We had made our plans for London and Paris a week before Mom took her fall. The trip was completely paid for, and the preparations had been made. Mom’s two brain surgeries were done, and rehabilitation was in progress. The months had passed and the arrangements were made for my daughter to keep daily watch of mom, and my brother was covering healthcare proxy. So off we went on our trip.
Just a weeks reprieve was enough for a short rejuvenation period for me. Then off and running again with trips to Boston doctor’s visits, daily visits, finding a new facility for mom, and new thoughts and concerns each day. There was always the concern of the Multiple Myeloma that needed to be treated once the brain injury was enough under control. The brief vacation and rest of mind was enough to give me the boost I needed to carry on.
A new facility took in Mom for rehabilitation, and I would bring her to her cancer treatments and other doctor’s appointments in New Hampshire and Boston. There were frequent hospitalizations, blood transfusions, infections, threats to physical, neurological, and many other aspects of care on a daily basis. It just never seemed to stop.
For me with my Bipolar, it was in times of stress that I had trouble keeping my depression and anxiety from overcoming me. There was only one problem for me during the time that I took care of my mom, that I was hospitalized. It was when I brought mom to the hospital from the rehab facility for her to be hospitalized. She was having trouble with an infection which caused her to become very ill, and her awareness was decreased. The fatigue of her constant battles took its toll on me, and ironically we were hospitalized during the same week (in the same hospital).
I was told that she was frequently asking for me, as I was for her. But the exhausting mental exertion for me had taken its toll. It was unsettling not to be at her side, but it was time to replenish myself. When I was released from the hospital, I went up to her room to see her in a much healthier state. The difficult time was overcome at the moment, and we were able to once again enjoy the time we had together.
Mom and I pushed forward and our bond was strong. She had the ability to look into my eyes in such a way that I understood what her concerns were. It’s crazy how that in such adversity, strength and understanding can be attained.
With hope in our hearts, we looked into assisted living facilities, and made an appointment to see one. It was very close to admission in a beautiful facility that another health tragedy would occur. It soon became obvious that mom needed more care than would be given in any facility, other than a nursing home. So preparations for her to live with me were underway.
Stairlifts were put in, hospital beds were arranged, all medical equipment, devices, and ramps were put into place and built, and finally I was excited that mom would be with us. Now to say that my mother and I were never without strong and opposing views before living together would be a lie, but the circumstances were much different now.
There was a definite need, a bond, a strength that we could overcome these obstacles. It is true that love can and does define the power of a bond. It enhances ones ability to cope and gives the courage, guidance, and spirit needed to move through any difficulty.
It is amazing to me that mom at one point was able to walk now with a walker, transfer herself with assistance, assist in cooking and do parts of her own daily care. She was living as much of a productive life as possible. That first rehab facility that said she would not be able to eat on her own, change the tv channel, or even so much as communicate meaningfully were so wrong and beyond their scope of practice. They must have never seen the power of hope, love, and strength in their presence.
The truth and power of God and prayer and love are so much stronger than is sometimes imaginable.