All I want to do today is crawl into a corner. That’s what sister K texted me this morning as I was getting ready for work.
I responded: Can I be in the corner too?
She texted: Of course. It’s a corner built for two.
This weekend has been traumatic. I am still processing it. I realize to a lot of people what I write may not sound traumatic but to me this was a really big step in the wrong direction with Mom’s MS. It was a scary step. In some ways I feel like I had figured out how to deal with Mom’s MS. I had it in a nice box, tucked away and I was learning to deal with it and manage it. Then this weekend happened. I feel the like the box lid is off and there are things just pouring out. Faster than I can process them. Faster than I can think about them.
Mom had been having trouble last week with shooting pain in her leg. By Friday she had been diagnosed with what we thought was a herniated disc. Saturday and Sunday though she was just growing progressively worse. No longer in pain because she was on such strong pain medications, but on Saturday she had lost the use of her left leg. We thought this was related to the herniated disc. But then on Sunday she lost the use of her right leg. Dad started making decisions. Fast ones. Phone calls. Initially he pulled me aside to tell me he was thinking Mom may need to move into a rehabilitation center temporarily because someone needs to be working with her legs. He said given that he had pratically been up all night Saturday (in addition to the other nights prior with little sleep), he couldn’t continue to provide the level of care she needed right now. This was becoming an issue of quality of life for her. I watched as Mom just sat in her wheelchair sleeping with her head slunched over. It was sad. The only word I can use to describe it. Sad.
I always said I would be strong. I could be strong. He told me this and I started crying. This all of a sudden was becoming real. Facing the reality of what was going on. He then made a few more phone calls. Her doctor was concerned because she had lost the use of her right leg. That may be the MS and unrelated to the disc. Her body may be having an MS flare up. He wanted the MRI done asap.
While all this was going on Sister K was driving home. I was updating her on the phone. We were both scared, shocked, and leaning on each other. I needed her there. I didn’t realize how much I needed her there until she walked in the door. She got it. Without saying a word but just giving me a hug she understood everything I was feeling.
Dad called an ambulance company who came to get Mom. No sirens, no flashing lights but she needed to be taken in on a stretcher. She was essentially paralyzed. Dad told me to come back here. Sister K would stay. He said there was literally nothing I could do at this point. As annoying as it was, he was right.
The MRI revealed Mom doesn’t have a herniated disc. Everything was normal. Sister K texted me the update this morning. The doctors didn’t read the MRI until about 1am. This wasn’t good. This was all MS. I tried to fight the tears and the panic. This is when Sister K decided she wanted to move to a corner. And I wanted to go too.
Later this morning Dad called. He said Mom is having an MS flare up and they have started her on a steroid IV. He said she has to stay in the hospital 72 hours and then they are likely going to transport her to a rehabilitation facility. Luckily it is one that is affiliated with the one she goes to. She will see familiar faces. Maybe it won’t be so hard.
For now though she is in the hospital. Sister K is with her. I talked to them on speakerphone at lunch. Mom seemed in good spirits. She was cracking jokes. Sister K said every once in awhile she says something wacky or just falls asleep. That’s where we are now physically.
But mentally. Mentally I am all over the place. I am scared. I couldn’t stop crying yesterday. I was trying to keep my mind in a good place and not let it drift to the world of the “what ifs” and “unknowns.” But it’s hard. I just want Mom back. I want her back mentally. It was so depressing to see the state she was in this weekend. To watch her debilitate like that. It was cruel. I just went through this with my Grandmother who passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2010. But that was different. I don’t know why. But then again I do. That was my Grandmother. This is my Mom. It’s just a lot. I am even getting teary eyed writing this. It’s hard. And it’s sad.
I want to thank you for walking this journey with me. I had many thoughts yesterday that I knew somehow I wasn’t alone. I had those thoughts because of this blog. So thank you for being in the back of mind as my support team.