You Never Know

Life can change in a heartbeat.

Friday I woke up in the morning, turned on the news before I started working and heard about a fire in an apartment building in the same area as my Mom’s. There was no way to tell if it was her place by the camera shots on that dark morning and they gave a vague locator of the same intersection near her place which shocked me. Of course I called her,  She was up and watching the same news. It wasn’t her place but she could smell the smoke it was that near. She assured me everything was ok and we said goodbye.

Almost exactly six hours later I get a call from her saying saying to me “you will never believe where I am right now, in the emergency, I fell and broke my hip.”

I felt my stomach sink right into my feet.

She was fairly calm and told me how she had been at her hairdresser’s and had gotten up from the chair and felt dizzy and fell hard on the floor smacking her face, opening a door with her head and worst of all, the hip. She had been x-rayed and she was waiting for the surgeon to come see her. She hadn’t had any pain meds and wouldn’t get any until the doctor saw her and she told me not to come because she didn’t know where she would be at any minute as she was being moved around a lot. She was obviously in a lot of pain. I told her if she could to call and update me on what was going on and she called me a bit later with the news she was still waiting. I told her if she didn’t get a chance to call me again I would call and found out where she was.

I struggled to concentrate on my work, there was a lot going on and I had to deal with it.. it had been a really bad day topping a not-so-great week.

Since my Dad died going on 17 years ago, I’ve been the one  looking out for my Mom. She’s been taken advantage of by some of the people she should have been able to trust in her life and I’ve always been the bad guy trying to chase them away. She should be in a comfortable situation with what my Dad left her, but she’s not thanks to them. She’s has so many rounds of serious illness. Just in the last ten years a brain aneurysm (with brain surgery) that left her legally blind, a simple gallbladder operation that turned into a 3 month Odyssey of a burst gallbladder, cancer diagnosis, septicemia, pneumonia and two months on a ventilator. Now this.

She hasn’t yet had the operation to repair the hip. At first it was waiting for a spot in the operating room and since then they’ve discovered an erratic heartbeat which makes them hesitant to operate due to increased complications. She’s doped up on pain meds, not sleeping and getting very paranoid.  Her head is full of all these ideas that the nurses are out to get her and murder her when they give her the meds.  It is even harder when she calls really early or in the middle of the night (as she did before) with these stories. I keep trying to tell her they are trying to help but she doesn’t believe me. She says I’m being argumentative and hangs up on me mad. I get it that she’s scared, I do. And I feel SO sorry for her. She’s not really “there” right now and I’m not sure if that is a blessing for her, or not.  I’m trying to keep a smile on my face when I’m there and just chat about nonsense or pass on the wishes of her friends and family. Everyone in the family is so far away, there isn’t anyone here but us and that is a lot of pressure.

So needless to say there’s a lot of stress in my life right now and to be honest I don’t know how much more I can take without breaking. The boys see it. Sean walked up to me and gave me a big hug without me having to ask for one. Chris keeps checking up on how things are going and is being extra nice, both of them are.  Tom, my rock as always was holding steady while I hung on and had completely unintelligible sobbing pity party last night. Dude, I never cry.

Everything came out garbled and in a pitch I’m sure only dogs could hear. But I was trying to talk about my stress, about my frustrations of people getting upset with me if I don’t call them every day even though I AM putting an updated outgoing phone message on her voice-mail for them to call into which they know about and probably sounds of more of the same because it IS more of the same. NOTHING. HAS. CHANGED. I know people are concerned but seriously, I wish they got the message that I’m telling them what I know and asking me the same question different ways isn’t going to change the answer.

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2 Responses to You Never Know

  1. Sue says:

    I know from experience how hard this all is both for you and for your mom. When my mom was hospitalized for spinal fractures (she had osteoporosis) she was convinced the nurses were talking about her and making fun of her. Nothing my sister and I said convinced her otherwise. One of the nurses told us that was very common for older patients. That the combination of the pain meds and being outside of her normal environment was causing “situational neurosis”. It was harder dealing with her fear and paranoia than with her pain and physiological problems. All you can really do is reassure her and get through it. Our thoughts are with you.

  2. americanuck says:

    Yeah she was like this during her last ordeal. Thanks Sue

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