Falling Down On It All

So my mother fell down a flight of stairs, broke both her thumbs, a wrist, and smacked her head on a chair lift. If only she had been in the chair lift, instead, I was thinking.

But she did not tell me.

She called her sister the day of.

She called my brother the day after, and left me a lot of dead air messages in an hour´s span that evening.

I tried to reach her all day today, because on one of those dead air messages I heard her friend talking to her about being her being hospitalized. She never answered.

After I got home from work she had her friend call me to tell me what had happened and to request that I call her later.

A half hour later she called me. I went over her emergency procedures with her, which were lacking, as they always are. Mine are no better, really. But she got mad at me for asking her why she didn´t let me know right away. She didn´t want to give me any local contact, but she finally gave up a phone number.

When your parent chooses to age away from you this is the sort of thing that makes you feel helpless.

The kids and I are going to send her some mail this week.

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2 thoughts on “Falling Down On It All

  1. We went through this with my mother- her not telling us what was truly going on with her, minimizing her declining health, not informing us when she was hospitalized or in a recovery center.

    She also had a fall. A neighbor found her on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. Not sure if she was trying to get on her stairlift or coming from the bathroom. Her walker was all the way towards the front door of the home. Not sure why the firemen were the ones that responded to the call. She told them to just put her on the sofa. They told her very bluntly that she couldn’t take care of herself and sent her back to the hospital. At the hospital they told her that she was dying and they were going to send her to a nursing home. The doctor pleaded with her to let her family know and she refused. Luckily, a friend was there and contacted my sister. If she hadn’t, my mother would have died alone in a nursing home.
    Instead she was able to be cared for by her children and friends and died peacefully at home.

    I don’t know your mother but in my mother’s case it was a mixture if denial, and being too independent and reluctance to ask for help. I hope your mom will appreciate the mail from you and your children. Try to help her in whatever way you can, ask her what she needs and how you can be supportive of her.

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