Monday, March 4, 2013

There's No Place Like Home


For the past month my mother was in and out of medical facilities battling kidney failure and congestive heart failure. I brought her home a little over a week ago. Now, in the comfort of familiar surroundings while under the watchful eyes and hands of people who love her, she is slowly but surely recovering. A week ago she wasn't bathing,  feeding herself or walking. Now, she goes into the bathroom and handles her daily cleansing herself, she picks up her utensils and attacks that food with such a savory zeal I can't help but laugh. With the help of her walker, she maneuvers around the house. It's obvious to see that she is doing much better. I thank my Heavenly Father for his healing mercies.

While in the hospital, I noticed a physical and mental deterioration within her that has been medically labeled ICU Psychosis. It is where the person has a negative reaction to being in a hospital setting. The symptoms are many but the ones my mother experienced were sensory deprivation, sleep disturbance and deprivation, hallucinations, stress, and lack of orientation.

I don't think I've ever been so scared in my life than I was to see her behave so erratically. She was awake for 48 hours at a time hallucinating. One night, she screamed for water and bug spray because she thought she was on fire and bugs were crawling all over her. She talked about people who had been dead and buried for years as if they were still alive and contacting her. Her delusions manifested themselves into an absurd plot for her to escape the hospital. One night she sat up all night devising her plan of escape asking me to tie her sheets together, find her some rope and scarves. As if we were going to jump out the third floor window of the hospital unharmed and skip our way to freedom. This was not logical and so outside the norm for my sensible mother. These were not good times and through it all, my mother expressed her desire to simply go home. As soon as she was medically able to return home, I swiftly took her there. Hospitals are horrible places for her to be mentally. 

Most of what my mother experienced has dissipated while she has been home. Grateful is an understatement in regards to the grace and mercy God has show us both. I now realize what great healing capabilities being in the place where you feel safe, loved, and cared for can have on the human mind, body, and spirit. In the words of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, "There's no place like home."

Now what does this have to do with being single? As my mother and and I each work to get her back to the level of health she once was, I wonder as a single woman with no children, if such a fate befell me who would take care of me. Not having children never seemed like such a big deal before but now I'm not so sure. If I were in a hospital seemingly out of my mind would a niece, nephew, cousin or aunt step up to take care of me and be my advocate with hospital personnel? Hhmmm I wonder.

Do things like this ever concern you?

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