I thought my mother’s stroke was the beginning of the end. It may still be, but in the last week she has recovered her ability to swallow to some degree, although it exhausts her. The speech therapist is working with her five times a day to practice it, and they have started administering her normal medications, crushed up in a smooth solution.
I guess this is just another exercise in learning to accept whatever comes. I think both my mother and I are ready for this chapter to close, but perhaps there are more to come and maybe even better ones, who knows? I don’t know how many times I’ll have to go through the stages of grief again, only to find that we aren’t quite finished. It makes me feel very callous when I feel ready to give up on it.
My siblings all are have their own emotions to sort though. The brother and his wife who live the farthest away are feeling a lot of guilt that they haven’t been around much over the last few years, and they feel they need to come down to spend entire weekends sitting by her bedside. That makes my sister and me look at each other and question whether we are doing enough. There is no grand judge to make a ruling on this, so I am just trusting that what feels right to me will be right. Fortunately, there do not seem to be any pointing fingers or blaming judgments flying between family members so that is one stress not present.
My biggest problem is not knowing at what point my mother will really wish I was there holding her hand. Certainly 24 hours a day is not possible, but I’d be happy if I were there at the crucial moment. She is just so tired. She sleeps 99% of the time and the exertion of keeping her eyes open is almost too much to bear. I wish I could help.