For those of you who are my FB friends, please bear with me as I repost part of recent FB status of mine:
My 86 year old mother trips and falls not today but last night. It is dark outside and she cannot stand up to return to the house from the basement. Realizing that it will soon be very very cold and no one will know she is downstairs, she scoots on her butt up the steep driveway until she can get on level ground and walk to the house. Inside, she collapses on the chair where she remains for the night — in pain, a lot of pain. Does she call any member of her family? A neighbor? A friend? 911? No, my mother doesn’t want to “bother” anyone!! In the morning her new neighbor caught site of the enormous bruised and swollen arm and insisted taking her to the hospital. This young couple was actually preparing to leave for a trip to Whistler but seeing my mom, they put their plans on hold. They stayed with her at the hospital until a friend arrived.
Doesn’t call anyone? Sits alone all night in pain? And in the morning, she still hasn’t asked for assistance? I’ve been told this is a generational thing — not wanting to “bother” anyone. Is this what happened with my father?
At age 64, he had a serious stroke that left him paralyzed, unable to talk, or comprehend anything more than a very simple conversation for the next 20 years. Just previous to having this stroke, my father had spent hours using the rototiller to prepare their backyard garden. When he came in my mother thought he looked pale, not well, and questioned him. He admitted that his arm had seemed to have fallen asleep and the work had left him dizzy, unsteady on his feet but he was fine. Just fine.
Warning signs, health concerns … disregarded. And why? Oh, yah, don’t want to bother anyone. Hmmmmm…. My parents never disregarded MY health issues when I was growing up.
I understand not worrying family about health issues but leaving them go unattended is difficult for me to understand. Is it unique to my parent’s generation or will I eventually become like them, not wanting to bother anyone about my concerns? Did my parents take this attitude about their health all their lives or was it only after us kids were grown, with our own worries and troubles, not wanting to add to them?
It worries me. How long will my mom be able to continue to live on her own if she refuses to call on us kids for help? To discuss her health concerns? To report significant changes in her life? It worries me too that maybe this same attitude will sneak up on me in my future. Would I willingly sit alone all night in pain because I don’t want to bother my kids? God, I should hope not and neither should my mother!
Have I mentioned that parts of growing old really, REALLY suck?