Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Tears Keep Rolling

I realize that I've lost the days...I no longer know the day of the week or the date. For those of you who know me well, that isn't much of a surprise, because even when I'm not in "crisis" mode, I barely have a clue about the date or the day of the week. But now, it seems the days all flow together - it is getting hard for me to differentiate one day from the next.

Today, our personal challenge was a last minute cancellation from our babysitter (not the one who started on Monday, but our regular sitter who worked with us all summer this year and last year). She had an emergency crop up and it was unavoidable, but I realize that I'm not coping with these types of unexpected bumps in the road as well as I normally would. After taking some time to panic about how we would manage the day, DH said he would stay home with Micah while I took Maya up to the hospital to visit my mom. Thank goodness for the change in policy that allows us to bring the baby in to see my mom!

We kicked off the day with another visit from the state early intervention program, this time to evaluate Micah. It was actually an extremely informative evaluation - I learned a lot about Micah's capacity to learn and process language, and they shared several techniques for helping him focus and for dealing with some of his recent behavioral outbursts. It was no surprise that they did not qualify him for any support services, but I was surprised to find that they evaluated him as slightly delayed (2 months) in his gross and fine motor skills but advanced in his language and social skills. They left us some great information about how we can work to improve his skills.

I think I'm sharing this information here because normally I would share it with my mother. For months, I've been batting around my concerns and frustrations with her, and she has always given me ideas about how to cope, where I should seek help, and to encourage me to trust my instincts. Ever since May, however, things just haven't been the same, and I've missed having her talk me through the process and sharing her experiences raising us. During our visit today, I was able to give her an update about the meeting, and she seemed genuinely interested in the appointment, and glad to hear that we are on a positive path with Micah.

I arrived at the hospital around 12 today, and went straight to see my mother. I knew she had just been through three hours of physical therapy, and was thrilled to find her awake, dressed in regular clothes and sitting in a chair. She seemed alert and in great spirits, but her head was hurting again. She even told me she wanted to try to go to work on Monday (and gave me a dirty look when I explained that she could not go in on Monday). Once again, I spoke to the nurse about the head pain. I have to say I'm a bit concerned about her discomfort behind her eyes...I really wish a doctor would come and discuss it with us and explain why they are NOT concerned.

Maya and I spent an hour and a half with my mom. We chatted, I read her some messages from friends and family, and she again told me that she wants to sit down and dictate a message to thank everyone for their wonderful support. I will try and make that happen this weekend. My mom had just enough time to eat her lunch before her next round of therapy arrived at 1:30. I decided to make a quick run to the cafeteria and then hang out in the family lounge. Before I left, the physical therapist explained the rehab process to me. As I understand it, today was largely about evaluating my mom and establishing her "baseline." She will receive therapy at least 5 out of 7 days each week for three hours each day, and it will include speech, physical therapy, occupational therapy and recreational therapy. They will be meeting with us on Wednesday to discuss the goals and realities with us, so that should be an informative meeting.

A little after 2, my Dad and my mom's friend arrived. The therapist ended up changing mom's therapy time, so we returned to her room for another visit. She was starting to get a bit sleepy and wanted time to nap before everyone else arrived, so we decided to leave her for a bit and head back down to the cafeteria. While we were there, several other friends joined us.

We headed back upstairs, and mom was still doing well. They had put her back in bed so she could nap, but we all sat and chatted with her. We were there until a little after 5:00, and we decided to leave so that she could rest. My brother was unable to join us today, but he got to call and have a nice chat with my mom on the phone. Tomorrow, he is going to wait for our cousin to arrive and bring her to the hospital.

Actually, my brother and I had several good conversations today...laughing a little, crying a little, talking about our situation and our different ways of coping, and naturally, snapping at each other a bit (it would not be a conversation between us without a little bit of snark). We both wanted each other to know that we are here for each other, and understand. I reassured him that he needed to make sure he stays on top of things at work and that I understood that. In fact, mom had asked me to tell him that she wanted him to focus on work because she was "very busy and not bored at all" in rehab. He, like everyone else, tried to tell me that I should take more space and not come to the hospital as much. I explained to him that I *have* to be there...for me. I made it clear that I don't expect that from anyone else, but I go for me. While I find it difficult to be there sometimes, I NEED to be there to soak up every minute I can, and it is harder for me when I'm not there. If she was in rehab near the house, I'd probably go back after putting the kids to bed, even if it was just to watch her sleep for a little while. I understand why others need breaks during these times, but I just can't take that space right now.

I'm not sure that I have any "big" news to report - mom looked good, she seems sharp, she is anxious to do her therapy and start making progress, and it was great to see her in regular clothing again.

Despite all of this progress...I've been having trouble keeping the sad at bay the past 24 hrs. I seem to keep bursting into tears all over the place. Tonight, Micah saw me crying and came over and kept saying "Mommy eyes" and trying to touch my tears. He always has a way to bring a smile to my face, even though he just doesn't understand. DH took Maya to services with him tonight so Micah and I could have a bit of alone time. I couldn't stop laughing at one point when he took the oven mitts and put them on his hands and ran around the house with them.

I found myself reaching for the phone, wanting to share the story with my mom...and then the tears came again. Luckily, Micah decided it was time to go to the potty (no, he isn't really using the potty, but he likes to sit on his little potty and then throw perfectly clean toilet paper in the toilet, and I like to indulge him in the hope that it will lead to potty training). We also spent some time this evening looking out the window at a neighbor's cat sleeping on the grill (I got a chorus of MEOWS from Micah).

I know tomorrow I will be heading back to the hospital, and I think it will be another busy day with visitors. I'm looking forward to seeing my cousin, who is coming into town to see mom. Wow...another long post for very little news.

1 comment:

Prather Family said...

I can understand your need to be there as much as possible for your mom. I think I would be just like that if I were in your shoes. I hope that your mom continues to make progress and there are some really good days ahead where she can cherish time with you and her grandkids.