Friday, August 1, 2008

We are all destined for this spot

She’s looking older, frailer (Is that a word?) each day. The stay away from her home (she's almost agoraphobic these last five years) is causing her some mighty high anxiety. I’m seeing things I’ve not noticed before. She is chatting uneasily with every person who enters the room. Housekeeping, the CNAs, the nurse, nurses aids, physical therapy, phlebotomist, all she tells her story to, because they say in monotone syllables, “How are you doing today?. It’s been so long that she’s had some socialization; she tells each of them her story, in a fragmented and confused sort of way.

She’s having difficulty sleeping through the night. She’s up at midnight, staring at the clock, and as she naps, she has nightmares. Nightmares that she can’t shake loose, so when she wakes, she’s half in the nightmare and half out. This causes those who surround her to think that she’s demented. She KNOWS it, and can’t STOP it, so she is ashamed. It’s a cycle, a humiliating and frightening cycle. She talks about it all during the day, through her sleepy morning, and early afternoon, until I force her to nap, stand guard against all the medical personnel who need to gather vitals, blood, give her treatments. “Stay away!”, let her rest peacefully for an hour or two! And she does.

I sit by idly reading the newspaper, wrapped in a sweater that I brought for her to wear because the air conditioning is on “cold” or “heat”, and right now it’s cold. I too have lost control of what day it is. My routine has been shattered as well, so I decide to go outside in the sunshine and make a few phone calls on my cell phone.

I sit on the park bench outside her hospital entrance, no signal on my phone. Watching the comings and goings of “people with a purpose.” (I am a serial finger quoter- GAH) Some how I’m sad. My mother doesn’t seem to be getting better, no, only more frail for having lie in bed for so long, only more fearful and paranoid, from lack of sleep. Her back is worse from this hospital bed. Is there health on the horizon? I really don’t know.

People fascinate me. Their purpose in the hospital is to tend to HUMANITY in a clinical way, however, some forget that they are HUMAN and there is a connection that they must make with each and every patient. Hey MEANIE, do you have a mother/grandmother some where? Is this how you treat her? IS this how you want to be treated? Most are nice to her though, if they need to roll their eyes they do it out of sight. I see visitors who have brought small children (en masse-SWEAR) like it’s daycare in that germy hospital!!!! THAT’S the very reason that we have MRSA -EXPOSURE!

I look at the somewhat strange reactions I’ve received lately from all my friends and family. I remember what my eldest daughter Sarah said to me just this afternoon as we watched the rain and thunderstorm from Gram’s window in her room (great view by the way) “Mom, we keep expecting people to be different, to live up to our expectations, and then when they don’t we are upset. We need towork on accepting them for who they are, that they’ll never change”. If they do, BONUS! I suppose she is ultimately correct, because I want the same acceptance from others. She's so smart, my girl.

My mother is taking forever to leave her slumber laden consciousness. She talks aloud in fragments (much like THIS blogger, with fragments!) that seem to not make sense. She tells me that hot soup will melt the ice and then you can’t ice skate.
Mom do you know what you are saying? Yes, she giggles, but it makes some sense, right? Hot soup will melt the ice. She knows she’s talking crap, but she can’t stop. As she wakens fully, she tells me of her fears. She is anxiety ridden, and starts to get teary. I’ve not seen my mom teary. Bitchy, yep, teary no. I hold her hand and ask her why she is so fearful? She doesn’t know, and tells me, I’m turning back into a child, and I can’t get it to stop.

Today is Friday, pray that there is some sort of relief for her, some handle in the abyss that she can grab onto and make it slow down, that damn spiral.

Dolly, dog and a young "Gram" mother as a child.

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