Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog 7: We Continue To Worry

Continuing from my last post. 

Soon after, Mom was having a hard time with her medication.  I would call her and she would be frustrated because she was trying to separate her pills in the daily pill container.  She would get so mad and say, “That’s it, I’m so frustrated, I’m not doing it anymore!”  Then she would want to get off the phone. I would ask her if I can come over to help, but she would refuse help.  Mom never wanted us to help her with her medicine or anything else health related.  She would say she’s old enough to know what’s she’s doing. Mom would complain that so many of the pills looked exactly the same.  One day she finally did let my sister Kathy come over to help her and she confessed that two of the pills did look identical. 

Mom was also taking prescription pain medicine for herniated disks in her back.  I’m not sure how she got those, but it may be partially due to osteoporosis.  I don’t know.  She also suffered from neck pain due to a car accident from years ago, where a man rear ended her and gave her a whiplash.  My poor mom was to suffer from that for the rest of her life.  She should have gotten a settlement, but she didn’t sue.  That was in the days when you didn’t do those things.  So, we worried that if she was messing up with her daily medication, then what about those pain pills? 

Mom was always so private about her health.  She would never discuss health concerns with us.  Her reasons were that she didn’t want us to worry.  She was so protective of us.  I tried to tell her that we worry more when she keeps things from us, but she insisted all the time, that everything was just fine. 

In the past we had found out about some things that she tried to hide from us.  One was when she had to go to the hospital and have angioplasty and stents put in her arteries.  She had it done twice and she kept it from us the first time, but we found out about it the second time, nine years later, and showed up at the hospital while she was in surgery.  The wonderful heart surgeon came out and talked to us and explained the procedure and where the stents were placed.  We wouldn’t have known any of that had we not been there. 

Another time Mom had a severe reaction to diverticulitis and had to undergo surgery.  We were waiting for her to show up at my niece’s birthday and she never came.  All of us were so worried, that her husband Bob eventually confessed and told us where she was.  We left immediately and went to the hospital.  Everything turned out fine, but we were so very worried because we could see the pain and the look of fear in our mom’s eyes.  She was scared and that’s why she didn’t want us there. She didn’t want to scare us or have us see her be so scared.

Us girls became increasingly worried that something was wrong with Mom.  We would ask her some questions, only we would tread ever so lightly so as not to upset her.  She always said, “I’m fine!”  One day while I was at her house, she did tell me she had a doctor’s appointment coming up. I asked her if I could go with her and she said no way, she’s not a child.  She would come home from the doctor and not remember what he said, or so she said.  I felt she needed some guidance and someone to help her explain some issues she was having.  It was so frustrating that she didn’t let us help her in any way.  She had appointments with her heart doctor, too.  It made us girls feel like her doctors must think her kids don’t care and just let her go to her appointments by herself.  We have no idea what went on behind those closed doors at the doctor’s offices.

Our mom had been driving her great grandson to school every day and picking him up afterwards.  She had done that for a couple of years, and then the last year she was doing it, some of us girls started to think maybe she should not be doing this anymore.  We were concerned that she was confused on her medication, so she may get confused on the road as well.  The thing is, it was something she looked forward to everyday, it gave her purpose and meaning in her life, and now that her husband was gone, she almost needed this. It was a great bonding time with the great grandson that she spent so much time with from the moment he was born.  How could we take that away from her?

The time came where we had to take some action because of what happened next.

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