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And so I cried…finally

Posted Oct 03 2012 12:00am

Sometimes being strong is overrated and you cannot always continue to be strong.   My mother is the strongest woman I know and lately, she has relied on me to be strong for her.  After two TIAs, she had a stroke a week ago. The balancing act between home and work and being at the hospital is tough and it is wearing me down.  Mom is heading to a rehabilitation facility after she is discharged from the hospital which could be sometime this week.

I stopped this morning and talked to the director of the rehab facility that the hospital recommended. The assistant director was giving me examples of the type of services they offered for stroke rehab and I just started crying.  All that toughness and that composure I had maintained to fool everyone went out the window at the moment. I was being tough to ease my mother’s and children’s fears. I was strong to the point where I was able to hide my emotions.

I was hiding them from my family and everyone I came across including Mom’s doctors and nurses and even my co-workers.  How can you be strong when the strongest person you know can’t be? The answer is you shut down because you cannot let that person and anyone else relying on you see that you don’t have the answers.  So of course, I cried. After all, I held it in too long.

I had this dream last night about shoes. I am not kidding. There were shoes spread out nicely against the wall in my dining room and they were familiar shoes.  I figure I would not remember them if the dream wasn’t significant.  A visit to a dream interpretation website tells that shoes, in general, represent our approach to life.  If a person is changing/putting on shoes, it means that they are changing roles and taking a new approach to life.  I am not sure if I was changing shoes or getting ready to put them on but I understand what the dream message is. The thing is that I am not unhappy about my roles changing. The fact is I know that they will change and I am okay with that – I am just not really sure how.  I feel like I am not in control of the timing and path and that scares me. I have never lived life moment by moment but with Mom being sick, I don’t really have a choice.  I try to plan but it does not always work like that.

I had a couple dreams before this one that laid impact on me. The one prior was about Dad and he wasn’t talking to me in the dream.  In the dream, I asked Mom why he was mad and she told me he was not happy about the way my siblings and I were handling things.  Originally, I thought it had something to do with the rehab plan but the more I have thought about it, the more I realized that we are not on the same page about my mom’s treatment and rehab plan. We act as if we are but we are all making different decisions and making them without consulting one another. I am trying to work through this but I have one sibling who does nothing, one who should really be focused on himself and his studies, and one that does enough to get by. I don’t think that will ever change because it was life that when my brother was sick two years ago.  I kind of feel like I am replaying those days.

Prior to the dream about Dad, I head this dream that my late brother was coming to this party.  Every time someone walked in the room, I turned to see if it was him. Needless to say, I woke up before he arrived. After awakening, I asked him not to come especially if it meant that Mom would get worse.  

The doctors say that Mom will get better with rehab. However, they are not ruling out another stroke. That is what scares me. I cried this morning while talking to rehab director because realized how much work my mom needs before she can go back to being independent.  I am also worried about the possibility of another stroke. I think she is worried about that. What I can tell you is that the visit to the rehab facility eased my fears and I think I am putting Mom in good hands. The facility is specialized in stroke rehab and they have seen worse cases than my mom’s. So I have to put my faith in them as well as God and just hope for the best.  

We had a bump in the road today. It had to do with Mom’s insurance. Simply put, she had a change in circumstances and they cancelled her. We notified them and set the record straight and that issue should get resolved today. It was enough to put me in a state of frenzy but I am glad it was resolved.

I am also considering taking some time off from work under the Family Medical Leave Act. The balancing act is making my RA and fibromyalgia symptoms worst. I noticed that last night when I was too worn out to have a meaningful conversation with the nurses. The brain fog kicked and I have not been a victim of brain fog in a long time.  I am also struggling to get up in the morning and I am lucky that I am making it to work on time. It is stressful and tiring to say the least. If I keep going with the way things are now, my RA and fibro symptoms will come back to haunt me and trust me, I don’t miss the really bad days.

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