Saturday, February 03, 2007

Caregiving from a Distance

I am departing for the wine country on Tuesday to spend a week with my mother. Her health is continuing to decline and just recently has taken a dramatic downturn. She has been in the hospital with swollen feet, which turned out to be heart failure. When she was admitted to the ER, her red blood count was 4.8 - normally it should be 12-16. It took 4 units of blood to normalize her red count.

She is home now - a friend from San Francisco happened to be visiting when all this took place and stayed with her for a week after she came home. I stayed here in Minnesota as I knew there was more to come. The low blood count is from intestinal bleeding - she is having a colonoscopy on Thursday - I will there to help her prepare for the procedure and be with her for a few days after.

This whole incident has seemed to take a lot out of her and all of a sudden, she sounds elderly - it is very sobering. My mom has always been so active, so young at heart, and so stubborn. She seems to be heading for less independence.

This is part of life - I am glad to be going home for this next week. I will have web access, as I use the neighbor's wireless connection, I can access it from mom's kitchen. We have no idea what is ahead - but isn't that just life. Live in the moment, it's the only one you have for sure.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your mothers condition, and I do think it's good for her and you that you can go and stay with her for a couple of days.

    As you so well wrote, live in the moment. You know what that means.

    I'll briefly will tell a story of what happens here at my job some weeks ago.

    Friday afternoon, a collegue, after having a normal workday, with customer visit etc, apparently did not felt well. He went into one of the restrooms, and closed the door. He did not show up at home, as planned and his wife called him, cellphone and everything.

    Later that evening he was found dead laying on the floor in the restroom.
    Heart just stopped - 49 years. 3 young children. He was very sporty.

    Live in the moment.

    have a good trip.


  2. we are going through similar times with my mother who has been ill for some time but whose health has been spiraling downward since september. it is difficult to be so far away when these issues occur. we have flown to the east coast twice since october.

    hope your visit is comforting to your mom and brings you a sense of peace, also. ageing is so darn hard!

  3. Oh Suzann...I know only too well what you will be going through with your mom. I just went through it last year with mine. My mom passed away last June after months and months of health problems, and the inevitable downward spiral. I can only pray that you stay strong and take care of yourself through it....believe me...that's very important. It's so easy to forget to do that when you're running in all directions to help your mom. My mom's problems came right on the heels of my husband's death....the worst timing in the world. do what you have to do. You will be in my thoughts well as your mom. Have a safe trip Suzann....

  4. I am sorry to hear about your mother, hope your visit is a good one with her, and it is for sure something we all face with first our elders and then ourselves. It is the cycle of life and I do feel as you said-- live in the moment as it is really all we have.

  5. I hope your trip will be as good as it can, my dear....Hard times Suzann, I know.

    If you get to an internet connection, stop by and see my last two posts...The Blooming Amaryllis, well, one of my six bulbs, anyway....! A Gorgeous deep Red, these first two blossoms of mine....With 6 bulbs, and not knowing if there will be other colors because this basket was a Christmas Gift, makes for a very exciting time!

  6. just checking in again, hoping your trip to the bay area was a safe one and that your mom is doing better. thinking of you.