This is a Blogging A to Z Challenge Post
I finally got to see my mother yeaterday after her being in the US for two weeks at my brother's. He lives two hours away, and with my busy schedule, I didn't get to make it down there until then. After the initial hugs hello, I went to put my coat down and I asked her how she was.
“I'm okay”, she said, “except …”
Except! That word in the middle of a sentence that changes everything. The word that has the potential to make everything life altering.
With every trip, more and more, my mother was getting smaller and smaller. I kept asking if she had been to the doctor as her weight loss was very noticeable, and every time she would say that she had and the doctor said she was fine. This time there was an “Except”
“Except, I was diagnosed with an enlarged heart” she said.
As I said before, it takes a lot to shock me, and I knew that eventually my mother would tell me that there was something wrong with her, but she avoids the doctor more that anything else in the world.
Myself having heart failure and cardiomyopathy, I knew instantly what her diagnosis meant, so in an instant I processed the news, and rather than be shocked and all weepy like most people would, all I did was give her a hug and say “Welcome to the club!”, and we laughed.
Levity always breaks the tension of bad news I find, and I always find that the person that is giving the bad news is the one most stressed as they are afraid of the reaction of the person that they tell the news to. Afterwards, she was clearly relaxed as I discussed her medications with her, the side effects, and what she needed to be aware of. I stood there, listening to myself speak as if I were hearing a doctor lecturing a new patient. I heard the speeches so many times before, read all about the medications before, and the fact was, I take the same medication she was prescribed for the last seven years, so I knew what I was talking about.
No matter what though, although I put up a brave front, I am worried for my mother. She lives alone, 3,000 miles away. My eldest brother lives about fifiteen minutes from her, but they don't have the closest of relationships. He sees her probably once a month or so. The good thing is that my cousin and his family live about five minutes away, and they are constantly checking on her. My cousin is more like a son to her than my brother is a son. So that's a bit of a relief.
My mum is 83 now, and to make it this long and never have to be on any prescription meds is amazing. All I can do is give as much support as possible.