Rough patch

I’ve got to admit I’ve been feeling kind of low lately. There are some decent reasons—I’ve been away from home (my nest and comfort zone) taking care of my mother 24/7 for a couple of months, now; my Mom’s condition hasn’t improved; I miss my family and my wee beasties, PIB and Finny; my bursitis hips are a constant, often serious, discomfort; and my hands and wrists are always twingy, sore and achy. My next, uncertain chance for pain relief from the bursitis is weeks away, and of course, the rheuma pain will never really go.

Today I’m blue because the steroid injection Mom had a couple of days ago hasn’t relieved her sciatica pain. Yet. I emphasize “yet” because the doctor said (as mine did regarding the steroid injections I took for the bursitis a few months ago) that the drug could take a few days to work, and I’m still holding on to some vague hope. Still, I worry that it won’t have any effect on my Mom, just like it didn’t have any effect on me.  What then?

And I’m worried about her. Her mental health is suffering along with her body. Being the strong, healthy woman she’s always been, this pain and disability just boggles and depresses her. She doesn’t understand it. She doesn’t know how to fight it.

My encouraging words sound like platitudes, even to me. “It will get better, Mom.” “This pain will go, soon.” Like her, I no longer really believe them.

I worry because for each day she spends laying down, not moving unless she must, she loses more physical strength. I worry about her non-existent appetite, and the tiny amounts of food I manage to get her to eat each day. I know it’s not enough to fuel her body and mind, and each day can only bring more weakness. I fear that I’m simply bearing witness to her gradual decline, helpless to stop it.

The only physical comfort she experiences is during that short stretch of time when the narcotic pain killer is at full effect, or when she sleeps. My presence here, keeping her company and helping her get through each day is a comfort to her, I know that. I’m glad and thankful that I’m able to.

I’m trying to turn all this glumness around into a more positive attitude. I’m looking for the bright side, because I know there always is one. But so far, the only bright side I can find is that being here with Mom day and night for weeks on end has brought us much closer and has given us both a certain joy that has always been absent in our relationship. For that I’m grateful, and I’m mindful that if Mom hadn’t been stricken with this sudden illness, we likely would have never found it. Perhaps that’s enough, eh?

I want to thank you all, my friends, for your patience and continuing support as I work through this difficult phase in my life. Your comments uplift me, make me smile, and help me feel less alone. I know that this rough patch is temporary, that it will pass just as rough patches always do. But it’s a comfort knowing that you care and that you’re rooting for me. Thank you.




10 thoughts on “Rough patch

  1. Sending warm thoughts your way and healing wishes to your Mom. Please keep us posted when you can.


  2. So sorry you and your mother are going through this rough time. Your RA is bound to act up more because of the stress you’re under. Hang in there. I hope things improve for you both very soon.


  3. I’m sending my best and hoping that both you and your mother get some relief soon from the constant pain. I’ve been dealing with sciatica myself since the beginning of November, and on some days it’s more crippling that my RA…just when I think it’s better, my entire leg will flare up again.

    Being able to spend time with family is a precious thing, I’m happy that you two have been able to do so even though the circumstances may not have been the best.

    Hang in there, and thanks for all of the kind comments of support that you always leave on my blog.


  4. Oh Wren, I am so sorry your mom isn’t finding any relief. It is so hard to see your parents decline. The helplessness that you are feeling is both normal and heartbreaking. It makes you feel powerless and can bleed over into the rest of your life if you let it.

    On the flip side- you really are very blessed to have this time with her. I won’t go into our whole saga but the reason I moved out to where I am now is because my mother was having health issues and I was the only of the siblings that was at a place that I could get up and move just in case. I know exactly what you mean about becoming closer. It’s the best decision I have made in years because while we were always a close family being able to just pop down for the weekend as often as our schedules allow has made us that much closer.

    Keeping you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers and sending love.


  5. Wren, you can’t help but bring joy to a situation. I am sure your mom is loving every minute of you being there. Hang in there. We are all definitely rooting for you Wren.


  6. Oh, Wren, I’m so sorry to hear that your mom is still in so much pain. It’s difficult to see a loved one doing poorly. Nutritionists offer high-calorie drink recipes to people who are having trouble keeping weight on; I wonder if something like that could help your mom? The drinks, not a nutritionist. Using cream instead of milk, peanut butter, protein powder… Hmmm, your mom is Scandanavian, right? I’m trying to think of things that she might remember fondly from childhood and enjoy eating. Would she eat ostekaka?

    Your hips… Any chance you can add a foam mattress topper or two to whatever you’re sleeping on? I don’t recall you saying you got to do PT yet, but a few gentle stretches, then some strengthening exercises should help.

    Sending you lots of hugs.


  7. So sorry to hear how rough your Christmas period has been – now I’m home catching up on everyone’s doings over the last 3 weeks! The PA may well be contributing to the nerve pain – and was the cause of the fatigue, poor memory etc beforehand. Did the docs identify the actual CAUSE of the PA? And did they give you any idea of how long it will take for it to rectify so the associated signs and symptoms improve? Remember to look after yourself too – you are no use to your mum if you get ill as well. And remember – you and your sister also need to be kept an eye on for PA in the future. Big hugs, Eileen


  8. I’m glad you’re there with her; I know you’ll bring comfort. I’ll be thinking of you both and hoping your pain eases and you enjoy some peace together.


  9. Ditto what everyone else said. My first tho’t on nutrition was Ensure or something similar. Yeah for the walker helping your mom a little. Besides both of you being in pain, you possibly both have a little cabin fever, too. Have you checked into Public Health or such … I’m thinking a lift chair, or things like that. I know my dad even appreciated the hospital bed provided by Medicare because it was high and he could get in & out of it easier by himself…when he couldn’t rise to stand from the regular low bed. Mom hated the hospital bed in the house but didn’t realize how much it helped dad. It’s obvious you & your mom care for each other very much. Thoughts are with you.


  10. It’s just recently that my mother began to eat after months of trial and tribulation. Suddenly, one day three weeks ago, like a bolt out of the blue, she demanded that we bring her upper dentures to her, “I’m hungry!” What a happy shock that was, let me tell you. Because the doctors had given up hope. She beat the odds, and I am crossing my fingers that your Mama will regain her appetite soon! Be strong! Isn’t easy, but hold those ears stiff!


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