Easter weekend did not follow the plans I made for it. Life is like that. My husband, eighty-nine-year-old mother, and I drove five hours to southern New Jersey to visit my daughter for the weekend. We made plans to shop and have Easter brunch before we returned home on Sunday. My mother had an appointment with a cardiologist on Monday so she could be cleared for cataract surgery.
On Saturday while shopping my mother apparently had another TIA but she decided not to tell us about her symptoms. She had an odd sensation in her left hand and arm. After lunch she tripped going into my daughter’s condo and hit her head hard on the closet door. We waited about half an hour and then decided to take her to Urgent Care. Unfortunately, by the time they got around to seeing her, the CAT scan machine was no longer available and she was sent home to be watched for a few hours. Within the next two hours, we decided to go to the ER. The swelling and bruising were much worse and she seemed confused. We were in the ER for five hours. The CAT scan was inconclusive, so once again she was sent home. We went to brunch the next day and drove home, but after she got home, the confusion increased. She couldn’t use a phone or keep her balance, so we took her to the hospital where she has been for the last few days.
She will have home care, but we are reaching the point where she may need assisted living. She falls apart at the very mention of those words. The active mother I knew is gone, replaced by fear and confusion.
This was the week I was going to do a final edit of my book and send it to the self-publisher. This was the week I was going to make cards for the patients at the cancer center. But nothing is more important to me today than my mother. I have lost all my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and father and sister. She is all I have of my original family. I am happy to have my own children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, but my mother has been the anchor in my life, and I can see that disappearing. I know many other baby boomers have faced this moment in their own lives. It’s comforting to me to know that.