Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Mom

I know I wrote a brief update last week about my mom's hospitalization and how the last few weeks have affected me—and my whole family. But it was brief and I have a lot of thoughts that I feel I want to get off my chest. Though writing them down, publicly, is somewhat daunting.

Six years ago, I'd never have thought my mom would be lying in a bed in a nursing home, trapped in her own body. Unable to speak. Unable to move. Destroyed by Parkinson's Disease. Six years ago we took a mother-daughter vacation to Walt Disney World. We danced along with parades and ate ice cream at midnight after seeing Circe du Soleil. 

This is what we looked like:

My mom will never travel again.  That makes me so sad, because she loved to explore new places and see the sights. She loved seeing Broadway shows... but I don't think she'll do that either. Not unless she surprises all her doctors with an amazing recovery and isn't ashamed to go to a show in a wheelchair. And that's assuming a lot of things.

I blame myself for a lot of how my mom deteriorated. I saw it but turned a blind eye to things and let my dad say that she was OK. That she had seen doctors and, despite the weight loss, they didn't seem too concerned. But when my dad went to Houston on business that last Thursday of January, I knew things were much worse than I thought.

Due to the Parkinson's Disease, my mom lost her ability to swallow. The food and Ensure shakes she was eating/drinking went into her chest cavity and brought on Pneumonia. She had two surgeries in less than a week and the result is a most-likely permanent feeding tube and the risk of aspiration from being unable to swallow her own saliva.

It's not easy leaving her alone there. But I have an active 2-1/2 year old son to keep up with. He has a lot of his own challenges—the most recent is hearing loss from the fluid in his ears and possible surgery (tubes) to fix it. So I am quite overwhelmed by it all and haven't found the balance yet. I hope I do soon.

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