||[Dec. 2nd, 2018|08:16 am]
Yesterday i got a call from my sister that Mom was at the emergency room with a mini stroke. I was out buying yarn in yard work clothes, so headed home to change before picking up my sister. (Who claimed to be covered with paint, so i knew she needed a bit of time to change, too.) I checked in with my dad to see if we could bring them anything and determined they could use a late breakfast and some tea. Christine made egg sandwiches while i changed, made tea, and gathered other things to take.
My sister was in a bit of a state, with her anger at my brother using my parent's house as a storage unit flaring and a sense that my parents must move also flaring. I talked her down from using this as a place to demand change from my brother, and talked her through the recognition that my parent's home was not what kept my mom from exercising.
At the hospital we followed my dad back through the crowded maze of emergency room beds (in the hall, in storage closets) to where mom was resting. We turned her little space into a picnic party, bringing as much cheer as we could. I was somewhat distressed that mom hadn't received <ahref="http://strokeassociation.org/strokeorg/aboutstroke/treatment/stroke-treatment_ucm_492017_subhomepage.jsp#">the stroke treatment</a> i was vaguely aware of existing. Mom's been seeing a neurologist in hopes of understanding her cognitive decline and other symptoms, so i accepted something else might be going on.
Eventually, we were visited by a doctor who asked mom to describe again her experience of a creeping numbness in her hands and face. He gently probed her explanation to get as precise an understanding as possible -- not a trivial task with my mother's narrative style. He returned in ten minutes to explain that her symptoms weren't exactly that of a "mini-stroke" (Transient ischemic attack or TIA) nor that of a seizure. He explained that they were consistent with other reported symptoms that other people with the same MRI images of broken capillaries on the surface of the brain have and that she may have a repeat of the symptoms in the next few days. He sent her home with the comment that the symptoms don't mean anything damaging is occurring.
Reading this morning about broken capillaries in the brain leads me to suspect that mom's cognitive decline is unlikely to be reversible. I am in some acceptance of this, not nearly as distressed as my sister. I know some of my emotional state is because i have worked through my grief about my mother and the emotional abuse i experienced. I longed for a mother-figure and have forgiven my mother for not satisfying that need. Thinking of that longing brings tears to my eyes.
I know from my father some of my mother's controlling and irrational behaviors continue, but in general she seems less distressed now than i can remember. I am so happy that she seems more eased by her decline than distressed. I don't think she is completely at ease, but she values her time more and seems to be much more thankful. And i am thankful for that.
There's a muchness....
The doctor she saw: https://www.med.unc.edu/neurology/powers-chair-of-neurology-to-retire/