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.

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4 Responses to Sigh

  1. Jen says:

    I know that folks with Parkinson’s have trouble swallowing and often choke. I don’t know if that’s the case with your mom as you said she lives like she thinks she needs to lose weight but actually needs to gain it. Ever since Greg’s mom was diagnosed with Huntington’s, keeping her weight up has been a problem.

    Oh, no, I can’t see why you’d have a grip on this at all. This is truly difficult and pressing and I’d be shocked if you were totally fine with it. And sometimes you need to write about it … to sort and re-sort things out in your mind, to tell yourself yes this is really happening or this is how things really are.

  2. Pam says:

    Best wishes for all going well with her surgery.

  3. LiLu says:

    I’m watching my grandfather disappear to Parkinson’s as well. I know it’s not the same as your mommy, but it still hurts. It kills me to see how much he’s deteriorated in just a few short years.

    Wishing you both the best tomorrow.

  4. magda says:

    Be brave. You both are in my thoughts, tomorrow and always. She may not be able to express it in a way that matters, but your being there is huge. Stay strong, lovely.

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