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Trying to Get to the Library with a Chronically Ill Mom

Posted Jul 01 2009 12:00am

In the past three days, my seventeen year old daughter and I have tried to get to the library or book store to spend some time together (and find a good book to read.) Right now I’m flared up from the wonderful and crazy time of our sons wedding…so getting out and having fun with mom, consists of going to a quiet and cool temped place like the library or bookstore. Whoop-de-do!  Not the first choice for fun when you’re seventeen, but she flows with it.

This is what flowing with Mom looks like around here:

For two days I am unable to leave the house. The following morning I feel quite a bit better. We decide to give the library a go.  We get ready. (For my daughter this means getting herself ready, finding a watter bottle for mom, filling it, putting a straw in it and then making sure my walker and arm pillow are in the car).

All is set to go, when I realize that I need to eat a little something because I haven’t and my stomach is sore.  I make a quarter of a peanut butter sandwich. My hubby works at home and is helping us prepare to go out, so the three of us are standing around our breakfast bar talking while I eat my little sandwich.  Suddenly, like an arrow was shot through the kitchen window into my abdomen, it fills with pain.  I sit on the couch saying to my daughter “Honey, can you give me a minute.”

My husband goes upstairs to his office.  My daughter sits in a chair across from me waiting. In a matter of minutes it feels like my stomach and back are exploding. I began to sweat profusely and to shake.

My daughter runs for the “barf bowl”. By the time she returns with it, sweat is dripping down my face and I am making… moany, groany noises…which soon turns into “get Dad” and “help”.

Dad runs down the stairs and finds me colorless and unable to talk. He touches me and realizes my clothes are drenched. He decides to take me to emergency room, but when he tries to get me up from the couch my eyes start to roll back into my head. He calls 911 (what a trip!). 

After my first ride in an ambulance, I spend the day at the emergency room; my daughter and I never get to the library. (The pain is caused by Gastroparesis–Woah! I thought my Gastroparesis left with my gall bladder, never to return again.  What a trip! I will leave this subject for another post).

Yesterday morning my daughter and I decide to try again…this time the bookstore. We get there! We find our books…we’re about to find a table at the Barnes and Noble Starbucks…and I can’t believe it…I have to run (however one runs with a walker) to the bathroom. I start to sweat with pain. I’m thinking we have to get home before I’m found on the floor of Barnes and Noble’s restroom and 911 is called again.  (A bit much for a seventeen year old to deal with.)  Fortunately we are able to get to the register and buy our books…we actually succeed in attaining reading material!  But our time to sit across the table from each other again has to wait.

Yesterday evening, my hubby, daughter and I decide to have a movie night.  We curl up and start watching previews.  My bladder begins to burn. I take a medicine that helps settle my bladder and curl up again hoping it will work before the pain turns into an all out Interstitial Cystitis attack. “Media goes to Jail” begins; we are five minutes into the movie. My bladder pain intensifies to where I can no longer sit…it is a full on attack. I have to leave both the family room and… again, my adorable daughter.

Chronic illness is tough on the one who has it, but I think its tougher on those who love and need us. …especially our children, who have to learn awfully early how to make peace with disappointment.

*It’s been almost a week since I wrote the first draft of this post.  Since then my daughter and I got out to a coffee shop and hung out together over a couple of strawberry banana smoothies.  (I’d put a smiley face icon here if I could). 

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