18 Days

Last night was the first time I slept in my own bed in 18 days.

No, I was not on a trip. I was caring for my parents in another state.

Our care involved three, one-way plane rides, three 888 mile trips on the I-90,

and staying at my parents and my sister in law’s home.

During the last 18 days, I sat in a hospital at the bedside of my mom in ICU – for 8 days.

I held her hand. I escorted my Dad through the maze of hallways to reach her room.

I watched intently as she clung to life and the slowly returned.

I talked to her. I brushed her hair.

I told her I loved her.

I explained medical jargon and treatment to my father.

I communicated with my sister daily, sometimes in person but mostly by text.

I visited the hospital and spoke to the staff in the ICU and step down unit.

I thanked them for their outstanding care.

I fed my mom, one spoon at a time.

I took care of my father, cooking a little, shopping a little,

driving him to and from our unwanted destination – the hospital.

I listened to the mentally challenging FOX news network because it was blaring in the

background while we were at my parent’s home.

I realized silence really IS golden.

I reconnected with my Godmother, my mom’s first cousin.

I had the support of some wonderful friends both there and here,

who just listened supportively when I talked.

My husband trimmed the apple trees and weed-wacked my parents’ two-acre-yard, twice.

He washed the floors on his hands and knees and vacuumed the whole house.

He took yard waste and brush to the town collection site for my Dad.

We visited with my parents wonderful, watchful, caring neighbors.

I cleaned two toilets that were not my own,

and washed the floor in the bathroom and laundry room.

I threw out bags of expired (yet, non-perishable foods), deciding non-perishable is a misnomer.

We researched nursing homes and their ratings, as well as their proximity to my parent’s home.

I assisted in my mom’s placement at a transitional care unit by talking with the social worker to

whom she was assigned.

I labelled my mom’s clothes and delivered them to her new unit.

We walked my Dad through outdoor-only visits.

We spoke with a new social worker.

I advocated for both of my parents.

Even though there are many things I did and I’m writing about, it was not for me, it was not

about me, but them.

We were told mom was quarentined until October 10th due to a direct exposure to a COVID +

staff member.

My mom did not have COVID before or during her hospitalization.

We spoke to my mom by phone – our only way of communication now for two weeks.

She is angry.

At us.

She doesn’t remember why she is where she is or all that has happened in the last

18 days.

4 thoughts

    1. Thank you. COVID has complicated so much for so many. It has made a hard thing, harder, in my opinion. We are all trying to talk to her frequently so she knows we are with her even though we cannot see her in person right now. Hoping by the 10th the restrictions will be lifted.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This is quite a post. My heart goes out to you and your family because this cannot be an easy transition, especially with the distance involved. I hope your mom is well soon and the reunion with everyone can help with the healing.

    Like

    1. Thanks Darin. I know we’ve shared concerns about aging parents before. Unfortunately, this event was not all that unexpected. My sister and I had been encouraging them to make a move (like your parents did) before a health crisis forced their hand. Now, we are living with the consequences of that procrastination. I appreciate your comments, as always.

      Like

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