March 9, 2014

"It's been one week ..."

(Are you singing Bare Naked Ladies now? Catchy little tune, isn't it?)

Last week at this time, my sister called me and said our mom had a stroke. My sister had heard it on the emergency scanner as our 75-year-old momma had called the ambulance herself. She couldn't get her thumb coordinated enough to call my sister or me, so she called 9-1-1. Good momma.

We have quite a history of strokes in our family. My daddy had his first heart-attack when I was just 7 years old. I know that a heart-attack is different than a stroke, but often times they go hand-in-hand, as was the case with my daddy, who after 24 years of poor health, an additional heart attack and two (possibly three) strokes, died after a massive heart attack followed by a massive stroke (or vice versa). My dad doesn't actually remember having any of his strokes. My mom, however, had the wherewithal to know that she was actually having a stroke at that moment. That's what's so weird about strokes. Like snowflakes, no two are alike. And, while heart attacks are not "easy" I know that strokes are game-changers. Your life should change when you have a heart attack. Your life MUST change when you have a stroke. Must.

My mom never lost her speech and her cognition was probably better than it had been in years. (I'm only kinda kidding about that. Her neurologist was amazed--AMAZED--that she was awake, coherent and speaking. Her right side, however, is paralyzed. This warranted her team of doctors to say she had to go to rehab. She did not say  no, no, no, though.

(Are you now singing Amy Winehouse? She should have listened to them, huh?)

And here we are a week later. My mom in rehab, plugging away trying to awaken her body enough to cooperate with her mind again.

During rehab hours, which is from sun-up until 4:30, she does rehab. When my dad was doing rehab, visitors weren't allowed. Now, they are allowed, but I get the distinct feeling that they aren't encouraged. And I'm okay with that. I think she'll work harder if she doesn't see me or my sister or her granddaughters or her sons-in-law looking at her with sympathy on their faces. I think she'll concentrate more on getting her body to do what it was made to do if she had tough therapists who are making her do it.

So, where's that leave us?

I'm back at school. The Daughters are back at school. Brian's back at school. My sister is taking care of my mom's bsuiness--whatever needs to be paid, signed, unsigned, whatever. Daughter 1 is having her first golf tournament on Wednesday; Daughter 2 is in the midst of softball. In the off-times, we work on cleaning up my mom's house. Life is moving on and just as busy as it ever was.

I think that's what bothers me the most. I've always--always--be able to do it all. Always. And I like being able to do it all. I'm finding now, though, that it's incredible hard ... I'd go with impossible, but I don't like that word one bit. My time is literally limited with my own momma. I can see her after 4:30. I guess I could move into her room with her and stay the night, but I know that none of us wants that.

So, one week after my own momma called her own ambulance, I sit once again at the computer and contemplate the ways in which all of our lives have changed and wonder about the best way to to what I have to do. It's good to sit down every once in a while and reevaluate those things you do in your life: Are they important still? Is this working? What can be done differently? Has your time with this come to an end? I just wish it hadn't been a stroke that forced my reevaluation at this time.

This is obviously a different post than I normally right, huh? I'm not sure I'll hit publish. If I do, and you're reading this, you know that I'm seeking your prayers and thoughts for my entire family as we learn to play this new hand.  


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