Thursday, May 19, 2011

Missing....You either laugh or cry.

I was stressed, depleted and bone tired.  Now into the the 4th week at the hospital, (the first two almost twelve hours a day), I had been there first thing in the morning before work to meet with the doctors, and now it was past my supper time and here I was again, preparing to leave for the night.  I hadn't seen my husband or children all day, and I know they were missing me as much as I was missing them.  My job in a different hospital 30 km away filled the hours between morning and evening visits.  The toll was starting to show.  I was starting to become emotional at work.  If a patient cried, I found tears spilling down my face in sympathy.  My boss was not impressed.

I arranged the water mug with the handle facing just so, on the wheelie bedside table, added a light blanket over her legs so she could pull it up with one hand, and made sure the call bell cord was looped around the safety rail, so she could grab it and press it if needed.  I showed her again how to call for help.  I made her push the button a couple of times, both relieved and worried that they never came right away anyway.  With my coat on and my bag stuffed with bits of laundry and notes for our next Specialist meeting, I kissed her on the head and said goodnight.  She was distracted and anxiously began looking for something.  "Mumma, what are you looking for?"  "I am missing something" she said.  She couldn't articulate the "SOMETHING"

We started the guessing getting more antsy and crabby. 

"is it your Kleenex?"
hand lotion
emergency button" 
and so on for what seems like and eternity.

I think we were both ready to cry in our mutual frustration.  And then she remembered.  She was looking for her leg.  We both dissolved into fits of hysterical giggles as I pulled back the blankets and showed her that her leg had indeed been there all along, just snuggled under the cozy blanket.  Night mumma. Love you.

An excerpt from my journal following my mothers stroke 6 years ago.  She has right side paralysis. At the beginning she has no awareness of her right side.


  1. Hello Chania....!

    This must have been a terrible time for you both....I'm glad you were able to laugh though....Hysterically or otherwise....!

    I WISH I kept a journal....I have a daily work diary & my blog but it's not quite the same....!!

    Warm wishes from Oz,
    Tamarah xx

  2. I think were are provided those moments of laughter amidst difficult times as a reminder that life may be difficult but there is always happiness on the other side. You are an incredibly kind person and she is so lucky to have you for her daughter.

  3. You had me totally freaked out at this post...I have been away from the computer for awhile, and thought I had missed out on some horrid recent catastrophe....not that it was not bad 6 yrs ago, but , I jut did not want to miss something and you not think I cared enough to make a commment...

  4. It is the absolute worst to watch someone you love suffer in any way and its good to be able to laugh during serious and trying times. I'm happy you both got to enjoy more time together.

  5. It's great to be able to laugh in those situations. My mum kept hearing a choir singing all the time. We used to laugh and say it must be the angels.

  6. How good to be able to laugh in a time of difficulty. Extreme difficulty.

  7. I loved that you shared this story with us.

  8. What a lovely expression of love...

  9. aw sweetie ya got me all misty eyed with you going down this memory lane...then you made me laugh with that dry wit of yours.

    sending you big big hug


  10. Sounds like you remember the laughter equally with the tears Chania. Must have been pretty scary though.
    My girls call me Mumma...this is the first time I've ever heard anyone else use it.

  11. Oh dear, but how well you describe the incident, and the whole feeling of such a difficult time. Good wishes through distance and time to the you of 6 years ago.

  12. Life must have been pretty hard for you at the time, Chania. You'll never forget the day your Mother lost her leg and found it again. A lovely story to remember.

  13. Sometimes tears and laughter and frustration and weariness just go hand in hand.

  14. Gosh you write so well. A natural born story teller. This was funny, despite sad and heart wrenching too.

  15. Great story and well told! Your mom sounds like a grand person, as do you being there for her. Thanks for sharing. It reminded me of our families ablility to laugh despite the life's stress.

  16. Journal writing is such a wonderful form, I really do like reading it. Great piece of writing, thank you for that.

  17. Oh Chania. A wonderful story. The ability to laugh when all you want to do is cry would've helped see you through. xx

  18. Chania, you are absolutely right about either laughing or crying. I found myself sometimes doing both at the same time during my parents decline. I wish I had kept a journal because although those were probably the most stressful years of my life, there were also a lot of wonderful things that happened that would be nice to recall now. As always you have touched my heart, especially when you speak of your lovely mother. Ann

  19. This sounds so much like my grandma after she had a stroke in 2001. She was also paralyzed on her right side, and I spent a lot of time with her in the hospital and then the nursing home. One funny thing I remember was when she was trying to say something to me, and all of a sudden she said the word "haberdashery". Where did that come from?!

    It's good to have the light-hearted moments to look back on :-)

  20. What a difficult time that must have been. But so glad you were able to share a laugh at the same time. Life is funny, isn't it? xo


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania