Saturday, January 9, 2010

Home/Hospital

We are at home, all of us, but my parents' room is becoming more and more hospital like. That started with the hospital bed I had to rent for my mother even before her discharge from the hospital last month, as her mental state rendered her unsafe in a bed without railings. It is incredibly sad to see her struggle to get up because she wants to go to the bathroom, something she has done without thought for most of her life, and which is now not possible for her to do. She has no memory of her fall or her surgery, and my beautiful mother is now a blank-eyed stranger, most of the time. She does recognise us, and at times is fairly lucid- when I told her it was Daddy's birthday on the 26th of last month, she immediately responded by saying 'Happy Birthday'. She was happy to meet my sister-in-law and my nephew, and spoke to them in English. But now she mostly lives in a world which is alien to us all. I have felt overwhelming rage at seeing her in this state- at her (most unfairly, I know), at myself, at the One above. Rage and frustration and grief at my utter helplessness in the situation we all find ourselves in. I can only imagine my father's sorrow. He tries to talk to her, sits next to her bed in his high chair and holds her hand, yet it doesn't seem to register. Because of her bed sore (which is much better now) I did get an air pressure mattress. I also had to employ a night home nurse for her. And then, after a couple of weeks in which Daddy's home nurse thought she could manage two patients single-handedly, but couldn't, we now have a second nurse in the day time. I had been hoping that Lakshmi could manage on her own just so as to not have another person crowding up the room, but I am finding that having Kalpana around makes life much easier for everyone. Daddy is not too pleased at having all these women floating in and out of his room. We joke, though, that he has KLM, an entire airline, in attendance! (The night nurse is Maya). Besides their wages, the home nurses all have a meal and a couple of rounds of tea and a snack in my home, so I need to make sure I have enough vegetables, dal, rice and bread available at all times.
To add to our woes, my father hasn't been at all well this week. He's now on antibiotics, steroids and has to use a nebuliser six times a day, as he has been wheezing most evenings. He's a lot better since he started the treatment, which is a relief.

I don't think I can let my sister return to Delhi anytime soon.

22 comments:

2 B's mommy said...

Oh Dipali, that must be so difficult for you to watch your mother. I don't know what to say..except to hang in there. Hope your mum and dad get better soon.

Lots of hugs to you...I wish I could do more..

Rohini said...

*Hugs*

Mom Gone Mad said...

I am so sorry to hear this Dipali.. i remember watching this gradual deterioration with my grandfather. it was heartbreaking.

hugs to you, dear.

starry eyed said...

I watched this with my grandad with Alzheimer's. It was heartbreaking and frustrating to see what he, my grandma and my mom went thru'.

Hugs to you. The nurses help, so utilize their services. It was the only thing that saved my mom's sanity (and her health too).

Take care of yourself, we women tend to put ourselves last after children and elders.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

My father had dementia, and I watched the gradual detoriation in him. Very painful for the children (and the spouses), specially since you get your hopes up during those moments of lucidity.
*hug*

MindfulMeanderer said...

*hugs* n prayers.

Space Bar said...

spare a thought for yourself from time to time. and sending you strength and patience. hugs.

Aneela Z said...

the trick is to find happiness and moments of joy in all the doom and gloom..Im really happy that you havent lost the wonder of you (the KLM nick for one)...this too will pass. All of you are together, if things have not got better they havent deteriorated either.
And for every thing else you have our prayers.

mayG said...

Oh god! this is so heartbreaking to read Dipali. Sending over my prayers.. having your sister around must be so comforting.. hang in there sweetie and take care of yourself too *hugs*

eve's lungs said...

Hugs .. cant say anymore .You're that stoic it hurts .

karmickids said...

Dips, I want to hug you. You are so so brave.

Doli said...

Oh dear! Hugs to you.. I know it must be very difficult.. hang in there and everything will become better soon

Anonymous said...

Wishing you and your family the strength and love to get past this! "This too will pass"!
Best wishes

Ron said...

It was somewhat like this with my grandfather. Painful does not even begin to describe it. Hope your mom is better soon.

Sands said...

Have been a lurker but this post prompted me to delurk. Here's wishing your parents a speedy recovery and wishing you much strength to get through this. Hugs!

dipali said...

@everyone: Thanks so much. It's good to know that I'm not alone. Your empathy and encouragement is a great support. Special thanks to new readers and delurkers- hope to keep seeing you around here.

Sue said...

Hang in there, brave one.

Sujatha said...

*Huggggggg* and loads and loads of love.

Subhashree said...

Lots of hugs, doosi nani. I can understand how difficult it must be to take care of a dear person who can't at times recognise you. Saw this happening to my naani and it was heart-wrenching. Lots of prayers your way.

dipali said...

@Sue, Sujatha, Subhashree: Thank you so much.

Trish said...

Ohh Dipali,I just read.Tough days,hang in there.no words..just hugs!

A Muser said...

Hugs, Dipali. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be, especially with your mom. I hope both parents get better soon.