That doesn’t sound very long. Three weeks sounds much lengthier, for some reason.
But, 23 days it was. In the glorious sunshine, watching family members disintegrate, with the hope of rising again from the ashes. That would be more appropriate if I were in Phoenix. I spent my 23 days in Tucson.
The original purpose of the trip was to be caregiver to Mom as she came home to her apartment from yet another nursing home. Mom has a habit of fainting (Orthostatic Hypotension) and calling 911. This particular visit she did not faint. She had neck and shoulder pain so bad that she couldn’t raise herself up from her bed, a direct result of being in bed so much her muscles have probably atrophied. When she did find the strength…she called 911. Off to St. Joe’s Hospital she went.
Another sister had been trying to call her all day. It was a Sunday and as mom doesn’t drive and does not normally go out on Sunday, she became worried and called me. My first call? St. Joseph’s Hospital. Found her in the ER. They told me she was free to go home, it was just muscular-skeletal issues, but that Mom refused. She said she could not go home because she lived alone. So, they booked her a room for the night.
The next day (since she said she couldn’t go home alone) they shipped her off to yet another nursing home.
My Texas sister has been wanting mom in a permanent situation like this for some time, but I have always pushed for her independence, as that’s what Mom insisted on. I know, not very consistent with her love of 911 calls & nursing homes. Perhaps it has to do with the age difference between my sister and I. She being 46 and I 62. I look at my mother and that is me…in 20 short years….
I wrote to my daughter who just had the twins and said "take good care of those babies, so they will take care of you". She wrote back, "I will and I will take good care of you momma". We all mean so well. But when that day comes – will it be Alzheimer’s or a stroke? Will it be fainting spells or diabetic neuropathy? What will we do with our parents? What will our children do with us?
I had 23 days to think about this.