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Thursday, September 26, 2013

....No Rest for the Wicked... If you're "just tuning in" this post may leave you wondering what the heck I am rambling about, I hope you take the time to go back and review my earlier posts so you can catch up with our story.             I very much appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Ring bearer (my grandson)
Flower girl (my 3rd cousin)
There was no rest.......

On Wednesday afternoon, April 24th, 2013, I brought mom home from the hospital for the eighth time in the past year.  48 hours later, while my sister sat with mom, I went to watch the rehearsal.  I was enjoying my family, the fresh air and beautiful setting where my daughter would be married the next day; I tried not to worry about mom or the many things I was afraid still needed to be done before the bridal party; family and close friends arrived for dinner.

Coasters/party favors
Seeing the happiness in my daughters’ eyes brought tears to my own.  She was going to be a beautiful bride; I still hoped my mother would be able to witness it, but didn't think it would be possible.  Mom was weak from being so sick earlier in the week; still she was excited about the rehearsal dinner.  Since it was at her house and she was home, at least mom wouldn't miss the party.

I had fretted about this dinner for weeks.  First I was worried the weather would be bad; it wasn't.  I spent a good deal of time worrying about who would sit with mom and how I would find time to clean the patio; my sister did it.  I wondered how I would get the tables & chairs hauled over; my brother made sure they were delivered and set up.  I had worried about what we would serve, when I would have time to cook and what we would have for desert; my husband and kids took care of it.  I was running out of things to worry about, but of course I am resourceful!

I hoped it wouldn't be too much on mom having that many people around; twenty people was ten times more than were usually there.  I was afraid
mom would get depressed about not feeling well enough to attend the
wedding.  I tried to remember if I had refilled her prescriptions; or made sure mom had plenty of Zofran.  I just couldn't stop myself from thinking about what I would do if mom couldn't handle the chaos that was about to ensue.  See, I can always find something to worry about!

Mom had promised she would lie down in her room and watch TV if it got to be too much for her; which is where she was when twenty some people descended on the house.  Mom was able to get up long enough eat a small amount, say hi to the kids and meet my soon to be son-in-laws family before needing to lie back down.

The increased fatigue mom seemed to experience after each hospital stay was frightening.  I was use to mom resting in the afternoons; she had done that my whole life, it was necessary.

The toll moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis had taken on her life had required frequent periods of “down time” since she was a young mother; over the past year and a half moms’ down times had become much more frequent and longer in duration.  The many medications mom had been treated with over the past fifty years had provided periods of intermittent relief; that relief had not come without risks.

For years I had purposely tuned out the commercials about the various drugs used to treat RA and their possible side effects.  You know the commercials I’m talking about, right?

The commercials that show pictures of bicycling, carefree seniors or young mothers playing football with their children or some other such scene that makes you forget about all the horrible other things you might have to deal with; the ones in small print on the bottom of the screen or spoken so fast you couldn't make a list if you had to.  Since they always prefaced it saying there were only a small percentage of people who had experienced the devastating life altering results they quickly glossed over, I chose not to acknowledge them.

I had mistakenly believed moms’ Rheumatologist and Internist would have the necessary knowledge of the drugs they were administering and the competence necessary to recognize the symptoms of the associated risks; I had believed they had her best interests at heart; there was a time I believed they cared.  One of my biggest regrets will always be that I didn't realize sooner how wrong I was.  I hate when things go wrong.

As wrong as so many things seemed to be going, my daughter had found Mr. Right and even if mom couldn't get out to the patio to socialize, I really needed to.  I was feeling pretty lucky that my sister was able to stay and look after mom that evening; it allowed me to join in the festivities.

It was quite a treat to meet my daughters’ soon to be in-laws (glad they weren't outlaws!); their down to earth easiness was refreshing and fun.

I also very much enjoyed watching my grown children and their friends reminisce; some of those stories would have given me a heart attack if I had known about them when they happened!

The highlight of my evening, however, was the time I spent with my grandson; that little boy lifts my spirits higher than I ever thought possible!

After the party was over and everyone was gone, something else happened that I didn't think was possible.  I had been worrying all evening because mom seemed to be so fatigued, which she was; I was convinced that all chances of her being able to attend my daughter’s wedding had been erased with her most recent stay in the hospital.

Imagine my surprise when, as I was helping mom get ready for bed, she said to me, “I think maybe I better go ahead and wear the brace to the wedding".  Evidently the extra rest she had gotten had rejuvenated her.

Rest was not something I experienced that night.  My mind had shifted in to high gear and was turning corners faster than I could process the thoughts.  I focused on what tomorrow would bring and tried not to let my imagination spin out of control.

My daughter and her fiancé had done an amazing job planning and executing their special day; my only task was to be there, and, of course, to make sure the contingency plan for mom would run smoothly.

Being an insomniac anyway, those two tasks kept my mind occupied and my eyes open for hours after I should have been sleeping.

Stupid insomnia!

I remember when I was young and my mother would say, “There’s no rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need any”.  She told me it was up to me to figure out which I was.  I wonder if she knew then I would lay awake at night, some 40+ years later, pondering that very thing.
Well, I’m obviously not righteous; I’m not without guilt or sin and I certainly do need sleep.

I definitely fall more in to the “wicked” category, I must; there was no rest!

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