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Saturday, October 6, 2012

But I have to

So my Mom was fine and now she's not.  Tonight, I wept so loudly with such force, Eliza covered her ears.  I probably scared her.  As her mother, I should try to control myself, to not let her see me like this.  But I couldn't hold it in and I'm not sure I can.  I know I am their mother and part of the mother manual reads something like "don't scare the heck out of your kids with voluminous, athletic weeping."

Eliza told me I cried louder than Elena which means I cried pretty damned loudly.

I took mom to the hospital a week ago after finding her too weak to take care of herself.  I'd been there exactly a week earlier and though she was actively complaining about hemorrhoid pain, she seemed otherwise okay.  I returned to work during the week and she was fine on Tuesday when I spoke to her. By Thursday, she could barely speak.  On Friday, I seriously wondered if I should leave work to take her to the hospital.  Sending over a neighbor, I toughed out the day and prepared for the worst on Saturday.  The fact that she went to the hospital without a fight shows how badly she felt.

Feeling somewhat secure by the fact that she was in the hospital I returned to work.  But as the week wore on, all kind of insanity took flight.  She couldn't speak directly so various nurses and doctor workers fielded my phone calls.  I extracted as much information as I could, a lot of clinical, a lot of in downright untrue.  By Friday, when I finally made it back to the hospital, I practically ran down the long, sun drenched corridor to her room.

I found her high on Percoset, happy, and seemingly much improved from how I'd left her.  Things are not great, but she looked better and that gave me hope.  But there was no sign that she could get out of bed on her own.  We are on that point now where she can't take care of herself.  So here we are.

Today didn't start out as a bad day.  When I called the hospital, they told me physical therapy was there and they hoped to release her to a rehab facility.  I think the plan is to try to get her stronger so she can go home with the aid of palliative care and, gulp, hospice.  I cried upon hearing the H word, but seeing her smile yesterday buoyed me tremendously.  A few hours later, the hospital called to ask me if I could take her to rehab and her insurance would not cover transport.  I loaded up the girls and off we went.

Things did not go well from this point forward.  Nothing awful happened but let's just say my mother was in a far worse state than she had been yesterday.  My hopes were crushed.  On top of her sorry demeanor and dazed, terrified expression, there was snag that prevented her release for a few hours.  The girls, as always, handled the time at the hospital well but it was stressful.  Finally she was released but she moaned in pain for much of our ride to the rehab place.  Upon our arrival, I found her completely incapable of getting out of the car on her own.  When a woman showed up with a wheelchair, my mother still could not get out of the car.   The attendant didn't know how to help and sent for a large male orderly who took what felt like an eternity to arrive on the scene.  My girls amused themselves by rushing in and out of the automatic doors, an activity I knew I should suppress but somehow couldn't.  It took everything out of me to keep it together as I watched my mother wait for the attendant, completely incapable of doing something she'd done when I dropped her at the hospital a week ago.

After finally getting her settled in her new room, my girls desperate for dinner, I took off.  I headed home and chose to park in the back lot behind my building as it's safer to park there on weekends.  Well not this weekend because my neighbor chose today to back right into my car door.  It was an accident, she felt terrible but then I lost it, crying in my car.  Everyone was okay, the car will be fixed, it is yet another thing to add to my to do list.

But there it is, some pretty bad timing.  I can't shake the sound of my mother's moaning.  Or the way Eliza clung to her at the hospital last night.  When I cried, big shaking, earthquake causing sobs tonight, I just said the same thing over and over again.

I want my mother.

In the car on the way over on the radio

I can't breath without you, but I have to.

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