A ninety year older lady blacks out and falls to the floor. She lives alone so there is no one there to assist her. When she regains consciousness, she uses all the strength she can muster and finally pulls herself up. When she is feeling better, she calls her daughter. She is taken to the hospital for evaluation. The results show she is not drinking enough water and is dehydrated. She was given instruction and told to drink more water, which she has been doing. That was a year ago. Now she is a year older, still living alone and has perhaps forgotten about drinking water more often and the hot weather has arrived. She has since been signed up with a first alert company and has a monitor she wears around her neck at all times. She again passes out in her bathroom and when she come to, she is a bit disoriented, but has enough presence of mind to push her alert button. This time she cannot get up by herself. The alert company calls her daughter, who does not come, but instead sends her husband. The lady has a split lip, a bruised nose and a big bruise on her arm. The husband can not get her up from the floor and has to call in a neighbor to assist him in getting her up. He remarks that maybe she has not been drinking enough water. He makes sure she is in possession of her faculties by now before leaving, but no one takes her to emergency. They assume what the problem is. This all happened around noon time. I find out that the daughter has not called her mother to see how she is until the following day. Since the lady was upset her daughter was very unresponsive to her in a time of need, she asked why she had not come with her husband when she fell. Her explanation was that she had company from out of town and could not leave. Please picture this.... your ninety one year old mother has fallen, laying on the floor, not able to get up. You do not know her condition, or if she is badly hurt or not, or if she needs medical attention, but you have company so you can't go find out, but your husband does not need to stay and visit so send him. It is only your mother and she did this last year also, so it probably is nothing. You do not have time to call later in the day, but she will be O.K. until you can call tomorrow. What kind of a daughter does this? What kind of company do you have that does not insist you go find out about your mom. What kind of people are all of you any way?
Now here is another story that is in such sharp contrast it will make you feel that not all children are so insensitive. This mother had three children. She lost one son some years ago and more recently another son from a car accident, leaving only one daughter. Both she and her husband are in poor health, both physically and mentally. The daughter lives 105 miles away, which takes her about two hours to get there. She has a full time job plus her own home to take care of. She also has to handle her parents financial situation, see that they get back and forth to doctor appointments, deal with Realtors, con artist on the telephone, and seek help from caring relatives and friends who can do small errands for her when she is unable to get there. She is in the process of getting their house sold and moving them to her town where she can better look after them. She spends most of her week-ends with them, helping them with whatever their needs. She has arranged for a cleaning lady, a relative to drive them for groceries, and she takes time out to write checks and pay all their bills. She talks daily to them on the phone. More recently she is taking time off from work (leaving after her shift ends tonight)to go stay with her parents while her mom undergoes surgery. She leaves her own household to care for them. Her father just recently showed signs of senility which she now has to face and find out what the future looks like since her mother is not able to take full care of her husband. The only child of two aging parents trying to run two households 105 miles apart, and doing such an amazing job, gives heart that some children love their parents more than others.
The first daughter not wanting so much responsibility,says, "My mom had her day, and now it is my turn." The second daughter says, "My day will come in due time."
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Aging is not a state of the mind; it is a stage of the body. When we are young we think we are invincible and can do anything we set our minds to. That is almost true, although our judgment is not always right because our inability to control our impulses has not yet fully developed. Young people have no fear and therefore are sometimes a danger to themselves. Now when you are older and the brain still says you can do anything you set your mind to, the body steps in and lays reality on you. The body is like any piece of machinery. It wears out. “Oh, I can do that”, you say, and then when you attempt it, the old body says, ”I guess you can’t.” It is a very frustrating thing to want to do something and you can’t. You get down and it is harder to get back up, you want to run around the block, but you are panting and wheezing before you have gone very far, You find that whatever you attempt, either your legs, or your arms, or your back, or your eyes, or your breathing is not cooperating with you. So, whether you are young or you are old, your body is in control of you, and your mind is just fooling you into thinking it is not. You had best listen to your body if you want to stick around for a while. Thinking you are younger than you are can be detrimental to your health!