The Teeter-Totter of Life

A herniated disc.  We think we might finally know what is wrong with Mom.  I wish this potential diagnosis had come about easily but no. Nothing can ever be simple. Mom was up most of the night in pain again which means Dad was up most of the night. This morning they called a family friend of ours who is a doctor, who got them in to see a doctor he knows at a pain management clinic. He squeezed Mom in to see to him today and ordered an MRI for her to have done on Monday. But by feeling her back the Doctor said I think you have a herniated disc. 

Feelings of being thankful we may finally know what is wrong and anger rushed through me at once. What has the other doctor been doing all week ordering these ct scans and just putting her on pain medicine? What is going on?

This is where this gets tricky. My mom has MS. But how I take care of her is different than how I would take care of her if she was say 88 with this disease. I am not the one that is going to pick up the phone and call a doctor to demand some answers. My parents are still fully in control of Mom’s health.  Therefore Sister K and I play a tricky role.  We aren’t in charge of Mom’s care but we are old enough to understand what is going on and to demand better. But at the same time we can’t. We have to stand by and wait for these decisions to be made by Mom and Dad. Sometimes they make them together. Sometimes they wait for Mom to make the final decision. It’s tricky. It’s tough. It makes this world of having a Mom with MS tricky and tough.

Right now we stand by. We offer advice. We provide pressure when we think it needs to be there if we don’t agree with decisions. But beyond that, the actual decision isn’t either Sister K’s nor mine to make. We are still trying to find our role in this portion of handling Mom’s MS. Realizing our parents do need our help but there is also a level to that support we can provide due to the nature of our responsibility in our family’s lives. Our parents are still at an age and state of health where these decisions are theirs to make. But we want to be involved. It reminds me of a teeter-totter. Sister K and I go back and forth. We have discussions together in one regard. Then we have to yield to our parents and their decisions and what they believe is the sense of urgency in another regard. We’re still trying to balance it and we haven’t come close to mastering it. New things come up. New health challenges. And new ways we feel we need to be involved in this. So we teeter-totter some more. 

One way I know I can help is deciding to go home this weekend to help Mom and Dad out again. Sister K is coming down Sunday and will stay in town until Wednesday. Tomorrow I will take my Grandpa (Mom’s Dad) to a family reunion my parents were supposed to take him to but for obvious reasons can’t go. How hard of a time will I give Sister K because I am the chosen volunteer to attend the family reunion?  Let’s just say she will be “on call” over text messages all day Saturday while I eat my $10/person bbq plate and hang out with Grandpa…. 

Do you ever feel like you walk a fine line when dealing with your parents’ health? Have you ever been really mad at a doctor because you could’ve diagnosed a symptom yourself sans medical degree? Do you like bbq?

~Thank you for reading this week and for coming back and continuing to read. It means more to me than you know. Hope you a wonderful weekend of laughter (and maybe some bbq in honor of me if that is an option where you live)!

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