Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Angels' Wings

Nearly three weeks ago, I nearly lost my mother. Her health has been failing for the past few years, and every day seems to present a new challenge. About a year ago, she asked me who she was. A pang so sharp pierced my heart. I got her some orange juice and a cookie and sat with her, and a few minutes later, she was fine. I thought it a combination of too many prescription pills, her age and several other conditions I’d studied when training for my certificate in medical transcription. Some things are just too painful to recognize and our subconscious refuses to let them in.

But what I witnessed a few weeks ago will stay with me for a long, long time. She was sitting on the sofa, taking off her socks and shoes, her words muffled and slightly slurred. The obvious thing that flashed through my mind was that she was having a stroke. I asked her if she knew who she was and she did. But the more I quizzed her, the more agitated she became, and before long, she began to tremble. I held her left hand and it was so limp it brought tears to my eyes. Then she got a death grip on me and squeezed it for all she was worth. Then it went completely limp and she began to convulse. It had to be the most terrifying thing I’d ever experienced.

We called the paramedics and there initial reaction was that she was having a stroke. Then her head rolled to the back of the sofa and she slipped into a state of unconsciousness. Feeling helpless and completely vulnerable, all I could do was pray. And in the many crisis in my life, I have always turned to the angels. I feel their presence and believe they hear our prayers and take them to God on their gossamer wings.

My mom was in a coma in intensive care for twelve hours. When she came to, her family was all around her. She recognized us and although confused to her whereabouts, seemed to be in pretty good shape, all things considered. Her neurologist told us her cat scan ruled out a stroke. His diagnosis was epilepsy. My mom had an epileptic seizure once close to fifty years ago. Ten years ago, her doctor took her off her anti-seizure medication. This bothered me, but I placed it in God’s hands. I always feared she might have another seizure and she did. Now she is on a less invasive type of medication to prevent seizures, but Mom is not happy about taking more pills.

Due to some balance issues and walking difficulties, her neurologist strongly suggested putting Mom in a nursing home for a few weeks for rehabilitation where they could address her needs. This was very hard and for those of you who have been there, visiting a loved one in a nursing home is a guilt trip. They don’t want to be there any more than we want them there. So once more, I called on my angels to carry my burden to God’s ears.

Yesterday, my mother came home. She will have a home nurse and a rehab counselor until she is stronger. She seems so fragile and reminds me of the fragility of life. Count your blessings and make every day count. Life truly does come full circle when our parents become our children, our responsibility.

Sharon Donovan
Romantic Suspense with a Twist of Faith


Linda Swift said...

Hi Sharon, I have just read your touching story of your mom. I'm so glad she has been able to come home with caretakers. And yes, I can vouch for the way they become like our children before they die, so fragile, so helpless. And it's scary and sad to realize that we have become the ones responbible for them, a total reverse of earlier days. I'm glad she has you and other family members to help the angels watch over her. And may they support you as well.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Linda, thanks for your kind words. I know this is something we all go through, but it is still rather jarring to watch them age. My strong belief in angels has gotten me through many a tough road. Thank you so much for caring and for being there, my friend.

Marianne Evans said...

Sharon, what a heart-stirring post! Please know I add my prayers to yours and those of your family as you 'guardian' your mom.

By the way, you speak of lifting your prayers to the angels -- well, Jesus might look you straight in the eye and say YOU,dear daughter (and all those who care for your Mom) are the answer to that prayer. You're her angels.

Blessings to you!

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks, Marianne. Those are very pretty and comforting words. Angels are my heroes and always come through for me in my darkest hour.

Robin Bayne said...

Wonderful, touching post!

Donna B said...

Sharon, what a blessing that you have her home with you again for a time and with all her faculties. I pray that your time together is well spent and will create memories you can cherish for the rest of your life.

Let us all count our blessings and cherish the loved ones around us.

Thank you for sharing this with us!

Sharon Donovan said...

Robin, thank you for your kind words. Your thoughtfulness is well appreciated.

Sharon Donovan said...

Donna, thank you for your sweet and encouraging words. And you're right. We should all count our blessings and make every day count.

Carol Ann said...

Sharon, thank you for sharing such a touching story. I can relate to this so well, and I'll tell my story in a blog tomorrow. She is lucky to have such a loving, caring daughter. We do move full circle from children to becoming our parents' caregivers in life. It is one of God's gifts. I will keep you and your mother in my prayers.

Sharon Donovan said...

Carol Ann, thank you for your sweet and moving words of encouragement. I know you can relate, living through this. I'll look forward to reading your post.