Serenity Now

I know it’s been quite awhile since I wrote anything on here, but it’s been an interesting summer. My collar bone is still healing from its recent break for one. I’m still in a sling for at least a couple more weeks, but I can take my arm out some, can sleep in my bed again instead of in the recliner, and I’m off the Hydrocodone which was helping quite a bit with the arthritis. Now that I’m off of it, I need to go back to my rheumatologist and figure out what to do about the arthritis and muscle pain now that it’s returned. The IV IG treatments have stopped yielding any results which happens after a while, so now I’m just on Prednisone and Plaquenil. 

In addition to going through two surgeries and multiple doctors appointments, reading books, and composing book reviews (part of my job as a school librarian), I’ve been taking care of my mom. Besides being mostly blind from Macular Degeneration, she has severe arthritis herself especially in her knees, and she’s having a hard time breathing after walking short distances. My husband and I got her a wheelchair for when we go shopping, and I’ve got a quad cane on order since her other cane doesn’t seem stable enough. When I took her to the doctor yesterday, he said he’s afraid she may have congenital heart failure, and, based on lab tests he ran previously, her kidneys are only functioning at 30%. He’s decided to take her off Bumex for a week and run more tests to see if the Bumex is contributing to her kidneys’ not doing so well, but since the Bumex is for relieving fluids, I fear she may get fluid on the heart, and she’s already complaining that she can’t pee. I’m suddenly feeling overwhelmed. When I took my mom into my home, I didn’t realize her health was going downhill so quickly. I’m wondering how she was able to make it on her own with only the aid of her roommate who is also elderly and with failing health. 

Additionally, and I’m ashamed to admit this, but this is a blog, and if you can’t admit your faults anonymously online, and you can’t go to therapy because your mom would know and be shocked since people of her generation don’t go to therapy, to whom can you turn?  My mom is a bit high maintenance. If I’m going out, she wants to go too. If I want to go visit with friends, she expects to be invited even though she can hardly see or hear anyone, and she walks as slowly as the little old man played by Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett Show…although she doesn’t shuffle her feet like that; instead, she sort of waddles like a duck. She turns up her TV (always tuned to Fox News) and Rush Limbaugh (which she streams through her computer) so loud that I have to go to my room and close the door in order to read or do any work on my computer. Then she yells for me from across the house and when I go see what she wants, she’ll say, “Oh nothing. I was just checking on you.” She’s done this twice this afternoon so far. As someone who is used to spending her summer in relative quiet, catching up with reading, running errands whenever she wants, and visiting with old friends, it’s been an huge adjustment. I keep finding myself closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, and saying, “Serenity Now”.

Please don’t comment and say things like, “Oh, you should feel lucky that you still have your mom.” Unless you’ve walked in my shoes with a mother like mine who is well into her second childhood, you have no idea what it’s like. However, if you have some words of wisdom, I’d love to hear them. I’ve also emailed my concerns about my mother’s declining health to one of my sisters who is a nurse in Memphis, so hopefully, she’ll have some good advice. If you’re a religious person, feel free to say a little prayer for me as well. Thanks. 

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