Friday, September 25, 2009

Hiney Niney

Hiney Niney...that is what Mom calls the H1N1 virus. It has a ring to it. I think Mom was confused by what was being said about the virus on TV....but I like the name she came up with for it.

Last Sunday Mom wasn't even out of bed when I went over to take her to lunch. The apartment was dark when I walked in after noon. I walked over to the bed and thought Mom looked dead. She was sprawled across the bed and not moving. I approached her and touched her just a little. She turned over and looked white as a sheet. Her face was puffy. She wasn't feeling well..probably a cold, maybe the seasonal flu.

I got her to sit up and have something to eat. I went to the store and got all her groceries. When I got back, I got her to eat some tropical fruit mix, a few crackers, a cup of coffee and some water. I got her all settled back into her chair before I took her garbage down to the compactor.

She was so weak for a couple of days. She seems to be doing a little better now. She wants to go to the bank tomorrow.

This experience really scared me. More practice....I am getting so practiced.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What would I do without you?

That is what my Mom says now almost every time I see her. She is usually on the edge of tears when she says it. It is always heart wrenching to hear this phrase. I know she feels so vulnerable and lost. I know she is struggling to keep track of little things...big things...things in general.

Mom is bruising now...just like Dad did near the end of his life. She says that she bumps into things around the apartment...or that she does it when she opens the door. She is definitely getting frailer and frailer.

I feel like I had a ring side seat is some kind of awful Kabuki theater....watching the decline of my Mom. Half the time I want to just sit down and cry myself...but when I am with her I try to remain calm and just ask her to tell me what is going on. She struggles to get the right words to describe her situation. The longer I wait the easier it becomes for her. She just needs me to be patient.

At the same time, when I have suggested that I am worried about her long term ability to continue living alone, she roars to life and tells me in no uncertain terms that she WILL NOT MOVE INTO ONE OF THOSE PLACES. Ok, I get I distract her with another line of conversation.

This is no easy task....but I am learning so much about compassion, patience and empathy.