During the time my mother was so ill, I thought about little else. When they offered the opportunity for me to stay all night, I grasped it quickly. My husband was against it, though – he who thinks practically. I just didn’t care about my own well-being, and I just did not want to leave my mother alone. The night nurse kept begging me to sleep, but I couldn’t envision my mother dying alone. So I just sat and held her hand. I had close access to the bathroom, so my needs were covered. My daughter arrived on Friday morning to allow me time to go home, shower, change, and get back to the hospital. By Friday night, the staff convinced me to go home, assuring me that they’d call if there was any change at all. That’s when I learned about the dangers of sleep deprivation!
I was delirious, in the true sense of the word. I didn’t know if I was awake or asleep, I couldn’t differentiate between reality and dreams, and my speech was incoherent. My two boys offered to go to the hospital on Saturday, giving me a chance to rest. I went back to the hospital that evening, feeling stronger, and I agreed to leave at 11:00 for the next two nights. However by Monday, she was getting weaker, and I again stayed the night. Thank heavens for my cell phone, so I could let my kids know how to prepare for Thanksgiving. My daughter came every morning, and I was grateful for her presence. By Wednesday night, I knew the end was near, and I stayed over again, and by Thursday, it was evident that she wouldn’t last another day. When she finally succumbed early Friday morning, I was racked not only with grief, but with utter exhaustion. I signed papers, called the funeral home, and finally left the hospital by 11:00 A.M.
When we pulled into the driveway, I assured my husband that I was fine – such a lie! I went to get out of the car, and I collapsed. He tried to grab me, but I was already on the ground, with my legs under the car. I struggled to right myself, and my husband tried to lift me, but I ended up with badly bruised legs and pulled muscles in my arms. For the next three days, I could hardly move, and I had so much to accomplish. Even if MS wasn’t a part of my life, I’d still have had difficulty with little sleep and a battered body!
I was fine by the funeral, though, and I was amazed at how quickly I had gotten back to my baseline. Unfortunately, then it was my husband’s turn! He was one of the pallbearers, a job I truly thought was merely symbolic. However, the six of them were expected to carry the casket to the grave, over a hilly ground. He lost his footing, went down on his right knee, and wrenched his back. He’s been to the doctor’s office twice, and they think it’s either a deep bruise or a herniated disc. Now begins the x-rays and specialists. Last night, he said he really didn’t feel the pain anymore, but I’m insisting he get it checked out thoroughly.
So, despite our efforts to get through a trying time, we’ll still be wearing the badges of overdoing. There was another issue, too, but I’ll write about that later.