It was a good run

Oh the memories… From February to May last year, I and my family were embroiled in a flurry of health care issues for my elderly mom. Her broken ankle resulted in 8 weeks in a rehab hospital and 5 weeks in assisted living (all non-weight-bearing) while we scrambled to adapt her 100+ year-old house to accommodate one-level living. It was a huge struggle, and hugely satisfying to accomplish what we did.

We had a great run for a whole year — she managed pretty well, and we managed to ignore her occasional rants that none of what we did was necessary, she’s just fine, she can go up and down two flights of stairs to second floor or cellar with no problem, and what horrible people we were for throwing away her 35-year-old exercise bike (and buying her a new one she refuses to use).

But now the jig is up. We’re back on the eldercare treadmill in full force, with mom’s recent dizzy spells and now painful fractured ribs after a fall this past Saturday. It’s clear that living alone is no longer an option, so we’re scrambling to figure out how to have one of us there with her as close to 24/7 as we can manage, given that we all have jobs and lives of our own.

It’s daunting, but I can’t help but think how lucky we are to have dodged this issue for so long. So many people don’t get to wait until their loved one is 90 before confronting care issues.

I’ll try to keep remembering that as we navigate a sea of doctors, appointments, insurance, and meds, and disrupt our own lives in still unknown ways. I’m anticipating a lot of “discussions” (/arguments), a lot of fatigue, a lot of tears, prayers, and sleepless nights. And of course, a lot fewer workouts and a lot more chocolate.

Old age ain’t no place for sissies.
~ H. L. Mencken, Bette Davis


  1. mel said,

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    truly sorry to hear about this. hoping it can be handled smoothly with much love (and much giving of selves by family). you guys are blessed, to have her and that it hasn’t been a bigger issue ’til now, I suppose–and she is a lucky lady to have such a dedicated group of kids.

  2. RL said,

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Care giving ain’t for sissies either, and you guys are doing a fine job.

  3. WritingbyEar said,

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Thank you Mel and RL for the encouragement. “One day at a time” seems to apply to so many situations.

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