Life just got a little more complicated. And I will admit I am struggling a little, which is why I am writing about it. I don’t know how else to process.
My mother, who is normally like her own force of nature, is in the hospital.
She had rheumatic fever as a child. What none of us ever knew even though this thing she had in childhood has always been part of her medical records, is that more attention should have been paid to her heart through out her life. Apparently, what I did not ever know until now is that rheumatic fever can and generally does damage the heart.
The long and short of it is my mother needs her mitral valve either repaired or replaced. They made her in-patient when she was having a hard time breathing and a really weird rapid heart beat. They did that procedure where they shocked her heart to reset her sinus rhythm and she came through that beautifully. But other tests showed this damage to her heart no one knew existed. She has probably been living with this most of her life.
This has all been caught early which is crazy fortunate, but it is still a lot to process. This is my mother. The woman who is always on the move. This isn’t some old woman in orthopedic lace up oxfords who sits in a chair. This is an active woman who travels and is Madam Fashionable. Hair always done, make-up always on.
My mother is truly strong, and although my rational mind knows she will get through all of what lies ahead beautifully and be better than ever, there are still all the emotions surrounding the fact that this IS my mother. And when your mother is sick, the adult woman who is her daughter becomes a child. I don’t even know if that makes sense. It’s just how you feel. Your mother is your first Superwoman, she’s not supposed to get sick.
The emotions that surround relationships between mothers and daughters are intense, strong, complicated. There is nothing simple about it. As a woman it is part of who you are. Some might argue that, and that is fine. Mother-daughter relationships are layered. And like other relationships, it is one which evolves. The relationship you have with any parent as a child is very different than the one you have as an adult.
I know many women who have had extraordinarily complicated relationships with their mothers. I am no exception. But she’s all mine and I can’t imagine not having her to talk to, laugh with, fight with, get exasperated with.
I love my mother and to get that call “your mother is in the hospital” is just one of those your-stomach-sinks-like-a-stone moments. Especially when it’s a woman who doesn’t get sick.
She has amazing care and I knew today she would be fine when she told me she was trying to figure out how to get her hair done while in the hospital. That and she hates the food and the hospital gowns look like rags. Well she’s right there, hospital gowns are downright ugly.
This is actually a hard post to write. I have my blog critics and I have learned when you are too open, they see that as an opportune vulnerability and an excuse pile on. Today I say screw them. If they don’t like what I write about, how I write, or even me as a person they can go scratch. And that is why there is a delete button.
So as I face my surgery I am emotionally torn. I know my mother won’t be able to be there and well, that makes me feel like I am about six years old even if I just want her to be better and back to normal. The flip side is given my surgery I will be fine but like it or not I will be on bed rest and not moving around much or normally for at least a couple of weeks. So that means I won’t be with my mother as much as I want as she recovers. It’s just a big crappers life complicated moment all the way around.
We will all get through this and come out the other side stronger and better but I have to tell you I am just over the monumental pain in the ass that is this winter.
Thanks for stopping by.
Beautifully written. Words mean so much more when they are shared from the heart. It is a scary time yet you can take solace in that your mother’s condition was discovered in time to fix it. Kudos to you both.
complicated and beautifully ‘spoken’. When we are sick, it doesn’t matter our age or distance form our mothers – mine’s been gone 19 years …. nevertheless, when I’m feeling really punk – I WANT my mother!! Hang on – you’ll do all this with class!!!
Hi, Just want to encourage you. It has been a very long hard winter but spring (literally and metaphorically) is on the way. Like one of my favourite preachers said, “It’s Friday now but Sunday’s a-coming.” For what it’s worth, your mother sounds like my mother-in-law, even down to the hair, and she’s been through two very successful heart valve replacements. She’s now 93 and more energetic than ever. Blessings, Dawn