Love in Action (4) From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power, and welcome back to this true story that involves loving the most unlovable person in my life, someone that He’s called me to love in action. Grab your coffee and let’s get back to Mom who is at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. It’s Sunday and . . .

Just five hours into my deep sleep, the phone rang, and it was the doctor letting me know that she was being very cranky and uncooperative, refusing to answer his questions, including the one about how much she drank. Her refusals were tying his hands, making it nearly impossible to send her to the skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation and nursing care, which he felt would be the best thing for her. He suggested that I talk with her and see if I could get her to agree, because we both knew she was at risk for falling again, and she was in no shape to even be alone, much less care for herself.

I called her room, and I explained that she would be transferred later on that day to the place we thought she was going to the night before. “Oh, well I thought they were going to send me home,” she said. I swear it was like she was still drunk. I finished explaining to her what, when and why, and then I hung up and tried to go back to sleep to no avail.

We got up and got ready for another visit to the hospital, but before going there, we needed to stop by her apartment and pick up a couple of things and talk to the neighbor. The conversation I had with her neighbor was painfully enlightening. I learned that my mom had been locking herself up in the apartment, going out less and less, calling a maintenance guy to run her errands and get her wine for her because the neighbor refused to. She informed me that she was drinking no less than a half gallon and as much as a gallon a day of wine! I cringed inside. It was worse than I thought. I also learned that she had been canceling several doctor’s appointments, changing doctors, and from the sounds of it, she was scared of something. She confirmed that my mom’s memory was getting worse and she was becoming more and more difficult to deal with. By the time we left, I was heavy with all that I had learned.

The next several hours were filled with her complaining of pain, being too hot, too cold, the blanket’s too heavy, take it off; put it back on. Scratch here; put the ice here, the bed’s too high, too low, too many pillows; I’m leaning too much to one side. And granted, she’s entitled to complain, but she was getting nastier and nastier. I felt like “Pop Goes the Weasel,” up/down, up/down, and in between, I’d rub her feet, hold the cup of water and get her to drink it, put lip balm on her chapped lips. And I was truly doing it out of love and concern for her comfort; however, there were moments where I literally prayed to get through them as I just served and loved her from one complaint to the next.

At 5:00 the ambulance arrived to take her to the Foothill Nursing & Rehabilitation facility in Glendora. She started to panic like a child, and I immediately reminded her that we had talked about this. I told her there was nothing to be afraid of, that I was right there. She started to cry and said, “I don’t know what I would do without you, Kimmy.” “You’re not going to have to worry about that, Mom, because you’re stuck with me,” I assured her. It squeezed my heart to see her vulnerable with me and  being nice to the ambulance attendants too. We followed her out and I assured her we’d be right behind them.

Within a half hour, she was situated in her new temporary home and we had met her nurse who immediately asked if she had eaten dinner. Mom said she wasn’t hungry but I talked her into some cottage cheese and peaches, which she ate six bites of. They brought her a pain pill and I fed her another bite of cottage cheese, telling her the medicine would work better with more food.

We stayed a couple more hours, but before we left, George suggested we pray for her. He put his hands on her good leg, I put one hand on the bed and one on her forehead and as he prayed for Jesus to turn her stony heart into a heart of flesh, her head shook back and forth, as though she were saying no, but all I could do was marvel at the fact that here we were with my number one unlovable person praying for her! OMG! That in and of itself was and is so amazing.

I wish I could say that that did it and we lived happily ever after. The truth is, her demon of addiction is fighting for her with a vengeance and I would so appreciate your prayers as I embark on this journey, learning whatever it is He has for me to learn while putting that love for her into action. To be continued . . .

Have a beautiful day.


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One Response to “Love in Action (4) From Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power”

  1. Gay says:

    more tears…more prayers for Shirley…God is good.