My apologies, I missed writing my column four weeks ago…first time in twelve years. Amazingly, I have spent nine hours in the ER and met my deadline. I’ve been too sick to get out of bed and met my deadline. I’ve had the world crashing down around me and yet…I met my deadline. Until my mother got sick. There was no other decision to be made than to set my life aside to fight for hers. And I did.
Everything started Thursday, January 18th, when we believed mom had the stomach flu. However, she wanted to wait to see her doctor the following Monday. Even though mom stopped eating, I kept her on fluids for four days. Monday arrived, and her doctor was uncertain about sending her to the ER. Regardless, it was day five of mom not eating…I was taking her! Thirteen agonizing hours later she was admitted with an intestinal abscess, gall stones in the bile duct and abnormally high white blood count. Mom was very sick.
Needless to say, I crawled into bed at 5am…Tuesday (deadline day). Only to be awaken three hours later by my dear friend Margery calling to check on mom. She obviously didn’t realize I had just gotten home. Sleep remained elusive when I received a call from the hospital shortly thereafter concerning the emergency procedure they were about to perform. Rushing back to the hospital, sleep could wait.
Prior to this, amazingly my mother had only been in the hospital to have us kids and a minor surgery on her left eye. Thus, being in the hospital was strange and extremely scary for her. Especially, since she suffers short term memory loss.
Spending the first two nights holding mom’s hand and assuring her everything would be okay I tried to sleep on the bedside recliner, not entirely convinced everything would be okay. Mom was very sick, in a lot of pain, and just wanted it to stop. Even if it meant she would be carried home by angels.
Understandably, her extreme despondency was emotionally difficult for myself and the family. By this time, it had been eight days since she’d eaten. However, I was shocked when doctors suggested, “Maybe you should just let her go.” Then palliative care talked to me about hospice. Stunned, I refused to give up! Determined to fight mom’s fight for her, since she was too weak to fight herself I requested protein shakes and made her drink.
“I don’t want it!” she’d moan and waved it away with her hand. She’d even get angry and tell me to leave her alone. But I wouldn’t. Couldn’t. Deep down I knew she was too sick to realize what was going on. Plus, the anesthesia from the surgery had confused her further. So, I kept fighting for her.
A good day…she’d finish her shake. A bad day…I went home in tears, praying she’d pull through. Yet, spending twelve hours a day at the hospital I feel blessed to have Jeff in my life. He brought me dinner daily and stayed with mom long enough for me to briefly experience my granddaughter’s birthday party. Then Gina sat with mom, so I could attend a doctor appointment. My daughter and father came as much as they could. Plus, my brother chatted with mom regularly via video calling. Even my uncle and his wife visited, and mom’s friend from Charlotte spoke to her on the phone. I believe, keeping mom in touch with those who love and care about her helped make her stronger. We all fought her fight when she couldn’t.
Friday is mom’s birthday. Thursday she’ll be coming home. She’s still recovering and will need home care for a while. Yet, we are grateful and feel blessed for her recovery. Plus, I will always be grateful for the prayers and compassionate well-wishes of everyone, including my FB friends.
Friends, we are not promised an easy road. However, we are promised a road to travel upon. Be it rocky or smooth, uphill or down…we must continue our journey through life forever moving forward. We must never stop fighting the fight, no matter what!
Love, hugs and blessing for all of you!!
Image: Bobbi’s sweet Mom