Hey mamas! I pray you all are still safe and thriving during this time. I am grateful to God that my family has still remained unaffected by the Coronavirus. Despite talk of reopening amongst government officials, I have kept vigilant with keeping the children inside and cleaning vigorously. However, we have still been affected by illness. My mother almost succumbed to septic shock 2 weeks ago in front of me and the children. You know, my mom’s health issuesare a very hard thing for me to discuss because they really anger me. Actually its less the fact that she is really sick and more her approach to handling it that upsets me. Although she does most of what the doctor asks of her, she takes a very dismissive air about the severity of her problems. At least she did until 2 weeks ago.
I found her at 5 am in her bed making the most horrible sound I’d ever heard. It could be mistaken for snoring, sure, but it creeped me out. It was more of a mix between struggling to breathe and a snore. And she even seemed to be asleep, but I knew better. I woke her up but she was only barely conscious. She said she was thirsty but struggled to sit up to drink juice. She wasn’t too coherent but when I suggested calling an ambulance, she found the strength to protest. Amani, who was witnessing her grandmother’s struggle, burst into tears and begged her grandmother to get help. I called the ambulance and proceeded to dress her. She couldn’t do anything and by the time EMS came, she was completely unconscious. I’d never seen her look so weak and frail. Not even when she first started dialysis. She was immediately put on oxygen and carried away. Later, I found out they had to out her on a ventilator because she crashed when she arrived at the hospital. She was immediately placed in ICU and her doctor didn’t think she’d make it through the night. I called my brothers, my uncle, and my aunt to prepare them for the worst. I was prepared for the worst.I spent my 31st birthday (May 8th) and Mother’s Day waiting for a call from the hospital that she passed away.She made it through the night and spent almost a week fighting for her life yet again.
When she came home there was a noticeable difference in her speech and her walking. Her steps were unsure and her voice came out slurred or incoherent. She had shakes in her hands and couldn’t hold a cup. That killed me because she’s always been independent. It killed her too,for the same reason. She kept assuring me that she’d be well soon and I told her not to worry about that, I’ll take care of everything.
In two days, I learned both the brand and generic names of her meds and out her on a daily schedule similar to Avery’. Because Mom doesn’t want a home health aide, I will care for her. I think she’ll respond better to me making decisions for her instead of someone else. My brother, who lives in Iowa, thinks it will be too much for me and I should get the aide, but I think I can handle it. If I can’t, I can always get the aide.
I admit I’m nervous about taking care of Mom. She was a home health aide for 30 years and took care of her own mother in the last year before she died of breast cancer. That tells me she has a certain standard of care she’s used to. I plan to care for her as best as I can with as much dignity to her as I can give. I am honored that she only trusts me, something I’ve wanted her to feel for me for years.
God has been preparing to take this step for some time now. In the last two years, with the trials I’ve been through, I’ve come out stronger emotionally and mentally. I’ve gained a respect from my mother that I didn’t have before her health started deteriorating. My relationship with God has even reached a higher place. These three things are going to help me step into caregiving with patience and understanding.
I’d love to talk with those of you who are caregivers. I’d like your advice on legal matters involving caretaking as well as your personal experiences. With new experiences in life, comes a new community of people. I look forward to walking this road with you.