We're filling in the info on how sick and how to proceed.
Around Mother's Day last year we moved my Mom to a senior situation so that she could be near him as she aged and became less independent. She and I do not have the sort of relationship that either of us would hope for and ... I guess I have found closure with that.
Momma has been complaining about a little pain in her side ... it's under her ribs on the right side, or ... maybe it doesn't hurt at all. She suffers from early onset dementia ... or maybe it's advanced, I have heard it called either way this week.
I think I can't tell this as a story. I think I must just tap out the facts as they have unfolded these past several days. I just want to say too that ... her dementia has allowed her to smile at me and it seems almost bizarre. She is calmer when I am "there" and the nurses report that she is "aggressive" otherwise ... I note that because in a way that I haven't sorted through yet, it is somewhat comforting to have someone else note that quality, and deal with it, rather then it being "my role" in her life. It's so much easier to get to be one of the good guys. That probably doesn't make much sense. I'm saying Momma is easier to be around even if I am still leery ... mindful of her mercurial nature.
Before we got here I had set up an appointment and gotten her insurance in order. She was ready to see a doctor to "get a couple of spots on her wrist" looked at. "I want these OFF of me" she says, having determined that Neosporin isn't going to do the trick. So ... head off to the doctor at noon this past Tuesday to see to the spots, and the maybe pain in the side ... and in my mind to establish primary care in the area and pleasepleaseplease a referral to a memory care expert.
She had a heart attack (yeah, for us it was right out of the blue) while we were there actually in the exam room getting acquainted with the brand new doctor, Dr. D, she offered because her last name is so impossible to pronounce. It was ... hello, call me Dr. D then ... blood pressure cuff back on, get me four aspirin and some oxygen and call 911 ... and, your Mother has to go to the hospital right now.
She was at the hospital this week. The shorter story is ... that pain in her side is liver cancer. We left with script for her heart and a referral to the oncologist ... and sometime early this morning, my phone will ring and I will set up an interview with a home health care nurse. We, my brother and I, will help set up help for Momma and I'm just hoping that she can cooperate, that she is able to cooperate. If she can, she will stay in her home for a last few weeks before she has to go for Hospice care.
She wouldn't have allowed us to take her to the doctor except that those spots were bothering her. And we wouldn't have known she had a heart condition ... or liver cancer ... without the heart attack at the right time. ( Her blood pressure wasn't elevated ... her pulse was 180 and she was "clammy" ... she stayed as coherent as she usually is through out the event, basically critiquing the medical folks and chiding me for tricking her in to this.)
If you pray ... please pray for Momma, and for my brother.
I feel ... as though things are falling apart and falling together at the same time. I'm tired and sometimes a bit overwhelmed, but I can do this. My husband will travel home this weekend ... and I'm pretty sure the coming week will be difficult. I hope to get the things I can do "squared away" this week and then I'll go home for a while too.
and ... I wanted to save this: Pi in the Sky (over Austin). It's an art installation to "inspire spontaneous awe". It made me smile.