I am exhausted.
Physically exhausted. Emotionally exhausted. Every level of exhaustion you could be I feel it. The past 4 days since I last posted have been a rollercoaster. Highs and lows. Good and bad. I have lots of thoughts. Thoughts that are going to be evolving everyday. It’s been a lot. A lot to experience without a lot of sleep.
It was a strange Memorial Day weekend. It did not involve boats but involved wheelchairs. It did not involve fun drinks but involved hospital food. It involved staying up all night but not by choice. It was not relaxing but stressful.
My family moved Mom to a rehabilitation facility on Friday. I stayed with her every night at this facility. Dad and Grandpa came to visit often. We were not very happy with the place but also did not think much of it. Monday morning I realized enough was enough at this place. I told Dad we couldn’t leave her there because the care was so poor quality. I was worried that when I left I wasn’t sure how everything would work when she was by herself. No one was friendly. Everything seemed disorganized. The food was awful. No one was helfpul. The decor was depressing. The walls were brown and green. The furniture was old. I kept waiting until Monday. Hoping that this was just the result of a holiday weekend staff. On Monday it would get better. Well Monday came and nothing improved. In fact it got worse. I told Dad that she needed to be moved. This began a stressful day of phone calls, Dad touring other facilities, waiting for insurance approval, finding out if if the other place could accept her. By Monday afternoon at 4pm she was being moved to a different facility. Last night at 9:30pm she was finally settled in and I finally began my hour and a half drive back here.
I was exhausted but felt good. I felt much better saying good bye to her than if I had at the other place. Dad stayed with her last night and will again tonight. Sister K will head down and stay the rest of the week. Mom has come a long way since just a week ago. She is up and moving around. Not perfectly but is able to walk on her walker. Due to the amount of steroids she was on and possibly other factors her legs and ankles are very swollen. She keeps saying she feels like a marshmallow man. That has been the next hurdle to cross. This limits what she can do in therapy. I have learned what compression socks and water pills are now. I am hoping they will miraculously begin to go down. They just have to. We can’t take anymore setbacks. I can’t mentally handle them. So I am staying hopeful. The swelling will go down. She will get a lot out of phsyical therapy. And she will leave there more mobile than she was before this began.
I have many more thoughts. They are swirling around. But my exhaustion is preventing me from keeping them straight. I do know I learned a lot this weekend. I have mastered how to operate a hospital bed. I have learned how to navigate a hospital with nurses. I have learned all about pain medicine. I have also learned how to function on little sleep- sometimes I was successful and sometimes I was a disaster. Most importantly though I have learned how to find the positive in the little, sweet moments with Mom. How much a kiss on the cheek, an “I love you” or a smile will perk someone up as they lay in a hospital bed scared. I learned that as family you are each other’s greatest advocate. I also felt a shift in my role in our Mother/Daughter relationship. I took care of Mom the past 6 days. I stayed with her so she wasn’t scared. I fought for her. In a way these are things she has been doing for me my entire life. It was my turn to do them for her. I was exhausted but still found energy. It was love that kept me going. The love I have for Mom and the love I know she has for me. I learned there is nothing more powerful.