Saturday, November 15, 2008

When All You Can Do Is Cry

I've been doing a lot of that lately. In the past two weeks, my Mom has made 5-6 trips to the ER. It's hard to keep track anymore.

Everyday it seems like there is something new and different going on with her. Her doctors cannot figure out what is it. She was initially diagnosed with depression, anxiety and disassociation. But she has not been responding to any medication. And her behavior keeps changing. The doctors are now afraid she might hurt herself.

Last week she went for a walk and then laid down on the side of the road. She said she was just tired but the people who found her said she was not very conscious/not responding. This week she froze up and it looked like she stopped breathing. My dad had to perform CPR on her via instructions from a 911 respondant over the phone. My ten year old brother (yes, we are 14 years apart) stood outside her bedroom traumatized.

Today she was in the ER again pacing her small room and repeating the words "no, no, no. yes, yes, yes. no, yes, no." She kept trying to leave her room (every 30 seconds she would get out of bed and try to walk out the door) and asking for her keys. She was talking nonsense about "infinity." She was troubled that something important was happening at 3 or 4 o'clock but she couldn't remember what it was. She kept saying, "What's that word? I forgot that word. Something to do with infinity. I need to remember. I have to remember or else I will go to hell."

In order to keep her mind occupied and to get her to stop trying to leave the room I convinced her to sing some songs with me. She continued long after I had stopped. The sight of her made me tear up. She was sitting on the edge of her hospital bed, swinging her legs back and forth like a child repeating the song over and over with intense concentration as if she were trying to shut out the thought or sound of something terrifying.

I tried to control my tears as I witnessed my mother, who was once the most cheerful, strongest and religiously faithful woman I knew sit there like a child. She seemed far away, lost, and tormented. But everytime I had my silent crying under control, I would remember how she used to read books to me as a kid before bedtime. Or how she would help us make gingerbread houses at Christmas time. How she devoted an entire year to homeschool me when I refused to attend the local middleschool. How happy she was on the day of our wedding. How her eyes lit up when I told her she would be a grandma.

And now, I don't even recognize her. All I can do is sit by her side, wrap my arms around her, and tell her it will be ok when, deep down, I don't even know as much.

10 comments:

just jenn said...

de-lurking in the middle of the night, simply to say ... you are not alone. perhaps i cannot imagine your personal experience, but please know, you are not a-lone.

Butterflyfish said...

Cee, wow. I am so sorry. It must feel so unfair -- at the time when you want nothing more than to share with your mother the joys that your little guy is bringing you, she seems unable to appreciate them. I hope the doctors figure it out. I hope you get your mother back. You're in my prayers.

Jean said...

I'm so, so sorry. You'll be in my thoughts.

LL said...

Oh Cee, I'm so, so sorry about your mom. You write about it such perfect, painful detail, I hope that and knowing that we're all praying for you helps just a little.

Trannyhead said...

What a horrible thing for you to go through when you're embarking on your own parenting journey. It must be very difficult to be a parent to your new baby AND to your mom. Hang in there.

Portia said...

Cee I am so so sorry. This breaks my heart.

the dragonfly said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I haven't been commenting much lately...been reading, but so overwhelmed.......anyway, just wanted to say I'm so sorry, and I'm thinking of you and your family.

Infant Attorney said...

I wish there was something I could say or do to make this better for you. I'm thinking about you and wishing the best for you and your family.

FSD said...

Oh Cee, I'm so sorry to hear that your mom's condition seems to be worsening. What a horrible thing for all of you to be going through, including your mom. Continue to be there for her, continue to sing to/with her, read to her and comfort her, and when you get overwhelmed, it's okay to cry. Tears are so cleansing and healing. You and your family are in my continued prayers. (((BIG HUG)))

PT-LawMom said...

Oh my goodness, Cee, I am sooooo sorry!!! :( Hopefully they can figure it out soon, help her and get her back to you because I know how hard it is when a parent turns into someone you just don't know. Keep us posted, okay? (((HUGS)))