My absence here last week was due to a family emergency. My Mom suffered a “mini stroke” last wkend so I spent the week out in Adams, MA where my Mom lives alone. My mother is a very strong, independent woman, who, at 83, is in relatively good health. She never ceases to amaze us all with her energy and determination. My Mom is as sharp as a tack, an avid reader, a beautiful self-taught quilter and has an ever inquisitive mind. When my Dad passed away 8 yrs ago, we all worried about how she would cope. She has never been one to join groups and is not interested in traveling. My Mom, much to our surprise really rallied, already having taken over much of the household responsibilities during my father’s final few years. After my Dad died, she began making more friends, learned about the stock market and investing, and managed to keep herself quite busy. She is one of the few Seniors left that drives, so her friends look to her for shopping outings and various appointments, but do not seem to abuse this. Try to get her on the phone any given evening, and you are sure to get a busy signal from 7-9 pm! My mother was never one to put the tv on during the day, and still adheres to this practice, only taking a morning break to watch “The View”. Often times, she will tape it, and watch it in the evening, if she is absorbed in a project! I dare anyone to find a cleaner house! She even vacuums the basement floor… which is unfinished! At night, her new best friend has become Netflix. She does not have a computer and adamantly refuses to allow us to introduce her to one. She reads the movie reviews in the paper and tells us which ones to add to her list, which one of my brother’s maintains. We also add movies that we think she might enjoy.
Adams is about a 3 hr drive west from where I live and 1 of my brothers. My other brother lives in D.C. Luckily, we have a great cousin who looks in on my Mom regularly and has come to my Mom’s immediate rescue the few emergencies that she has had. My mother seems to be progressing nicely, with no symptoms left from this mini stroke. She spent 1 evening in the hospital and was released. Her biggest complaint is feeling weak and tired and her back hurts from the ER wait and the hospital bed. She’s having a few side effects from her new medications, but seems to be working that out. She’s not ready to be left alone yet. She has no restrictions, but does not feel safe to drive yet, and does not have the energy to go out, to do laundry or many household tasks. I suspect in another week or two, that she will be back to her normal routine. In the meantime, my shift is up and my 2 brothers will split this coming week. After that, my daughter, who just graduated from nursing school in May, will jump on board. She comes with her own blood pressure kit. 😉 I like to see my tuition dollars at work! She is available to stay for week 3 and then we will evaluate the situation again at that time.
My brothers have been researching first response/medical alert systems and one of them will bring this topic up for discussion next week. I felt this week was too soon to do that, but last night my Mom brought up the subject herself, expressing a desire to get such a system in place so she will feel more at ease staying alone now. I told her my brothers would go over her options when they arrive.
I visit my Mom at least once a month, but usually I arrive on Saturday and leave on Sunday. Occasionally, I will stay 3 or 4 days. This is the first time in a very long time, that I have spent an entire week there. The Berkshires are a beautiful place to just relax in. I saw 2 deer right in the backyard one day while we were having dinner. I hope I don’t have to return under these same or similar circumstances, but this week alone w/my Mom was a special gift to me. I had a chance to give back a tiny bit of the love and caring my Mom has always provided for me, and I had the pure enjoyment of the company of this amazing woman.