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19h UTC; FRIDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 2013: This particular post is a little different than the stylee of posts you're probably accustomed to here in this The Blog Our Parents WARNED(!!) Us About--in fact, it turns out being rather personal and borderline emotional. Sensitive, even.

Hence, all names have been deleted in consideration of privacy.

It just so happens that my 92-year-old mother, resident in a nursing home some 40 miles to the south of where I happen to be based (as the proverbial crow flieth), hasn't become much of herself over recent weeks.

She moved into the nursing home in question about three years back, after a serious fall injured her arm rather badly to the point where she can't do much of anything anymore. And which continues to be the case "up-to-now," in what could be close to her final days, perhaps even buying time with her episodes of despondency and emotion aggravated by age-related loss of memory which can catch up with her on occasion.

Though I can accept that loss of memory is inevitable with age, in my own mother's case such can amount to a derailment of what she perceives to be an otherwise well-ordered train of thought as has to be run to a certain manner (or so she's insisted on all these years), said derailments tending at times to make themselves evident in stream-of-consciousness conversation with close relatives or friends that can get to be so confusing at times that conversations need to be cut short. Or, on occasion, getting the idea that her "kith and kin" don't seem to care much for her anymore, even if they make the effort to call her on a usually weekly basis (though, at times, the connexion can be impossible because of pressing commitments on their end).

Some of the more annoying things as can get her emotions worked up in telephone conversations include:
  • Loss of important telephone numbers for relatives or close contacts, which she blames on "rifling" or "pilfering" on the part of nurses or other care staff (when, in fact, it's possible that such may have been all the more mislaid, thinking that such were secure in some super-secret hidee-hole only she knows--or so she thinks).
  • The neighbours in her nursing home "listening in" on her phone calls, after the stylee of the rural telephone party lines as prevailed well until the mid-1970's.
  • Being unable to find things in their accustomed places, which she easily blames on staff "rifling."
  • Even if an older brother of mine living the closest to her (with Power of Attorney, know) handles her financial and other affairs in her name and behalf, her claiming to get all manner of constant dunning phone calls and/or letters from the phone company demanding especially timely payment of the debt to avoid immediate disconnexion of service. And my sending her a letter seeking to explain things (and suggesting that the aforementioned calls in question could be a scam attempt, taking advantage of her deteriorating memory) being challenged as something she couldn't make head nor tails of, insisting that she plans to send same back to me for an explication de texte thereof, preferably in Reader's Digest stylee--short, condensed, oversimplified and easily digested in the shortest possible time.
  • Her being alone, despondent, and unable to get out much, even in a wheelchair (or even taking time to notice the weather outside).
As well, you also need to consider where she's also experiencing the occasional episodes of aches and pains as are part of her rheumatoid arthritis of long standing ... loss of appetite, much of which can be put down to diverticulosis of long standing and scar tissue from past surgeries building up in her system on occasion (in fact, she required emergency surgery a few years back to remove a substantial accumulation thereof, followed by 1-1/2 months' hospital convalescence) ... deteriorating eyesight, much of it complicated by cataract-removal surgery as extracted larger-than-average such (and the scar tissue not healing all that proper) ... a hip implant reaching the end of its design life, which can cause pain in the side from time to time ... back pain attributed to the effects of past surgery to correct spinal stenoses ... general feelings of tiredness and weakness ... even an episode this past summer with pressure sores in her lower legs, replete with some such oozing blood and pus.

Which, inevitably, can be put down to age for the most part, as well as the hardships of an upbringing in North Dakota's durum-wheat belt in the Great Depression years as saw the loss of her mother when she was seven, among other episodes in her otherwise uneventful years.

(In fact, when you talk to her on the ameche for an extended length of time, her somewhat tired and wan voice can get to sounding rather sad and weepy-like, as if trying to recognise that something sorrowful was about to happen and she doesn't quite recognise it at the moment. Hence, my phone calls with her tending to be all the briefer of late so as to save her throat and voice. Speaking of the throat, past throat surgery to remove some non-cancerous growths in her throat left poorly-healed scar tissue as has been known to flare up and afflict her voice in past.)

Which, in any case, has Your Correspondent wondering how much longer mother can hang in there ... not to mention how much longer I can avoid going even deeper into the abyss of insanity or emotional issues, such being my attachment to her all this time. (I will acknowledge that, when my own father passed away some 20 years back, I managed to avoid overdoing it on the emotion and grief as took its toll on my mother; past abuse and maltreatment on my part may have made all the difference.)

Stay tuned to this blog for further developments.

In the immortal words of the late John Cameron Swayze
as concluded every broadcast
of the Camel News Caravan (NBC-TV, 1949-1956),
"That's the story; glad we could get together ..."


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