This past week my 96 year old mother fell three times at the seniors’ residence where she lives. The paramedics were called and it was suggested she go to the hospital, but she refused, choosing to stay where she was, despite the fact that she couldn’t walk and couldn’t put weight on her leg without severe pain.
As the closest relative I was called each time she fell, but the first time I wasn’t at home when they called and they didn’t call my cell phone. Since she is of sound mind, she has the option to choose whether or not she goes to the hospital. She can ignore the recommendations of the doctors and paramedics and choose what she wants to do.
As her daughter, I too had some choices in what I would do. Since I am a semi-retired career counsellor, I can work my client appointments around my schedule and so I spent 3 days sitting with my mom, helping her get dressed, getting her in and out of her chair, talking to her and being there while she slept during the day. However, I couldn’t stay past dark as I had cataract operations on both my eyes and have no night vision right now.
I spoke to the home about some help for mom to get dressed and to the bathroom and someone did come down once or twice, but now it is time to co-ordinate with the community care for someone to come in a couple of times a day to help her. The next step is a nursing home, and so we have to begin that process.
We have known that this time would come, but this week I hit the wall as I realized how close the time is. I am exhausted from not sleeping and providing care for my mom. But I am glad that I still have her with me. It is hard to keep going sometimes when you are tired, but somehow you find the strength to climb the wall, or you find a way around it.
Perhaps I will imagine that the wall is a nice soft bed and I will lie down for a nap. It just requires a different perspective. Picture the wall tipped on its side and it becomes a platform for any number of things, but it no longer blocks the way, it enhances the journey. I could also turn the wall sideways and walk along side of it for however long it goes and lean on it for support when I need to.
Right now I am tired, barely able to function at much and so I will take myself to my nice warm bed with my nice red flannel sheets and tuck myself in, thankful that I have made it through another day and that my sister will be coming tomorrow to visit with my mom for a couple of days.