Are you a reflective person?
Do you look back at the course your life, and more specifically, a difficult time, and ponder how you got to this point? And do you reflect on how well things are going, how happy or sad you are, how things will play out in the future? I've done a little of that kind of reflection this week.
It has been a tough 6 months.
- My mom had 4 separate hospitalizations - all sudden events, and all by way of ambulance and ER. (I really hate the ER.)
- She had 2 sub acute rehabilitation experiences totaling 3 weeks.
- She had 4 home care experiences - the last of which we are doing now.
- I lost a close life long relationship - a relationship that on the surface looks the same unless it is examined closely. Trust has disappeared.
What I have learned:
- I am tired often, discouraged sometimes and disappointed frequently. But I am not broken.
- Trusting my gut - based on experience - has been the correct move time and time again.
- I am strong enough to demand action and accountability when it is lacking - especially in regards to my mother's care.
- I love being home. Spend 3 weeks away in medical facilities, sleeping in your street clothes, on couches or on rubber recliners, eating food from hospital cafeterias, and you too, will develop a love of your home. I am happy to be here - to just be!
- Those who say something can't be done, should get out of the way of those who are doing it.
- Despite everything, I am still a happy and optimist person. My life is successful because of that attitude. I choose optimism!
What I am grateful for:
- The right people have been in the right place when I needed them most.
- All but one voice has confirmed my actions and supported my choices with regards to my mother. Those voices run the gamete of family, friends and medical professionals. Those folks know who they are.
- My mother is still alive and living with me. So many times in the last weeks, I have heard folks say how lucky I am to still have my mother and to be able to support her during this time. I, too, have felt that way, but it is nice to know that this value is shared by others.
- I am grateful for my 13 years in the medical field. It gave me the knowledge and judgement as well as the understanding of reasonable expectations for medical care. It also gave me many personal connections in my local community to high quality physicians and services. I have benefited greatly from that experience. So has my mother.
What I accept:
- No matter what you do, the slow decline of elderly marches towards its inevitable conclusion.
- My mother's needs will continue to grow due to rapidly declining health.
- Only one person in her family can handle this daily responsibility - that falls to me.
- My choices are not the choices of others. It doesn't make me wrong ...
- One day I may be forced to move my mom to another more appropriate place. It will be hard - gut wrenching, actually. But when her care requires such a move, I will do it.
And in the end ... I will still be standing!