Well, I can only describe this week as a total and utter rollercoaster, and an extremely tall, fast one at that!
It’s dominated the latter part of this week, so I feel compelled to write about it.
I’m not too sure why I’m sharing this really but it’s affected me majorly and I always feel it’s good to share, and maybe just share the good with the bad.
It always concerns me with social media that we can so easily portray an image that is far from reality.
Let’s be frank, life is not all roses and whilst I do look positively at the world and my life, it cannot be ignored.
I think to feel good both mentally and physically we have to use a measuring stick as a personal comparison to gauge where we are at.
As hard as it seems, I feel we can learn more from pain and hardship, than in the rosier times. Definitely from an appreciation standpoint.
So, this was Friday afternoon;
“Mr Dollery, this is * from Holywell nursing home, I’m sorry to say your mum is not very well at all, are you able to come in?”
I instantly get a knot in my stomach and feel sick.
Thankfully I was close by, as it was Friday afternoon, and I finish earlier.
Lisa and I grab keys and go in straight away.
I have been here before, I know this feeling.
This has happened a number of times. Is this the final time?
When I got in, she did not look well at all, very pale, irregular breathing, lowering blood oxygen, and heavy chesty cough.
It was clear to me it was a chest infection, which for someone in ‘normal’ health is not a problem but for somebody of a BMI of 13 and body weight of 34kg and bed ridden, this is not good, to say the least.
In an hour her blood oxygen drops below 50% and breathing alternating from light to extremely laboured and she is starting to tighten and convulse.
The Doctor is called, we had already agreed in a meeting of social worker, Matron, the home, Dr and myself, to not have any intervention to further prolong life.
The Dr said to me, you have to say your goodbyes, she will pass today, she has hours.
Despite the fact my mum, the real mum, died some time ago, the Alzeimers mum, who still looks like my mum, lies there.
I thought I had prepared myself for this moment, but obviously not.
Instantly I think of the mum who nurtured and cared for me, wiped my tears, and had given that very rare thing, unconditional love.
I stayed with mum for hours. Luckily they gave her an injection to numb the pain and ensure she was settled. She relaxed and after a while she was now sleeping peacefully, with normal breathing sustained.
I had planned to stay all night but they felt she was stable, so I came home and slept, exhausted and emotionally drained.
I left my phone on, close to the bed, awaiting any further news.
I woke up the next day, early, as normal, realising no news, can only mean good news.
I rang through, and they said she had picked up again.
I went in to see her, and she looked like a totally different person to just a number of hours before.
I couldn’t believe it.
Now, you might call this a blessing, but despite perfect care and attention and interventions to help , she still has a poor quality of life.
She is talked to, read to, fed and pampered but is still bed ridden, with minimal conscious processing (if at all) and has no ability to use her body, other than turn her head, some occasional facial expressions and tensing of muscles.
Is this fair?
That’s a huge discussion that will go on for years I feel, (unfortunately not in my mums case) and certainly one that more and more people are having frank talks about globally.
So in closing, we all have periods of our lives that test our resolve, but despite how hard it seems at the time, things WILL get better and I do really feel that life, your life, is a true gift worth living and enjoying. Remember all aspects of life but rejoice in the good times!
Until next week,