Have I started ignoring Mom’s MS when I am home? Is choosing to focus on other things the same as ignoring my feelings on the issue?
This thought has been on my mind since yesterday evening as Sister K and I drove back here together. We had a wonderful weekend at home celebrating Dad. It was simple but it was wonderful. Saturday we had a relaxing pool day in the backyard with oldies music and margaritas, Mom came out to sit in the shade for a little while, and we had a delicious dinner outside. The hysterical highlight: the moment Sister K and Dad decided to demonstrate that they can still do cannonballs (no one ended up in the hospital). I took pictures and hope to post those up a little later this week.
Sunday afternoon Sister K was working on grad school homework, Mom was resting and Dad was filling out some paperwork on the computer. I decided to try to make myself useful somehow. That is my new goal everyime I am home- to do something that would make Dad’s life easier during the week. I swept the house, I did the laundry, I did the dishes. In a sense I did chores. I felt good doing these things. I felt helpful.
But last night as we drove back, Sister K shared with me her concers about Mom. Her concerns about where her MS is heading. For instance Mom used to walk with her 4-wheeled pink walker “Pinky,” now she is walking with “Walkie:” a grey walker that only has 2 wheels in the front so she can have better control. Sister K said it best when she said I feel like just the mere fact that she is on a different walker is a big step in the wrong direction post-relapse. Sister K told me through her tears how she was fearful of the future with Mom and MS. Fearful of Mom changing. Fearful of Mom being here but being different. I could understand. I have felt all these same emotions before. But as I listened and we talked, I wasn’t feeling them in that moment. And I am not sure why. Have I finally in some way accepted what is going on? Is Sister K entering the beginning stages of this grieving process that I have felt like I have been in for quite some time? Or am I simply beginning to ignore the basics of Mom’s MS and choosing to focus elsewhere? Focus on something simple such as straightening the house, an area when I can actually see results?
I don’t know. I mean I have acknowledged that I have to keep living. I can’t focus on Mom’s MS 100% of the time. I am not pretending as if it doesn’t exist. But instead I am just shifting my focus when I am home to the things I know I can change. The ways I know I can help. Laundry, washing dishes, sweeping, straightening up. Chores that don’t carry the same negative connotation they did when I lived at home. Today I sit here thinking how good it feels to do chores at home. How uplifted I feel when I leave knowing I’ve made a difference. At the same time, I know Mom’s MS still exists. It is still there. There are still a number of feelings and emotions tied to it. So I continue to ask myself, are you ignoring the problem or are you just using these chores to help cope? I don’t know.
Do you have any certain things you use as coping mechanisms to deal with certain stresses? Do you ever ignore problems or pretend they don’t exist? How was your Father’s Day weekend? Anyone else out there still doing cannonballs? I, for one, am not.