A walk with Mom: Day 7

Monday July 4, 2016

Monday, the start of the week.  This was the day we started to meet the doctors for the first time.  There would be five in just a few days.  I don’t even remember all of them.  They started to run tests and consult with each other to find out what exactly was wrong and how to fix it.

But something really strange happened, something very unexpected.  Dad and I would get very dirty looks from the hospital staff.  They were very nice and professional, but I saw how they ere looking at us. And then it dawned on me: They think we did this to Mom. Indeed, there has been a few cases in the news where people had starved the elderly until death or close and lived off of the social security money.

It would take them a day or two to figure it out.  But it was a terrible feeling to be given those looks int he meantime.

Dad arrived that morning and we met the ladies from palliative care this day.  I think they called them in o talk with the family to assess whether we actually starved Mom, or if this was an illness.  They asked a lot of questions. They said they would talk to us more after all the results were back so we could figure out a plan of action for Mom’s recovery.

This was the holiday I had been looking forward to.  My then boyfriend and I had plans and I was so excited. I remember this day because it rained a large part of the day.  I kept seeing all these wonderful pictures of my friends celebrating with their friends and family. And for the first time I was actually envious.  They were out having a wonderful life and I was in the hospital room taking care of my Mom because she wouldn’t eat.

The appetite stimulant they had given Mom was working and she was actually eating  I  was so happy that I went into the bathroom and cried.

I was finishing up a writing assignment I was working on while Dad was there, but it was hard to work at it.  There were doctors coming in and out, asking a lot of questions.  Then there were all the nurses hooking up and h=changing the IVs, taking vitals and making sure when was comfortable.  Dad was by her bed, and then he would go outside when he couldn’t stand the cold anymore.

I called my sister and other family members to let them know how things were going.  I called a lot of friend, especially one who i a surgical tech and understood the terminology and procedures.  I would take notes from the doctors and then run and call her to explain them to me.

I helped Mom eat by prepping her food opening drinks, running and getting her water or ice chip when she wanted them.  Sitting in her bed and just talking, going down the the hospital.

By mid afternoon Mom was feeling better.  They had pumped her full of fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and nutrients.  She was sitting up on bed by herself, laughing, talking and even smiling.  She wanted to hurry up and get better so she could go home.

She didn’t remember the ambulance ride over and kept saying that she flew in a plane.  After a while I stopped correcting her.

Dad left again before dark so he could get home.  I stayed and watched over Mom as she slept.  I snoozed a bit too, but had terrible nightmares.  I dreamt that I woke up to check on Mom and she was a skeleton. And when I went to touch he she fell apart into dust and was screaming.  I woke up screaming as well.

And then I dreamt that my Mom had died and I went home and the place was empty.  My boyfriend, who I was madly in love with had left and I was sobbing.  I woke up crying/

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The House in the Tree

There are sometimes that we just need to get away.  That we need to have some fun, clear our minds and reaffirm life.  We need to feel alive and that life is not passing us by. That was this weekend for me.  It was no very needed, deep down to renew my soul and she me that there indeed is life after grief.

It started out with wine and conversation. It was a beautiful evening and there were fireflies to be seen.  A good night’s sleep, a yummy lunch then off to an adventure.

That night I slept in a tree house that I had to cross a wonderful bridge in order to enter. A bridge of loose wooden slats that would sway and bounce as I crossed. I loved it. Once inside I set my things down and I could hear the rain falling on the tin roof. I knew this place was perfect.

There was a covered porch around back so I poured some wine and went out to enjoy.  The rain smelled delicious, and sounded like heaven both on the roof and falling on the leaves of the trees.  The unmistakable sound of a storm in the woods. Lighting flashed and thunder rolled as the drops came down and washed everything clean.

Once the rain stopped it was time for the crickets and lightning bugs, both of which were thoroughly delightful in sound and sight. Sometimes you need to be surrounded by nature and it’s rhythm to be reminded of miracles. The little tree house cabin would sway in the wind and it made for some very peaceful sleep.

Morning came way too soon, but fun was waiting.  It was a zip line, the highest and longest and biggest in the area. My heart was racing and I could not stop smiling.  There was level one through four and I made it to level three, each higher and more thrilling than the last. And thee were more bridges to be crossed.  Some we simply suspended rope bridges, with one rope along the bottom which to step and one on each side to hold onto.  Some had wood slats, some wee slanted and two had tress which had to be negotiated around to continue to the next.  All of them were high above ground and some even above the treetops.

To say I love heights is an understatement, and the thrill of going across made me smile.  It’s not often a lady gets to climb up ladders, trees and ropes. For all the prissy, prancy girly in me, there is a tomboy waiting to run, climb and scream. Waiting for the pour joy of playing like child without a care in the world. To smile in the sun, to feel the rush of possibility. To feel.

It was very hot, must have been about 90 it seemed, and sweat was pouring out of me. But it was worth it when you let go of the platform and zipped over the trees with the wind in your face dying and cooling you off.  It was magnificent. And for a few moments I felt free.  Free of all that has been weighing me down, free from thought, free of the grief, of pain or loss, free of worry and reality.

And when I finally laid my head down to sleep that night, I slept  more sound and more peaceful than I had slept in a long time.  Worn out from the heat, fresh air and physical activity, and safe in my own bed.

Life is an adventure.  Sometimes we need a little get away to remind us that the possibilities are out there. If we are only willing to have faith, close our eyes and let go.