As implied by my last post, we arrived home Sunday night from Pensacola. Jeanne needed to head out pretty quickly – it was pretty late – so she tried to catch me up on Mama before she left. I will admit, my Mama looked terrible. I was only semi-prepared for that. Part of me was hoping that Jeanne was over-reacting, but as I looked at my feeble Mama laying there scarcely able to utter even a whisper, I realized she was not.
Jeanne and I decided we needed to take Mama to see her doctor Monday morning, at the least to have her leg examined, but ultimately we felt that if he saw how quickly she is going down, he might be able to ask for aid for us. I don’t remember if I mentioned Mama’s leg injury from her fall on Thanksgiving night. Mama’s skin is so thin and fragile that when she fell Thanksgiving night she tore the hide off her shin. It is a pretty large wound and Jeanne and I both knew we’d feel better if a doctor took a look at it.
Mama’s doctor didn’t have any openings, but his PA, Tracy, was available. We love Tracy! She’s seen Daddy a number of times, and each time I take one of the folks to see her, I feel as though I’ve had a therapy session myself! This is not to take away at all from our adoration of Dr. S. We simply feel as though Tracy is a great complement to him.
Tracy spent about 30 or 45 minutes with us on Monday. By the end of the appointment, she had redressed Mama’s wound, held a counseling session with me and Jeanne, and made a referral for hospice to evaluate Mama. The hospice administrator called shortly after we got home from the doctor’s office, and we have an appointment for evaluation tomorrow (Wednesday)!
In the meantime, care for Mama has intensified. I have taken off work awhile because Mama can no longer walk or stand. She is so weak that she can really do nothing on her own. She is barely able to sit up, and her right side is much weaker than her left. She leans to the right, her right arm just hangs most of the time, and her right leg drags badly. It doesn’t seem to be affecting her face at all, just her limbs.
Her weakened condition means that Jeanne and I must be her strength now. She has a wheelchair, which is such a blessing. The difficult part is that we must lift her from chair to wheelchair; from wheelchair to potty chair; from potty chair to bed; and so on. Mama is not able to help at all! She doesn’t even have enough strength in her legs to stand. We literally have to lift her, hold her, sit her down, everything! There are times she must be fed, although she is scarcely eating anything at all. She now must have help when she gets up to use the bathroom at night, which means she is not getting much sleep, nor am I! That’s the main reason I am taking off work right now – I am doggone tired!! Jeanne is trying to catch up on her rest after her holiday shift while I was out of town, but it takes time. If work stays slow, I can do night duty, Jeanne can come during the day and I can sleep some. Sounds like a plan!
I know this all sounds hopeless, even morbid. I’ll admit the circumstances are difficult and even scary! Admidst all the sad and frightening things going on around here, though, the Lord is showing Himself strong. I’ve been praying with Mama every night as I tuck her into bed, and not only does this calm and soothe Mama, but it encourages and strengthens my faith! I hear His voice speaking peace to me, and I am finding myself trusting the Lord’s way for us – not without a struggle, I admit, but His peace fills my heart each night, and I can face another day!
There are also times I see a glimmer of my precious Mama peeking out of those chocolate brown eyes, and it is a joy! She might try to talk some, and while her voice is little more than a whisper, it is still sweet to hear.
Today I took Daddy to a funeral. His cousin passed away over the weekend. She was 103 years old! I guess longevity is in the genes! Daddy enjoyed seeing some family. There were only a few people there, but two of Daddy’s beloved cousins were amongst those few. It seems to me that Daddy feels lonely for family his own age, so I was glad he was able to have this visit.
I should be sleeping since Mama is sleeping, so I’d better close this down. I want to show you a few more photos from our florida visit, though.
I can’t hold my head up any longer, so it’s off to bed I go!
God bless your day!