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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Angels Wings

Nearly three weeks ago, I nearly lost my mother. Her health has been failing for the past few years, and every day seems to present a new challenge. About a year ago, she asked me who she was. A pang so sharp pierced my heart. I got her some orange juice and a cookie and sat with her, and a few minutes later, she was fine. I thought it a combination of too many prescription pills, her age and several other conditions I’d studied when training for my certificate in medical transcription. Some things are just too painful to recognize and our subconscious refuses to let them in.

But what I witnessed a few weeks ago will stay with me for a long, long time. She was sitting on the sofa, taking off her socks and shoes, her words muffled and slightly slurred. The obvious thing that flashed through my mind was that she was having a stroke. I asked her if she knew who she was and she did. But the more I quizzed her, the more agitated she became, and before long, she began to tremble. I held her left hand and it was so limp it brought tears to my eyes. Then she got a death grip on me and squeezed it for all she was worth. Then it went completely limp and she began to convulse. It had to be the most terrifying thing I’d ever experienced.

We called the paramedics and there initial reaction was that she was having a stroke. Then her head rolled to the back of the sofa and she slipped into a state of unconsciousness. Feeling helpless and completely vulnerable, all I could do was pray. And in the many crisis in my life, I have always turned to the angels. I feel their presence and believe they hear our prayers and take them to God on their gossamer wings.

My mom was in a coma in intensive care for twelve hours. When she came to, her family was all around her. She recognized us and although confused to her whereabouts, seemed to be in pretty good shape, all things considered. Her neurologist told us her cat scan ruled out a stroke. His diagnosis was epilepsy. My mom had an epileptic seizure once close to fifty years ago. Ten years ago, her doctor took her off her anti-seizure medication. This bothered me, but I placed it in God’s hands. I always feared she might have another seizure and she did. Now she is on a less invasive type of medication to prevent seizures, but Mom is not happy about taking more pills.

Due to some balance issues and walking difficulties, her neurologist strongly suggested putting Mom in a nursing home for a few weeks for rehabilitation where they could address her needs. This was very hard and for those of you who have been there, visiting a loved one in a nursing home is a guilt trip. They don’t want to be there any more than we want them there. So once more, I called on my angels to carry my burden to God’s ears.

Yesterday, my mother came home. She will have a home nurse and a rehab counselor until she is stronger. She seems so fragile and reminds me of the fragility of life. Count your blessings and make every day count. Life truly does come full circle when our parents become our children, our responsibility.

Sharon Donovan
Romantic Suspense with a Twist of Faith


Lynn Romaine said...

I don't think I am much support as we put my dad into a nursing home for the last year of his life and it was a huge relief since he had Alzheimer's. I can't say it was easy but I don't regret doing it - I saw no other option - sounds like you have and that it may be a workable one - good luck

Mary Ricksen said...

You know my heart is with you in this one Sharon. Hang in there. That's all you can really do.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, Lynn. And you are more supportive than you know. Just hearing from others in a similar situation helps.

Sharon Donovan said...

I do know, Mary, and your words and support mean so much to me.

Cate Masters said...

Oh Sharon, I'm so very sorry. My dad was bedridden for three years before he died, but his mind was amazingly sharp. It was horrible to watch him trapped in that useless body. My hubby's mom is now in a nursing home, and often doesn't know us. At Christmas, she mostly said, "There are so many of you."
It's a terrible thing to have to watch your parents slip away. My heartfelt sympathies in this trying time. Mary's right - there are some things in life you have to endure, but know that you do so with lots of love.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you for your comforting words, Cate. I guess it is something we must all face, hard as it is. Sharing through support is good medicine. Thanks for sharing your trying times with me.

Clover Autrey said...

I'm so sorry. My son had seizures and they are terrible to watch with nothing to do but wait for them to stop. I'm glad she's on good medication now. Prayers are with you.

AnneMarie Novark said...


My thoughts and prayers are with you. It's hard to watch our parents grow old. Take care.

Sharon Donovan said...

Clover, thank you for your kind words and prayers. They mean so much.

Sharon Donovan said...

AnneMarie, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. Prayers are heard.

Green Grandma said...

Thank you for this well-written window into your family's struggles. I'm sorry for all you've had to endure.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, Green Grandma. Just like the saying goes, day by day and make each one count.

Hywela Lyn said...

Sharon - I'm so sorry I missed this post. You know, of course, that I'm aware of all you've been through in the last few weeks and that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, as always.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you, Lyn. I do know and your thoughtfulness and prayers mean the world to me.