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The first day back home, the weather is atrocious, raining cats and dogs. Also the house is full of cats and dogs, and it takes some getting used to again. The flu I caught hadn’t let up and although it was great sleeping in my bed, I did not sleep well and woke up feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck. Things settled a bit with me after I took my Panadol, it suppresses the symptoms. I should get bed rest, but as now my Mom is sitting, true half asleep, in the living room, I thought I would join her, but not for long. I am starting to feel the aches and pains again.
Time to take stock of what happened over the past three weeks. The largest, overshadowing fact that is dominating my mind is that parting remark by the urologist that her sedimentation rate is off the charts and that this is an indicator, in old age, of a malignancy. Her ultrasound had shown ulcers which at the time I was told could have been due to the infection, or could be malignant. So it looks like we have more than one indicator of the existence of a malignancy. I have to be prepared. This is one thing I did not expect, and don’t really know how to cope with. It was bad enough with my Father, but now with Mom too, I really don’t know how I’ll cope. I cannot stand seeing her in pain. She is now in constant discomfort. There is not a single posture that makes her comfortable for long. The nurse I have is the epitome of patience. When I find myself starting to grind my teeth and clench my hands, she is still patient and very tender with her. Just for that she is forgiven every other transgression or fault, even her palpable stupidity and ignorance.
The urologist had asked me to run some analyses in a week’s time, so I guess with the results he will be able to tell what’s going on with her. My greatest fear is the pain. How will I handle that? Will they prescribe enough pain killers outside the hospital to keep her comfortable? I guess I will just have to wait and see. No use borrowing trouble.
My flu isn’t helping either. It is pulling me down, physically and emotionally. Feeling very vulnerable and overwhelmed. Just running the house with normal everyday decisions is
felt to be a burden, let alone coping with someone who is feeling forever uncomfortable and groaning every few seconds. Maybe in my case right now the best decision would be to take to my bed. The doctors could not emphasize enough the need for rest, but I know I am running away. Changing her is an ordeal for people who are not professional, and neither one of us is. We just did and to hear her we have wrenched every available muscle she has. We are doing our best, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Very frustrating for all parties concerned. Must get a professional nurse. Why is everything so difficult? We don’t have really professional nurses available for long term care, they want to work in shifts! We don’t have people who are specialized in geriatric care, let alone to deal with Alzheimer’s patients. And what am I supposed to do in my situation? I have to settle for what is available, which isn’t much.
The only thing that is keeping me going are the chats I have with family and friends on Facebook. As I am forced to have bed rest and don’t have the energy to go out, my only outlet is this. Thank God for all my Facebook buddies.
I hope to God my Mom and I can cross the coming heavy ground as lightly as possible and that God’s hand is with us every step of the way, lightening her pain and helping us get through.
15 February 2014

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