I don’t even know where to begin to explain my day. Where to begin to explain my emotions. Where to begin to explain how I am processing my morning. So I am just going to jump right in…
Dad had knee surgery for a torn meniscus last Tuesday. As of today he can drive but he can’t help Mom in and out of the car. So this morning, I stayed at home to accompany Mom and Dad to one of Mom’s doctors appointments with her neurologist. Then I would drive back here and go to work this afternoon. To start Mom was frustrated her appointment was so early in the morning. She doesn’t like mornings. She made this known. The reason the appointment was early and had been moved up from her original slotted time is because we have been concerned she may be experiencing a relapse of some sort with her diminishing abilities to walk.
All is well once we get to the doctor’s office. The waiting room, the pre-exam room- Mom and I are looking at the new Oprah magazine and checking out Oprah’s favorite things. Then the doctor comes in and then my morning gets flipped on its head.
The doctor is asking Mom simple questions-
Have you fallen at all recently? Mom answers no. I stare at her stunned. Mom has fallen 4 times in the past 3 weeks. Dad politely explains she has fallen and we are concerned. Mom gives Dad a death look. She explains the reasons for every fall. Regardless of the reasons, she has still fallen.
How is your mobility? Mom answers fine- she uses a walker at home and the wheelchair out in public. This time I explain that is what we are concerned about. Her physical therapist has noticed significant decreases in her mobility from where she was a few months ago. We have noticed it as well. This time I get the death look.
At some point amidst all this discussion Mom begins to get very irritated with both Dad and me. We were being polite and not being aggressive. We were voicing our concerns as best as we knew how, knowing they would lead to irritation on her part. The following statements come out towards Dad: “There is no cure for this. You keep saying to work harder so I’ll be able to walk. I am not going to be able to walk. I have a disease. I wish you would just leave me alone. You both stress me out.”
The Doctor brings up taking another MRI to see if there are possibly more lesions causing the walking issues. Mom flips out about the MRI. Says she doesn’t like doing them. They are uncomfortable in the small confined space, she has to get a shot, she becomes very distressed and has to lay still and she can’t lay still.
I begin at another point to talk to the Doctor about the progression of MS. Where is this headed? Could Mom end up bedridden if she doesn’t do something or take a more proactive approach with her health? The Doctor tells Mom her main concern right now is Mom’s mood. She tells Mom she would like her to go see a counselor and there are some that have been recommended by the MS Society. She tells Mom she doesn’t think she has dealt with this…has admitted to herself that she has MS. She tells Mom the choice to get an MRI is up to her. It is her health. It is her body and her decision. She looks at Mom while she says this to reiterate that it is her choice. I respected that a lot. Mom is supposed to let her know what she decides. That’s where we left it.
I cannot even process all of that right now. I really can’t. Mom cried the entire way to the car. Didn’t speak to Dad or I. Fell asleep on the way home and went to lay down when we got home. We picked up Subway sandwiches, I loaded my car and drove an hour and a half straight to work. Amidst all of this I almost had a meltdown over a woman being snippy to me about a temporary parking permit because I am in Husband’s car today. I feel I am officially on overload. I am frustrated. I am angry. I am sad. I am irritated. I am also at a loss. I am mad my family is stuck dealing with this. I am mad it is easier for other people to deal with and not my Mom. I am mad I got the Mom who won’t be proactive in anything having to do with her health. I am mad because I don’t believe this has to be this hard. MS shouldn’t be this dark cloud hanging over our life. It should just be part of our life. And the biggest shock was when the Doctor brought up Mom’s mood I wanted to look at her and go what mood? This is Mom whenever we speak about MS. Her mood and anger didn’t even affect me. I am used to it. I shouldn’t be used to that. Ever.
I am also mad because I predict Mom will not have the MRI and she will not go to counseling. Dad may go but she won’t. And there will be no more discussion about this in her mind. So that just leaves all of us sitting here not knowing what we are supposed to do. Sitting here in our own loss as this dark cloud hangs over our lives as well.
What do you do when you feel emotionally overloaded? Have you ever almost cried when someone was rude to you when you’re having a bad day? Currently the only thing getting me through my day is a cup of Starbucks and knowing I get to watch the Dancing With The Stars finale tonight.