I spent the afternoon with my Mom today. That, in and of itself is nothing exciting. I spend part of almost every Sunday with my Mom and my sister. But today was a little different. Yesterday, Mom had to go to the Emergency Room at our local hospital. She had a bloody nose that wouldn’t stop. The ER Doctor got it stopped, but was hesitant, I guess, to give a cause other than living here on the high plains – hot and dry and nose bleeds happen. I think it scared her a bit. Then today at lunch, it happened again. Cindy got it stopped with a trick from one of our great aunts (and she really is a Great Aunt!) They made a plug out of paper towel and honey and put it up the nostril that was bleeding. It worked. The bleeding stopped, but Mom was so afraid that it would start again that she didn’t want to be in a room by herself. So, while Cindy mowed the front and back yards, I stayed with Mom instead of heading back home, like I usually do.
Now Mom usually goes to her room, gets into bed and naps a bit after lunch. She didn’t want to do that today. (Mom has this chair that she used to sit in, but hasn’t for awhile. It’s such a cool chair. It raises up to an almost upright position and drops back to an almost vertical position.) She wanted to sit in her chair while we waited for Cindy to finish mowing. I told her we could go back to her bedroom, where she would be more comfortable, but she was afraid of laying down. So, I helped her get into the chair. It was kind of scary. She got her foot stuck under the chair and almost fell before we got her in the chair. Got her situated and found a channel on TV she wanted to watch and settled in the chair across from her.
Soon, she was asleep. So I got up to check on the laundry and get something to drink. She woke up and was frantic when she realized no one was in the room with her. I hurried back to my chair, assuring her that I wasn’t going to leave until Cindy got back in. So, for the next hour or so, I stayed in my chair, even when she was asleep.
It gave me time to think, and watch her. She’s 82 years old, but sometimes, I think she acts like a 5 year old. Cindy has been telling me that her mind is starting to wander on occasion, but until today, I didn’t really believe it, exactly. I understood what she meant after today. Instead of my Mom with the razor sharp mind, I was babysitting a scared 5 year old. It made me sad.
When Cindy got in, and after she took a shower (temps are in the 104 range today), we woke Mom up, got her back into her wheelchair (much easier this time), and she took herself to bed. A small part of me wanted to be upset that she trusted Cindy enough to go to bed, but not me, but then again, Cindy lives with her, I don’t.
I thought about this all the way home. Its still there in my mind. I accept that Mom was scared by the non-stop bloody nose and that, if her mind is a little “diffused”, she would think that I wouldn’t stay with her the same way she thinks of Cindy staying with her. I don’t know how well I would be dealing with stuff like this as much as Cindy must. I love my Mom dearly. But my sister is amazing. I am in awe of how easily she deals with Mom. Some day I want to grow up to be just like her. Well, sort of.