Friday, June 5, 2009

Where Did I Put My Happy Place?

Oh my. It has been one stressful week at the Casa. Pull up a bottle of Arbor Mist, unscrew the top and let me tell you all about it.

Wednesday, my momma drove herself to her doctor's appointment. As she was walking in to the office, she fell on the sidewalk. They came out and got her, got her to go get x-rays taken, and then to an orthopedist, who told us she has a broken kneecap. Luckily, she won't need a full cast on her left leg, but she will need a brace that she'll have to wear for the next three months.

This has, in two days, snowballed in to a health crisis of epic proportions. My momma has type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and 'neurological issues' (as in possibly early-stage Alzheimer's). I spoke at length with her doctor today. He seems decent enough, and I feel he has her best interests at heart. Doc laid it on the line- if she can't/won't get her blood pressure and diabetes under control, she won't be around much longer. I listened in a state of semi-shock as he detailed her medical issues, and how they are all affecting each other. I knew that she was bad. I knew that her continuing to ignore her health was going to come back to bite her in the behind. Despite knowing that, it was still kind of shocking to hear what I had been thinking come out of someone else's mouth.

I'm going to try working with her doctor to help get her with the program. But even he realizes that we can only do so much. If she refuses to go to the doctor, if she continues to find excuses not to test her blood sugar, there's not much that he, or I or anyone else can do. He listened patiently as I explained the frustration I felt, watching her act like nothing is wrong and she can do whatever she darn well pleases. Right now about all we can do is drag her mule-headed butt into the doctor once a week so she can get her act together.

The other night as I was helping her get in to a night gown, I was stunned to see that my mother has turned in to an old woman. I know she's 67, but when did this happen? Her body is stooped, her skin sags from her bones, her hair is white. She's beginning to struggle to find words when she talks, and gets frustrated when they don't come to her. To see firsthand what happens to someone when they refuse to take care of themselves is jarring to the senses.

I worry- what if she doesn't get better? What if this broken kneecap is the beginning of a trip down a road that I don't really want to go down? I know that this is something beyond my, or anyone else's control, but what upsets me the most is knowing that it didn't have to happen at all.


Gladys said...

You know what? You kiss that face under that white hair and you rub lotion on her sagging arms and body and you giver her brittle bones a big hug for me because I can no longer give them to my mom. Your a wonderful daughter. I hope she heals fast and that you two can enjoy many long walks together.

Kelley said...

Thank you, Gladys. I will do that. It has been a rough evening, and I'm feeling a newfound respect for Nurses.

cozzie laura said...

aaaggh! you said outloud what I've been thinking for awhile now. My mom is 69 and I'm an only child. Hang in there, sweets!

Lurker Girl said...

Hang in there Kelley--I'm praying for you to have the strength!!