Let me warn you, this is a cautionary tale of not only caring for mama but of standing in the midst of fear and of judgement from others, while trying to get a handle on a whole lot of confusion. What is a person to do? This article stems from a recent conversation overheard just before a gym class right here in metro Atlanta.
Two people discussed how proud they were for not placing their mothers in a convalescent facility. They went on to say that they truly did not understand why anyone would do such a thing. This was a male and a female exchanging mama stories. One person described four siblings who took turns caring for their mother. The other person said it was two of them and they also took turns taking care of mama. They were both very proud and justifiably so. However, there was a dissenting opinion in the room.
A third person had a very different experience taking care for mama. She was an only child, a single working mother, and living in another state from her parent. No siblings to alternate care, a job that she had been too frequently absent from in caring for mama, and no one to share just how difficult things had become. Relatives were a big help checking in, handling doctors’ appointments, and just being there when she could not be, this person related with a little sigh in her voice.
Eventually, her mama had to be transported by ambulance to a rehabilitation facility in her (daughter’s) state of residence after surgery. But the rehab was difficult as her mama was actually talking to deceased relatives for over a month and was not aware of who she was or where she was. Things would become better later.
What a story. I think everyone within earshot wanted to hear more. Well, although her mama’s mental state improved, she was subject to seizures, could no longer walk, and still suffered some confusion.
“I am glad for those who have siblings to help but that is not always the case,” she related. This single mother and only child told of how a stranger comforted her on the elevator one day when she could no longer hold back the tears. She added that a social worker assigned to her mother’s case assured her that the facility could take much better care of mama than she could. Relief.
One more thing, when this daughter moved mama to a facility closer to her home, the head nursed started to weep, saying “I will miss her so.” The moral of this unusual gym story? Take care of mama or daddy the best that you can. And exercise care when giving your opinion, you never know another woman’s (or man’s) story.