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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Never the same again...

When we were at the hospital all the time this past summer hours ran into days and days into weeks, Just a few days after my mother's stroke in the chaos of moving her out of the ICU. In the raw emotions of us all, the nurses seemed unsure of what they were doing for our mother. THIS was not the best behavior of the part of the hospital staff since I knew any personal question to my sensitive father like "What meds is she on?" "When was the last time she had this or that done?" QUESTIONS like this made it look like they were clueless and I cringed. With my father if you don't know then you are not doing your job, I learned later that it's part of the policy to always ask even if they already know. Pretty soon my father would be fit to be tied, then everyone would be walking on egg shells with him telling me to send him home right away. I would just shake my head saying "No one can tell my father to do anything, even if it's time he got some sleep." I called my brother to ask him what to do, he is the only sibling who can both calm our Dad and take over without any conflict. When the evening came of this emotional roller coaster day our father headed home completely wiped out with my teenaged brothers this left us adult children standing together. The head nurse finally came to explain how our mother was still in danger of more brain swelling so a hot shower which was mom's main repetitive request all day long could not be met safely at this time. My sister Dana was all ready to do the shower herself with my help, my brother Derek who called the shots for our father seemed calmed but suspicious at the same time. I stood between them, thinking here we are the first three kids in the big family. We are all around the age of 30, elbow to elbow, listening to how the day's craziness is finally explained. Mom was still trying to get up or calling out for the nurse as the head nurse smiled at us while saying "You may notice she has changed, this comes from the stroke." I heard myself say inside my head "No shit." but I just nodded at her quietly as Derek explains "Yes she has changed, she used to be the most generous giving person that ever lived and so sweet!" I looked at him side ways realizing how she behaved around him was different then when she was around me. I began to realize in this environment when fear, trauma and stress takes over we create heroes and angels out of our hurt family members. It isn't bad thing, we are living in open raw emotional time thinking things through are almost humanly impossible. The nurse mention our mother's health when my sister burst forth with her own input saying "There was NO ONE more healthier in this world then HER." I frowned in confusion because I never got that impression from our mother. If sugar was a drug then Mom was a true addict, but then how do you explain that in this moment of pure chaos? I stood there in the middle realizing that on both sides of me are strong opposite personalities, I grew up right here, right here in this position my whole life. I don't think they were wrong, just exaggerated a bit due the fact we were watching our mother be confined to the hospital bed. My mother was always wanting to be healthy but couldn't past up a treat, she would give you anything from her garden of produce but all the while judging the outside world as a horrid sinful place. I saw her in a different way because she treated me very different. It's not a horrible thing to say she was an angel or a hero, a super woman of true health or mother Teresa in giving the world a loving hand. But the facts prove otherwise, I realized I didn't have to explain a thing in this moment. That head nurse focused in on me when she spoke and we made eye contact as I saw her smile and nod at us while trusting me to remain respectful towards her. I suddenly realized that I was never going to be the same person after all of this. My mother asking for a hot shower over and over again with her adorable lisp, with her one good arm swinging out grabbing and throwing things I knew I am forever changed and I am never going back. Later that same day when mom being clearly confused and NOT in the present threw the TV controls across the room, I just chuckled as it hit the wall. Looking at Mom I said "WELL I guess that is not important now is it?" Her shrugged annoyingly. and I went home that evening to throw away all my baking stuff. No more sugar or gluten for me, no more flour or grains. My mother had a stroke and she was the one who taught me nutrition, she said to me even a month before her stroke that eating EVERYTHING is the best way to live, the best way to cover all the nutrition out there. SHE said this over another cherry coke, a beverage she never went a day without.....that is why I know I am changed. I will never go back to the same ol' foods, the same ol' idea to eat everything in being healthy. Simply my mother and I, both, are never going to be the same again.

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