Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sun, Sunny Day

Here I sit in Florida, sitting in the sun on the veranda of my father's friends house, drinking my Hot Cinnamon iced tea, listening to Mo Rocca and friends on Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, when I get a call from Life Alert.  You know about Life Alert don't you?  "I've fallen and I can't get up." was such a catch phrase for a long time.  Well, my mother fell this morning.  She fell yesterday afternoon, too, and the paramedics were called by Life Alert, and put her back in her chair.  She called me to tell me she was fine, and no she hadn't hurt anything.  So, getting a call at 9am today was a little shocking. It's been awhile since she has fallen repeatedly like this.  It's usually a signal that something else is wrong.  Her sugars are off, she has an infection, or something we haven't come across yet.  I'm wonderfing though why it happens like this when she is in Massachusetts, and I am in Florida for my only vacation this year.  Is it just a coincidence?  Sometimes I wonder... Is it attention getting behavior becausee I "left" her all alone.  Of course, she wants to be independent and continue to live alone, but then, everytime I go away, to Churchill to see the polar bears, to California to visit a friend,  or to Florida to get some vitamin D for a few days, something happens.  And I don't even live with her when I AM in Massachusetts.  I know I sound like a selfish brat not thinking of my mother and her safety, but I need to vent. 

As I'm writing this, Life Alert called me to tell me that the paramedics did transport her to the hospital.  They can't tell me any more than that.  I do hope she is okay.  She will have to figure out some way to get home since I am away.   Maybe my sister will step up if she is called.  I have to wait now to call the hospital so that they can do their evaluation of her.  It's sad to me that I know all the procedures and the timelines for how these things work.  She will be in a triage room for a while, and a nurse will be assigned, and a doctor, and she'll have to answer all sorts of questions, especially the one about who she lives with.  She hates that one. 

I'm going to try and sit here and finish the Wait Wait show and then I'll call.  I need to breathe. Just breathe.  You are allowed to go on vacation once and a while.  She wants to live alone, and this is what happens when a person who shouldn't live alone lives alone.  They fall, they get sick.  Send some prayers my Mom's way if you will.  Prayers that she is ok.  Prayers that she may learn that being in a place where they could keep an eye on her might not be a bad idea.  Prayers to let my sister take care of her mother for once. 

1 comment:

  1. Whew! You are in a tough place. It's hard for people to change long established behaviors or beliefs. I know this is difficult, but you are not responsible for the decisions your mother makes about her life.
    You know this already it's just about putting new ways of dealing with it into place.

    I went back and reread how you have assumed responsibility for her care since you were a small child so I am sure it is hard for you to change that behavior now, especially with the self doubt that lives in your head and makes it seem as if your life is not your own to do with as you wish. It is YOUR life first. You were not born to shoulder someone else's burdens no matter how much you love them especially when they refuse to see the impact of their choices on your life.

    There is nothing selfish about you! Say it with me ... you were not born to be your mother's caretaker and it is selfish of her not to find a way to release you from the bondage you've been in for so long.

    I hear that she wants to live alone, but she needs to hear that you want to live a life that isn't all about what she wants.

    Please know that I am not saying that I think we should just turn our backs on people when they need us, but rather that they have a responsibility to consider the impact of their needs and how they can keep their life " stuff " from becoming ours.

    If she won't do it then it's time for some tough love.

    Sorry to rant ... and remember to put your own oxygen mask on first.