Saturday, 14 September 2013

Very abruptly growing up

    My mother is not well. After a few weeks of feeling weak and having muscle pain she went to the doctor, only to be told that she has something serious. Terminal, in fact. They can do things to make her life a lot easier and put off the inevitable, but at some time in the next year or two it will claim her. It could be sooner rather than later, we just don't know.
    She's in our local teaching hospital for a few nights at the moment for some tests, fortunately in good spirits due to feeling better after treatment. With luck we'll bring her home this evening, at which point she'll email my sisters. The last thing she or my dad wanted this week was them descending on the house as self-appointed angels of mercy to organise things that didn't need it.
    It's important to put this into perspective. My mother is in her late 80s. At that age though you hope there could be many years to go the fact is that the probability of something serious cropping up gets higher with every year. And having seen my grandmother slip into dementia in her 90s several decades ago I'm acutely aware there are far worse ways to go. At least this way she retains her faculties and receives proper care right up to the end. It's a sad indictment of our society that the quality of your end-of-life care depends on the trigger words in your medical file.
    My dad is his usual self, not really opening up. As luck would have it I've been at home this week, I can see I must make the effort to spend more time there from now on. Maybe a few nights every week.
    It's something of an abrupt exercise in growing up.


  1. Sorry, Jenny. That is could be worse doesn't stop it being bad. Value your time with her... which you already are of course.

  2. So sorry to learn of this Jenny. There are no words capable of expressing my feelings for you in times such as these but just to let you know that I and many others will be with you in spirit. I pray your mum will not suffer during her last days and that your dad will find the strength through this difficult time. Love

    Shirley Anne x

  3. At least you have what may be very long notice of her departure, and therefore some time for discussions, confidences and profound reflections. All the same, it's sad news and nothing can make it easy to bear.

    My useless best wishes anyway.


  4. The moment when you loose those you report to is a strange and unsettling one...

    I hope getting to know the real you adds something to the time she has left.

    Never a good age to go.

  5. I'm so sorry to read this, Jenny. Mum has indeed had a long life, but you only get one mum and she is irreplaceable. I hope and pray that the coming months are very special for mum, for dad and for you.


  6. So sorry to read this.

  7. Thanks all. My mum is being very matter-of-fact about it all. Her consultant says that the end when it comes with her condition is not a painful one, for which I am very thankful. Our hospital being attached to a large university she's joined a research study. It may help her and I hope it'll help provide results which might help people in the future.

    Anti-depressants have probably helped me in the last few days with their suppressing of emotions. I almost feel guilty for not being struck down more with grief, but it has at least given me the facility to focus on what needs to be done.