I’m taking my mother in for surgery tomorrow. Nothing terribly major; merely cataracts, but she is being put under for the procedure. Up until now, I had no worries. I had eye surgery as a child, and I had no problems whatsoever.
As the day has finally arrived, howeer, I am not so sure. My mother has a tendency to not be entirely truthful, especially when it comes to her health, so imagine my dismay when she told me how she has an irregular heartbeat. On its own, that also does not sound too terrible. Alas, it is actually a cause for concern, she finally admitted. It’s the heartbeat coupled with her general weakness that has raised a few red flags.
Yet tomorrow she’ll still be put under.
I’m not saying I disagree, and I’m not saying I am predicting some sort of doomsday scenario. It’s just… the past few days has put her health in a rather harsh perspective. She’s lost about 45 pounds since Christmas, apparently. No one is quite sure why, but it might have something to do with the fact that she plain old doesn’t take care of herself anymore. Her Parkinson’s, which has, up until this point, been relatively moderate, seems to be rapidly degenerating into something far more severe. She’s weak.
I am optimistic about tomorrow, but I am feeling rather alone. Look at me, once again making things about me, but right now I can’t help it. For worse or for better, in spite of all the drama and heartache she and I have been through, she is my family. She’s it. All I have wanted to do for the past 48 hours is curl up in a ball and cry, and admittedly I did just that for awhile today. It’s like the sicker she gets, the more this part inside of me becomes twisted in agony.
You’d think between her rampant alcohol abuse, her breakdown, and her declining health, I would have more of a grip on the situation. I don’t. Every time we go to her apartment, I put on a brave face, talking as if things are still the same. Oh, of course we’ll do this and that, like old times; like nothing has changed. And it’s a lie. They’re all lies.
She’s practically blind. She can barely walk. She weighs next to nothing.
Tomorrow I’ll take her hand because she’s terrified, and I’ll be there for her as I promised. There really is no point for this rambling essay of sorts. It’s not that I’m unprepared for tomorrow; I was simply… unprepared for all of this. I was unprepared for the sobering reality that things change, people grow old, and your parents don’t live forever.