|Photos from my Floating Feathers series.|
The clouds lifted over the weekend, spilling sunshine on my newly planted garden and giving promise of a bright and cheery Mothers's Day. An early morning phone call from the nursing home indicating that Dear Mamma was being sent to Emergency, OVER WROTE the beautiful day.
12 years ago my mother had what they call a CVA, other wise known as Cerebral Vascular Accident....a massive brain hemorrhage that left her in a coma for almost 2 weeks. Despite unplugging her TWICE from support, she rallied and emerged from her coma as a butterfly speaking the Queen's English (a weird stroke thing). Over the next 4 months, after being told she was not a candidate for rehab, we taught her to eat, propel a wheelchair, dial a phone, work the TV and live again. Albeit not the life she had...a new one wheelchair bound, with only the use of one arm and one leg and half a brain, a bit muddled at first, but brilliantly capable of taking on most of the responsibilities of the other half. And she has adapted and moved on with great courage and very little fuss.
What was supposed to be a day to splash her with love and recognition, turned into a horrible day for her. She is still in Emergency with a surgery booked for next Monday. The same annoyances of past hospitalization surfaced again, but this time we were more pro-active and vocal about our expectations. Being in a wheelchair somehow makes you very little and insignificant. I want to enable her to be as visible as a standing person. After "setting the tone" this morning, I am comfortable leaving her for a bit in the care of 2 of the most delightful young nurses....a total credit to their profession. In their capable hands and age defying compassion, they are allowing Mamma to retain what shreds of dignity she has remaining. And she is confidently prompting them with her lovely British accent.
Across the countryside a few hours away, the other "Granny" is failing to thrive in her new nursing home. Do we intervene and force certain supportive measures. Do we really know her will?
The lives of the compromised elderly gets narrower and narrower, smaller and smaller, morselling down to tidbits of life as we know it with lower expectations and poorer quality. It's a juggling act to balance someone else's quality of LIFE.