face is softer, the deep lines disappear, and the deep set, sunken eyes fill up with a sparkle again. “I feel a lot better now” she says. It isn’t until later that I notice Mom’s Easter bucket with her treasures is gone. I asked her and she tells me that the nurse put it away because it is no longer seasonally correct. That is it, the icing on the cake and by now I truly have enough.
Let me get this straight: You ignore Mom’s life threatening condition and instead of aiding her, you want her to join something because she can’t just sit around day in and day out like this. News flash, it’s what she has done most of her life after Dad’s passing. I’ve told you this before and she is not interested in changing her ways to please you. That you thought this would take priority over her dangerously low glucose levels, pains me greatly and almost deems you unfit and incapable of making the right decision. Did you get a sign up bonus or something like that? Did you not see how distressed Mom was, or didn’t you find it odd that she was incapable of responding back to you? Did you look at her, “Sick” was literally written across her forehead.
Further you rearrange Mom’s room and put away some of the few things that bring her joy while she doesn’t care to be there. The few things I have fought for to stay with her, that now bring a smile to her face, you remove. It’s not seasonally correct anymore was your answer, yet you never went further or took the time to find out if there is more to these neat little characters. After all Easter has passed a long time ago, so why now? If you ask me, a smile is always in season.
Third, and where the principal comes in. I wonder how you believed that this could ever be ok! It is not up to you to decorate Mom’s room. She pays her full share and it’s up to her what it looks like. I don’t care if the Christmas tree is standing there in May if it brings her joy. I don’t care much about convention and if it fits into my life, wonderful, and if not then that is alright too. I won’t change a thing just because it is conventions. I thought it was pretty low and disrespectful towards me on top of it. I am there, visiting, almost daily, taking care of Mom, was this really necessary? You had to bypass me, Why, obviously because I failed to recognize that Easter had passed. I guess that told you everything you needed to know about me. Ok, enough already, I have officially ranted and I’m over it.
Let’s see, further I had an aunt get upset at me during my “Movement for life” exercise attempt, because I didn’t call her to ask for a ride. I ran into her walking on the second day, and frantically tried to explain that I needed more movement. She drove me anyways and suggested that I step back from visiting Mom so much. “Because if and when you are going, which I don’t know if you are or not, nobody can sit there by your mother all day like you do” she said. I didn’t even know how to respond. What was I suppose to do? Just shove her off to the nursing home, and let her deal with her new life and losing everything she once knew, on her own? Let her adjust on her own like she had to all of her life. Too bad? And me…sit on the sidelines and watch, without trying to help her? What would be if something did happen? Could I live with myself if so? Clearly what happened at the nursing home with Mom’s glucose was scary and alarming enough, and granted I wouldn’t always be here to safe the day or Mom’s life as a matter of fact, but for now I was. Nobody was going to take that from me and nobody was going to tell me to step back. I have spent my entire life away, stepping back, this was a time we needed each other, a time to make things right in an unselfish way. I would not have this burden on my shoulders later, and I was simply put off by the comment. Once more I felt that only few understand my mission. Why did I had to justify that love and compassion for another human being, my mother was my motivation. Nobody was expected to sit by Mom all day like I do, and nobody else is her daughter either feeling the way I do.
Thursday I took another break to take advantage of the nice weather and to do some chores around the house. Shortly after noon two loads of laundry where dancing in the wind and I mostly had achieved what I wanted to do. I had little movement however, and I was afraid of the pain in my chest to return. I got my backpack ready and decided to go for a little hike. I didn’t knew it at the time, but I would end up on top of the hill called Petersberg in my village and stay at the summit for a little over two hours. The sun felt wonderful and I must have watched a dozen people come and go. On the way home I made an extra loop and fell just shy of my step goal of 10000. I dragged the last mile or so, but it was better as it had been since the start earlier in the week and I felt good. The chest pain has been gone since….fingers crossed.
Other changes include that I cut out as much sugar as possible. There are no sodas and I sweeten my coffee and tea with honey. I eat more salads with mixed in sardines for my omega fatty acids, nuts and grains. I bought pure ginger tea and something within me is screaming to eat ginger. I know that it can help with inflammation, and the voice within is really strong right now. I feel strangely convinced that it will make a difference and I even bought raw ginger.
Still, by Sunday morning it appeared that all of the events from the week caught up with me. The scares, the worries, the pain, the loneliness and all the challenging situations came to visit me at once. My pain level was high as I woke up, and this time it got the better of me. I couldn’t fight it off anymore, no matter how positive I wanted to be. I was tired of hurting. My hand increasingly got worse throughout the week and the pain was eating away at me. My undefeated warrior spirit went into hiding and my weapons were down, leaving my vulnerability exposed without a shield. I needed to cry and yet I couldn’t. I’d well up with the pain, both physically and emotionally being so overwhelming, and yet I couldn’t get a release. Not even that was to be granted I thought while almost feeling sorry for myself. It was clear that I needed to go home, back to the states, to take care of things, including myself. I knew that this couldn’t go on the way it had forever, but I was scared. Not because somebody told me this time, but because it was reality. How could I ever leave Mom alone? This time it would truly feel as if I left her behind. Unable to fend for herself or defend herself, in the hands of incapable individuals that cared only about the job that had to be done, without the human element of it. And still, with hands tied she was in better care then being alone at home.
Here is to a better week. It’s still Monday and already the oil oven has flooded with oil, all by itself. What a surprise it was to discover it. My silver lining is that I’m happy that I found it, and that I found it now.