Monday, March 16, 2009

Guarded Optimism


My shins beside the dastardly dishwasher door guarded by my sister's gardening knee pads.


Several signs of Mom's progress this past week or so give me a guarded optimism that I'll be able to set a date for my return home soon. Meanwhile I continue on KP duty. Mostly cleaning up after meals though sometimes I will make dinner and serve Mom and myself when my sister is running an errand too near dinner. My being here makes it possible for my sister and her son to be gone at the same time. There are a lot of occasions requiring a single mom and her home schooled teen to be out of the house at the same time.

Sunday evening I was setting up Gilmore Girls Season 4 DVD for my Mom and talking to myself aloud about whether we had watched the last episode on the disc still in the machine and thus time to switch discs. Mom said she was sure we had watched the last one but I went ahead and clicked play to bring up the menu to check, saying that if she was right we would have to start wondering why I was still here 'cause that meant her memory was now better than mine.

She laughed like I'd made a joke a la Lorelei Gilmore.

She was right too. About the fact we'd finished with that disc the night before. Not the joke which wasn't that good and little enhanced by being delivered more in the tone of the science teacher on Boy Meets World than that of Lorelei Gilmore.

Very good signs at any rate. Don't you think?

It'll be four months since Mom broke her hip and had the mild stroke following surgery. The end of March will make three months since my arrival here.

Further good signs are the outings she has been on. She went out to brunch at a restaurant a couple weeks ago and the following Sunday went to Church. She has been to the Y for swim therapy several times in the last two weeks. And Saturday she attended a support group for the visually impaired.

But she is still dependent on the walker and we had hoped to see her gaining competence with the cane by now.

And she pulled a stunt this afternoon which leaves us questioning her judgment. She took four lurching steps sans walker or cane and with nothing sturdy nearby to grab onto incase of loss of balance. She did this without announcing her intentions first and her path took her just inches from my outstretched legs which I could have flexed or shifted at any moment. None of us in this house are known for our ability to sit still. Especially the motionless aspect of the still part. And with Mom and I both lacking peripheral vision neither of us see anything until it is smack in front of our noses.

I was watching Oprah and my minuscule field of vision was filled by the TV screen. I heard two ominous THUMPS before this zombie shaped silhouette filled my visual field. I heard two more THUMPS before I recognized the shape as Mom with arms outstretched. And I yelled, "Mom!!! What are you doing?!!!"

OMG. I yelled at my Mom.

The role reversal aspect of this whole situation is one of its biggest stressors. I just can't get comfortable telling my Mom what she should or shouldn't be doing.

Her sense of independence and her ability to initiate action (lack of initiation along with aphasia were the primary fallout from her stroke) are excellents signs of imporvement. But that lack of judgement is the worrisome aspect. The reason why we're afraid to leave her home alone. It is hard to tell how much to blame those occasions on the stroke damage and how much on the typical impulsive (ADD-like) behaviors common to her and all three of her children and several grandchildren.

Afterall she and I have both tangled with that dastardly dishwasher door several times each in the three decades since our family moved into this house. And it isn't like it shifts its position on us. Like my legs could have done to her without notice when she lurched past them without notifying me. And yet she claims not to see anything wrong with what she did. Or any of the other times she did similar things.

I'm all trembly at the thought of what might have happened. Not to mention the memory of having YELLED at my Mom. Oh, my gosh! I feel like I'm fifteen instead of fifty-one.


1 tell me a story:

Candy Minx 3/17/2009 9:31 AM  

Oh you are a good good person. Your mum is so lucky to have such a support system as you. I hope you are able to get time for yourself in all this and make sure you are okay too. I love it that you are watching the Gilmore Girls, thats adorable!

Hang in there kid!

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