Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Snowball Diagnosis


     So much has happened in the last few months.  I got a job,  said goodbye to a few friendships and my mother became very ill.  Overwhelmed?  Yeah me too.  It all started back in February when my mother said her jaw hurt.  I s converned for the fact I know that jaw pain can also mean a heart attack.  We made an appointment to get it all checked out.  When they asked for an x-ray I figured whatever was wrong was not a big deal.  Soon after the x-ray was taken the doctor came out and said that she was referring us to a surgeon to ha a biopsy.  I stopped immediately andstared at her.  She explained that my mother was showing signs of a condition called temporal arteritis and that this would have to be checked out immediately because if left untreated she would go blind.  The next day we were seeing the surgeon and the day after that se was having the biopsy which came back positive.  The condition can easily be treated with prednisone, so we were relieved knowing that she was going to get past this.
     As time marched on mom started to get sluggish and started complaining about her legs and feet hurting.  We asked the doctors over and over what could it be and all on them were clueless.  We were told she had extreme dry skin, to take tonic water, that she had restless leg syndrome, all unfounded.  Eventually the pain became unbearable.  My mother was no longer able to work and spent most days in bed yelling out in pain.  Emergency room visits were useless.  It seemed that no one was hearing me.  Finally I took mother to the doctors office and I refused to leave without some type of treatment.  The doctor finally decided to have her admitted to the hospital.  After a few days of pain and tests, she was diagnosed as having Guillain Barre Syndrom after a positive spinal tap.  Finally a name, a diagnosis, a treatment, another diagnosis and another treatment, she was also diagnosis with medically induced Diabetes.  A few days in the hospital and then she was off to a rehab facility to help her get her walking legs back since she hadn't been mobile for a couple of weeks.  Soon she was able to come home.
     Finally home we were hopeful for a full recovery.  My aunt from South Carolina had come to visit and see my mother, so my moms spirits were high.  She was able to get around, make breakfast, and sit for hours laughing and talking to her sister.  About a week after she left everything went downhill.  She started to get more tired, wasn't moving as much, started losing weight and wasn't able to eat as much as she normally does.  I decided to give her a probiotic, which seemed to give her back her appetite.  One thing down, now to get the weight back on.  I started trying to have her eat meals higher in protein but my mother did not like them.  She couldn't stand the taste of meat, which was making that even more difficult.  20 pounds down in one month had me shakened.  She could barely make it through rehab and that was not a good thing.  Then the thrid diagnosis came across the wire. Renal failure.  All I can think is seriously?!?!?
     I am completely overwhelmed with all of this and I feel completely alone.  I know that mom is the one going through it but I am the caretaker and it is taking its toll on me.  I am tired and my mind is barely holding on.  After taking care of my father when he was disgnosed with Alzheimer's I thought things couldn't get worse, but here I am again taking care of another sick parent at the age when I am suppose to be settling into my life.  Two months ago my mother was up and moving and now she is moving at a pace half as fast.  I have to do everything and more.  I started working just as all of this started happening so I am even moreso overwhelmed with everything.  Taking care of a parent is not easy and I am so tired of people acting if it is no big deal.  Then there are my siblings, who try but their trying is no where close to being enough.  Being there for an hour or two when everything is all good doesn't do anything.  Coming on a weekend and then having me haul you around or have to cook isn't helping either.  My cousin said she could hear it in my voice yesterday.  She knows that I am almost to my breaking point and told me that I needed to get away for a weekend and decompress. i told her I don't know when that is going to happen.  She said I need to make my siblings help out more.  I love it when people say make someone do something because so one can make anyone do anything.  No one understands and frankly I doubt that anyone honestly cares.  I am not as strong as I thought I was and that scares me.  Sigh ...

Peace, Love and Chocolate, 
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