I was stressed, depleted and bone tired. Now into the the 4th week at the hospital, (the first two almost twelve hours a day), I had been there first thing in the morning before work to meet with the doctors, and now it was past my supper time and here I was again, preparing to leave for the night. I hadn't seen my husband or children all day, and I know they were missing me as much as I was missing them. My job in a different hospital 30 km away filled the hours between morning and evening visits. The toll was starting to show. I was starting to become emotional at work. If a patient cried, I found tears spilling down my face in sympathy. My boss was not impressed.
I arranged the water mug with the handle facing just so, on the wheelie bedside table, added a light blanket over her legs so she could pull it up with one hand, and made sure the call bell cord was looped around the safety rail, so she could grab it and press it if needed. I showed her again how to call for help. I made her push the button a couple of times, both relieved and worried that they never came right away anyway. With my coat on and my bag stuffed with bits of laundry and notes for our next Specialist meeting, I kissed her on the head and said goodnight. She was distracted and anxiously began looking for something. "Mumma, what are you looking for?" "I am missing something" she said. She couldn't articulate the "SOMETHING"
We started the guessing game...me getting more antsy and crabby.
"is it your Kleenex?"
and so on for what seems like and eternity.
I think we were both ready to cry in our mutual frustration. And then she remembered. She was looking for her leg. We both dissolved into fits of hysterical giggles as I pulled back the blankets and showed her that her leg had indeed been there all along, just snuggled under the cozy blanket. Night mumma. Love you.
An excerpt from my journal following my mothers stroke 6 years ago. She has right side paralysis. At the beginning she has no awareness of her right side.