Thursday, August 31, 2006

Changing Seasons

Sometimes I blog to think something through, sometimes to share a thought or a discovery or a sermon, sometimes to highlight an injustice, sometimes to share something funny and sometimes just to write because I like to write, and I like to take pictures. Sometimes I blog because it is my life. This is one of those, so you've been warned.

About two weeks ago I sat on the deck with my mother, as we often do. It was a warm 82 degrees. But there was the feel of autumn--that indefinable something that lets us know summer is ending. It's a dryness in the air, a certain crispness to the breeze even when it is warm. I had just purchased a pot of chrysantemums and decided to take a picture of my mother, looking bright in her purple pants suit. "Fall is coming," she said just before I snapped this picture.

One week ago I was returning from a very quick trip to Minnesota where I had gone to help my daughter paint the nursery-in-the-making. We had a good time shopping for paint and various items to decorate the room--and a few maternity clothes too. She showed me ultra sound pictures and we laughed together over one that clearly revealed a tiny foot (but large in proportion to the leg). "She is going to have big feet!" and "Look, you can even see the arch and the high instep." Another showed her face in profile and we agreed that she has her daddy's (not tiny) nose! It was remarkable and exciting.

As I was driving home I got a call that my mother had tripped over the garden hose and fallen, raising a horrific lump on her head and splitting her palm wide open. She got stiched up in the ER, but the next day, after a bad night of confusion, we admitted her to the hospital. Yesterday she was discharged to a nearby nursing home. They will be doing a bit of occupational and physical therapy, but the biggest problem is confusion. I'm not at all sure she will be coming home, though she is planning on it. Last night we took her little cat in for a visit and the two of them snuggled up contentedly. I wish I could have left the cat with her.

Today I visited. She thinks she has been there a week and I have not stopped in. She seems to think every voice in the hallway is me, and the staff reported that she was searching for me all day.

I do not know if she will improve. I washed all her bedding and cleaned up her room a bit, but I do not know if she will ever spend much time in it again.

This happened quickly. And not quickly.

This morning I photographed berries and flowers in the backyard. Glancing at the deck I thought of the day, earlier this summer when we sat on the deck and I posted about it here. The flowers are changing. The seasons are changing. My life is changing too.

I'm trying to take one day at a time. I'm all right.


zorra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
zorra said...

This is so hard. When my dad was struggling with Alzheimer's I found that sometimes the confusion cleared a bit once he got used to his surroundings. Times in the hospital were terrible because the confusion and agitation got worse whenever he was in a new place.
I deleted my other comment because I had droned on and on about using a dry erase board, not realizing that you had already talked about that earlier. But it really does seem to be helpful.
((Singing Owl))
((your mom)

LoieJ said...

Yes, things can change so quickly, and as you say, not so quickly.

My mom's situation is, at this point, physical weakness that is improving somewhat, but we think her mind is OK. But she can't think of the words she needs to say. She sounds worse off than she really is.

I called her today and she said she doubted she would be going home. I'm glad that came from her. I was upset with the therapists and social workers who were talking about the "goal" of going home all the time. They don't know the house and the social situation. I told them not to get someone's hopes up prematurly.

So the not so quickly part for us was that we were already questioning whether my mom should be at home alone before her health "event."

So you and I are somewhat linked by these things. If I get over your way in Sept. I'll try harder to get to meet you.

Chris said...

Hugs upon hugs, my friend!

This is a very hard thing to deal with, and prayers are with you.

I must say, though, that your mother is a beautiful woman. I can see where your smile comes from!

Jules said...

((((Singing Owl))))

net said...

((((Singing Owl))))

Questing Parson said...

You, your mom, your daughter, and soon to be granddaughter are so much in my prayers.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Thank you so much, everyone! Cyber friends can't pray in person or give in-person hugs either, but it does help to know you are thinking of us and praying.

Val said...

Thinking of you... These seasons are overwhelming ones. Day by day is a good thing.

Christine said...

blessings and prayers for you and your mother.

Psalmist said...

Oh, NO! S.O., I'm so sorry to hear about this setback for your mom. How difficult it must be for you! You're both in my prayers.

(Sorry I'm just now reading this. I seem to have a problem at home on my computer with Blogger not updating when I go to my favorite blogs. Just last night, it was still showing the "Mandolin Man" post as the most recent, even when I reloaded just to be sure. I'm going to have to figure out what's wrong.)

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and mom.

Anonymous said...

hugs to you, your mom, your daughter and soon to be grandchild. Bless you.