But my momma is past the point of “getting old” and to the point of “being old”. This isn’t particularly news to me because as an adult (e.g. past my teens), I’ve been really close with my mom. So I’ve seen her at her most active and agile, and now I’m seeing her age. I’m the youngest of my siblings, with my mom having given birth to me in her thirties. I’m about to hit 42 years old. She’s in her mid-70s.
But it isn’t the “age” part of old that I’ve seen, because I’m well aware that age is just a number. There are days when I am positive I feel older than she does. But these days, I’ve seen the changes in my mom…and my dad. She’s walking more slowly, has less balance than she used to, is not nearly as agile, and has less stamina for pretty much anything. Her hearing has been going for a couple of years, and now I see her eyesight is failing somewhat. There was this point when a switch happened. When she stopped being the mom I knew for years and years, and she became an old lady. She looks like my grandmother, and is starting to act like my grandmother. She’s dressing like my grandmother, and wearing her makeup like my grandmother. It’s a frightening prospect for me, especially considering how close we are. Since I moved out of my parents’ house at 22, I’ve talked to her at least twice a day on the phone (once a day on the weekends). Minimum. For 20 years. Straight. Unless one of us has been on vacation, which doesn’t happen all that often on either of our parts. Now? We live within stone’s throw of each other. If we don’t see each other once a day, we still talk at least twice a day, sometimes more.
Close, ya’ll. She’s my best friend, other than my husband. She’s my role model as a woman and a mother.
Why am I saying this at this time? Presently, she’s in the emergency room. My brother called me and said, Mom isn’t feeling well. My mom never says stuff like this. Even when she gets a migraine, she never says stuff like this. I knew she’d been having some issues, but she promised me she was watching them. Now I don’t think she took them seriously enough. I’m kind of mad at that, but what can I do? So when my brother said she wasn’t feeling well, I said “take her to the ER right now.” My dad called their HMO and diddled around on the phone for like 30 minutes. I got my mother on the phone and said, “Tell dad to stop screwing around and take you to the ER. That’s what the ER is for. GO.” When my dad got on the phone, I said, “STOP SCREWING AROUND and take her to the ER. Go. NOW.”
They finally said they were going, so I ran over to their house so I could see her before they left. She looked old and tired, worn out, but she was standing and walking on her own. I walked with her to the car, kissed her, and said to call me. I’d already asked her if I could go with them to the ER and she’d said no. So when my dad asked if I wanted to go with them, I said no. She’s since called from the ER and said that they told her it would be five hours before they could see her. I’m not surprised. I’ve been to that ER a couple of times. It’s horribly busy all the time, and we’re in the midst of the polar vortex thingy…so they are probably seeing cold weather issues, too. I’m angry and upset that she has to sit there for five hours, but if I have to tie her down, she’s staying until they see her. This has gone on too long.
I already told her that I’d come up and spell my dad (and bring him some food because he’s diabetic) in a couple of hours if they are still waiting. I made sure she’s warm enough and doesn’t need anything, then I let her off the phone.
When my brother first let me know she wasn’t feeling well, I started shaking. Adrenaline rush so bad I thought I’d rattle the windows. I talked to Hub on the phone and tried to calm myself. I talked myself into what might be happening to her–something benign but unfamiliar to her–and made myself chill out before I saw her leave. I wanted her to know that I was not freaking out while she was in the ER, potentially having her own anxious moments. And I’m not freaking out…I don’t feel on the edge of a panic attack or anything. But I damn worried, because what she described to me doesn’t sound so benign to me. I’ve already had to clench my hands from googling, because that’d be no damn good for me. Even if I knew what was really wrong with her–not likely to be found out for sure from google anyway–I can’t fix her. So I am NOT going to google.
Which is why I’m blogging. Even though I’ve now come to a halt with it. Dammit.
They literally waited 5 hours to get back to see a doctor. At present, she’s waiting for a CT scan, likely not to get it before midnight. And then they wait for someone to read it before a doctor comes back in. Hub and I went in to sit with my parents for a couple of hours while they were in the waiting room. We brought my dad some food and we kept my mom company so my dad could take a breather. Then we left them again, and within 30 minutes they were taken back to a room. Now they wait…and we wait.
God bless, I want to google so bad I feel like a junkie. But the truth is, I’m scared to. I’m scared to know what might pop up with her symptoms. I’m scared to get any real ideas in my head. I feel really deep inside me that it’s going to be something big, and that thought is so overwhelming.
I called my parents back and talked to my mom so I could tell her what the CT scan is going to be like. She’s never had one and I’ve had several. Luckily, it’s not a major deal…the worst part is the gross contrast drink they make you swallow. I hope it made her feel better to know what was coming…I know I always like to know. I feel so freaking helpless. I want to be there with them, but I need to be able to help later if she needs me. And if I’m there all night, I’ll be completely unable to help tomorrow or later in the early morning. Fortunately, one of my brothers (and his wife) went to be with my parents for a couple of hours when they transported my mom to a different facility (stupid HMOs).
I hope there will be news to report before this posts.
**I’m hopeful after having talked to my parents several times that she’s only dealing with a couple of infections. We’re still awaiting confirmation.
***Yes, infections. She’s getting multiple rounds of antibiotics over the course of about 12 hours. Then they hope to send her home.
****Well, she got transported to a different facility to get a second round of IV antibiotics. They wanted to do another test, but they couldn’t make it happen, so she’s scheduled that for next week. Meantime, she’ll be on two sets of antibiotics to knock out the two infections they found. When she got home, I ran over to see her to make sure she was all right. She was tired but okay. I haven’t spoken to her since, so I hope she’s sleeping. And I hope she takes things a little more seriously after this, and doesn’t wait over a week when symptoms are bad.
Meanwhile, I’m at least proud that I didn’t freak out at all. I didn’t google anything except what one of her medications was, and I made Hub watch me google it. All I did was confirm it was an antibiotic (I’d never heard of it), and then I closed the browser without reading ANYTHING else about it. Hopefully the antibiotics don’t overwhelm her system and she gets better quickly. I was up past 4:30am texting with my brothers and talking to my parents on and off. I got very little sleep overnight, so I’m hoping to turn in early tonight. We’ll see how that works out.