Sunday, August 15, 2010


Two weeks ago, Mom had another stroke. I am convinced she has had a few small ones in the last year, but this one was not small. She cleverly managed to do it in the doctor’s office where we had come for a follow-up appointment so was treated immediately, but when they did all the tests, nothing showed up. A comparison of the brain scan from last year with the new one showed no further damage, X-rays showed no embolism, blood tests showed she was in good health, yet she had clearly had an event of some import. One of my favorite aides, who cried when we airlifted Mom to Wichita last summer, came to me and said she was going to be gone for a week and gave me a big goodbye hug because she knew we wouldn’t be here when she came back. And I started making plans for a future without a mother. Again.

For a woman who swore she would never go to a nursing home and prayed to not live long enough to be impaired, that woman has the strength of an ox. She came back again. I don’t know how impaired she will be. She is now rational when she talks, speaking in sentences instead of nods and monosyllabic responses like the last few months. But she groans terribly while she sleeps or dozes. And she clearly hurts when she is moved. Last week she was sitting in a rocking recliner, rocking … of course … and she told me she wanted to get up. I told her she was up and she yelled, “No, I’m not. Don’t argue with me. I want to get out of bed.” Sometimes she is not the Goldie we all know and love. But at the same time, she knows Ryan is on the road, and will ask if I have heard from him, and where is he?

Everyone keeps asking me what my plans are and I can only say I don’t know. As school time closes in, I am beginning to fear that I won’t make it back this year, and it breaks my heart. I miss my job, my friends, my house and animals, and my grandkids. I have spent the summer polishing my curriculum as I was to have only eleventh graders this year and I could really focus on them. And I need to be back in Cali very soon. But at the same time, how do I leave my mother. I can’t take her with me, I would be miserable if I left her here. And I don’t even know if she would know if I were gone. But I can’t really leave her, so I guess that really answers my question, doesn’t it?

I have requested a second leave of absence. I am applying for an emergency sub license. (That is harder than applying to be a teacher!) I am waiting. And Mom continues to deteriorate.

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