My Mama is the best cook that ever lived. When I was growing up I never wanted to eat at anyone else’s house because no one could cook like my Mama could. She is the one who taught me to cook, and over the years since I became an adult, I called her so many times to ask her “how do you make” whatever. So when she called me a week or so ago, and asked me how to cook fried eggplant, it was a shock. She has been cooking fried eggplant since before I was born.
A day or two later, my sister, Linda, called me to tell that they had taken Mama to the ER. When she arrived her blood pressure was 220/110, or thereabouts. She was dizzy and felt sick to her stomach, and had a headache. The doctors ran all kinds of tests, but did not find any sign of a stroke or bleeding on the brain, and no sign of a heart attack. They kept her in the hospital for four days, and sent her home when her blood pressure was stabilized.
That was Saturday.
On Sunday, Linda went to check on Mama. She was feeling ill again, and couldn’t get up out or her chair and could not walk. She hadn’t bathed in quite some time, so my sister and brother-in-law carried her to the bathroom and helped her get cleaned up. Then they called 911 and took her back to the ER.
Upon arrival this time, her blood pressure was 88/45, too low this time. They took her off of all her blood pressure medications, and ran a zillion more tests. These test showed that she has acute renal failure, with only 17% kidney function. They also found signs of congestive heart failure and diagnosed her with Parkinson’s Disease. She is still in the hospital. Her renal function has increased to 33% since Sunday. She was seen by a physical therapist today, who recommended that she go to a rehab facility when she is discharged from the hospital.
Linda has been handling getting the rehab facility set up, and has found her a bed in a local place not far from the hospital. Mama doesn’t want to go, but we have no other choice at this time. Linda has to work. She just started a new job at the beginning of the summer, and they have been very good about letting her take time off. But since Mama needs someone with her 24 hours a day, Linda is not able to do that. I am not able to take care of Mama either, with the shape I am in physically. I will be going to sit with her two days a week, though, so she won’t be alone. We are working together as a family to work out a schedule.
We have known this day would come, but even with that knowledge, it is still hard. Hard to accept that our mother, who has always been a strong, independent woman, can not longer live alone. It’s going to be so hard to do this. I know we are not the first family to do it, nor will we be the last, but this is MY MAMA. I still need her to tell me how to cook.