Its proving to be a very difficult year for me as well as Mom. Mom had a stroke in January and went a week without anyone really knowing. It was a mild one; I've already forgotten the name of such strokes. But that was probably the start of this.
I've noticed that mom has a tendency to not explain everything that's going on and to ignore or make light of something that would be considered important or an emergency. She waits until the last minute to call me and that's basically when I need to jump up and do something. Now! But that's not how the medical field works, I've noticed.
And there's a difference between what I know how to do and what I have time or ability to do. I started having anxiety before we knew about Mom's cancer. After a few frustrating weeks, I realized that I simply can't do anything about it. I still struggle to focus on what I can do for her. I've spent hours already trying to find answers, support, doctors, etc. I've taken her to most of her appointments. Her sister and her son took her to a couple, too. I believe that 9.5 out of 10 appointments she's had this year, she has tried to cancel.
Whatever choices Mom has, its still her choice. Her current condition is the result of her choices, whether she knowingly neglected her health or simply didn't understand her risks. I can't do everything for my mother no more than she could for me when I got older. But I'm sure that I didn't want to go to the doctor when I was a kid and Mom still took me. There are times when you just gotta put your foot down.
She accused me last week of "manipulating" her to do my will. That did offend me but I responded as calmly as possible. If I were manipulating her, I'd have her painting my walls or doing my dishes everyday. What I was trying to do (at that moment) was to get her to the doctor, which has no benefit for me whatsoever, but will benefit her and her health. Later, I told her I wasn't ready to lose my mom. That would make it a benefit for me.
I think that was the day the EMS came to her house twice. The second time they took her to the ER by her demand. She had no patience that day or something. I understood that she was in a lot of pain that day but I had given her a choice of taking her to the doctor that afternoon or, if she couldn't wait, I'd take her to the ER. She almost hung up on me. Now I know Mom has always been difficult, irritable, suspicious, to say the least, but these days I wonder how much the stroke has affected her reasoning ability. What happens to a person who has a borderline personality disorder and then a stroke? How do you separate the personality disorder from the possible vascular dementia?
Yeah, I research. Maybe too much. But dang it if it wouldn't make things easier if Mom had been going to the doctor or therapist or whatever herself. Like I said, some curve balls you can't avoid. Other people's choices do affect us. It's our attitude about it that we have control over.