Officially at a Loss for Words

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.

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7 thoughts on “Officially at a Loss for Words

  1. This is hard beyond measure. I am concerned about You. Are you getting the emotional support and counsel you need?

    I too am looking forward to the DWTS finale.

    • Hi Judy, Thank you so much for your thoughtful post! I wish I could give you a virtual hug. I do actually feel like I am getting the emotional support I need…I have a therapist I have been seeing for the past few years that I will call periodically. She has helped me deal with a lot involving Mom’s MS. My sister, dad and I are also all leaning heavily on each other. It’s tough because I do love my mom…she’s my mom…but it’s hard to experience this. My blog has also become therapeutic for me, especially through the people I have met and support I have received from people like you. Thank you!

      Who are you rooting for on DWTS? I thought last night was a great finale- looking forward to tonight. Husband is under strict orders not to touch the dvr 🙂

      • I am torn between Shawn and Melissa. Shawn always makes me smile, and she’s talented too. Melissa has became breathtaking in skill. She hasn’t had a mirror ball trophy but has been able to compete with those who have. So I’m torn.

  2. I second Judy’s concern. Perhaps you, your Dad and sister should consider counseling even if your Mom won’t go.
    Also – hang in there. My husband was in denial for several years and it wasn’t fun. The rest of us felt like we had to walk on eggshells b/c his way of ‘dealing’ was to get angry over every little thing. The important thing to know is that over time he got better at accepting his diagnosis and took more responsibility for his health. Perhaps your Mom will, too.

    • Hi Sammie, I really appreciate your comment and your thoughtful concern about me. I have actually seen a counselor off and on over the past few years to help me deal with various issues I have felt from dealing with Mom’s MS. My Dad has decided he is going to go see someone regardless of what my Mom decides. I think it will most likely upset my mom but I think he needs more support than my sister or I can or know how to give him. It’s also hard because while he is our Dad and it is our Mom, this involves his wife and I think the emotions are different as well. Thank you for letting me know about your own personal experience. It is nice to hear other people have gone through similar situations and found ways to overcome them. It is the best way to find hope when you are feeling helpless and hopeless all at the same time. Thank you again!

  3. Have I posted a reply to any of your posts before? I can’t remember. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks. I very much can relate to a lot of what you write about and think you’re doing an excellent job. I especially like your questions at the end of your posts.

    Bottom line – your mother sounds like denial is a big coping strategy for her so is unlikely to choose a course of action that will bring her MS front and center – such as getting an MRI or talking about her disease to a counselor. Skip, my wife, doesn’t want to talk about her disease or take steps to enhance what’s left of health. When I think about this, it makes me angry and hurt because I do so much to take care of her and I feel she isn’t doing much for herself. When I am being a bit empathetic, I realize she’s doing what she can and she’s got a tough row to hoe.

    Oh, and when I feel emotionally overloaded, I get angry.

    • Hi Cranky, I am not sure if you have posted or not before but regardless thank you for posting now! I appreciate you letting me know you enjoy my blog and can relate to some of the things I discuss. That means so much. What you said about your wife sounds very similar to how my Dad feels. In fact your entire situation sounds very similar to my Mom. We are trying so hard to help her to be proactive to improve what she is able to do but she’d rather be in a denial phase I think. I know my Dad gets frustrated and felt very frustrated yesterday looking at everything he does for her…but then there is the flip side where you realize your loved one has this really difficult disease and nothing about it is easy. Thank you for commenting! I really appreciate it!

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