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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

I’m here by choice. I’m just not perfect at this. I fall so far short.

May 22, 2019

I haven’t written much since I’ve been with mom. Don’t know why. You wouldn’t think I’m consumed with activity, but it seems I am. I am overwhelmed.

I am learning wound care. She has an opening in her chest wall that is nearly two inches deep. I pack it with cotton tape, pushing in a section at a time with a long cotton swab. I wasn’t packing it deep enough. I hadn’t taken the cotton swab and angled it to probe to find the bottom. I had been packing half as far as I needed to. How was I to know? I hadn’t had adequate instruction. Why isn’t there a wound care specialist? I don’t know.

I thought she was keeping a log of her blood sugar, food, when she took her pills. She hadn’t. She had when I first came, then she simply stopped. I hadn’t noticed. Now I keep a log of everything, including when she uses the bathroom. How much water she drinks. Her level of nausea, dizziness.

I’m exhausted. She fights me. She says she knows what she’s doing. She says she’s fine. But she said that the day she went into the ER, the day she nearly died of sepsis. I remind her of that. She shakes her head in frustration and looks away.

She’s deaf. If she chooses not to listen to me, she holds up her hand and closes her eyes. She says, “It’s over, I don’t want to talk about it.” She wins those small battles. I concede. What else is there?

Today, I insisted she eat some protein to stabilize her sugars overnight. She said she didn’t want to eat, then turned away and closed her eyes. I walked over so I was in front of her when she opened her eyes. I told her I’d tell my brother if she persisted in ignoring me and fighting against me. For some reason, that did the trick. I was very surprised. I know what works now. But how many times can I use that tactic? I’ll save it for a last resort. And why why why do I need to use the threat of tattling on an 81-year-old? Ludicrous.

I could list out all the passive aggressive things she does throughout the day. But it makes me angry and anxious. I’m very anxious. I’m at the ten day mark. I’m starting to lose my calm. I cry. I cry in front of her. She feels bad, keeps saying she’s sorry. I try to stop. And I do. But the damage is done. It’s temporary. But still, my anxiety feeds her guilt. The last thing I want. I don’t want her to feel like she’s a burden, that I’m here out of obligation. I’m here by choice. I’m just not perfect at this. I fall so far short.

I’m going to stick with this. Of course I will. I allow no other option. I need to see the doctor and get some drugs. Klonipin, my drug of choice. I’ve been relying on the Buspar for over year. And it works, for the most part. But right now, I need bigger guns. I’m eating. A lot. I’d lost 14 pounds before I left. I’m sure it’s back.

I’m not so depressed as anxious. And resigned. I’m resigned to this choice I’ve made. To be here until the wound in her chest closes. And in that time, perhaps the wounds in my chest, in my heart, perhaps they will close as well. I want healing. For her and for me.

Today she is 81. I love her very very much. She’s my mamma.



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