Why it still hurts and what changed

As I write this in just a few hours it will be mothers day.  For me on two counts it’s not as I’m neither a mother or have a mother.  So it will just be an ordinary day apart from the clocks going forward as I live in the UK. I lost my mother in 2012 from a short battle with cancer.   You certainly do change when you lose a mother, it’s hard to put a finger on how that change impacts you or always put into words how it  affects you, but as far as is possible or reasonable or printable I will try to share how it has changed me and why it still hurts when we are now in 2017.

From discussions I’ve had with others and through observation the impact  a parent’s death has on a person is profound.  When my mum’s father died she went to pieces, her was her soulmate, there was always a pervading sense of sadness around home I often think that was why, I don’t think my mum ever got over losing her father and it was rather poignant she died at the same age as her father did and on the same weekend.  I’ve heard say married couples when one of their parent’s dies how it impacts them and thus their spouse and sometimes ends their marriage or contributes to it.

I remember reading an article about grief of a mother in an online Oprah Winfrey magazine.  It summed up well how it impacted me.  The strange thing from the article I had read and  certainly became true for me was the new sense of freedom I felt, no more nagging and worrying from my mother, I didn’t have her looking over my shoulder every time I did something or travel somewhere.  I definitely felt guilty about being happy about having those shackles lifted off me, but that was my ultimate vulnerability that I didn’t realise at the time as unfortunately it did make me a bit reckless, but freedom can do that to you when boundaries have been removed and I learnt the hard way that I needed that stabilizing influence of my mother that I actually really still needed. It was certainly right that I had the freedom but I also needed the stability which is something I lost and I actually had not necessarily valued.

One of the incidents that struck me was when following my mum’s coffin up the church I knew at that point things had changed family order wise, I felt older and more responsible.  There was a lighter moment at my mum’s internment when I attempted to get over some snow only to discover that I’d climbed a tombstone instead to the helpless laughter of my nieces.

I had to adapt to going to various shops on my own that used to going to with my mother, my mum used to help me shop for clothes now I couldn’t rely on my mum to give an honest opinion about what suited me the best or what really looked terrible on me, now, I now have to just try and judge for myself feeling my way through and hoping that I may have made a good choice but I still don’t always feel that confident that that I’ve made the right choice as my mum’s choices were excellent.

My mum’s standards were high and my ability to wash, iron and cook to her standards are nothing compared to hers, and she would assist regularly with ironing, but now she is not around so I have to hope for the best when I iron it’s not a disaster.

The two things I miss most of all are my mum’s attention to detail and her sense of intuition which I didn’t always appreciate, she was always thoughtful, if I was staying over night she would set my breakfast out  before I came down (if I had to be up early), everything was set out she knew what I liked with little I had to do to put my breakfast together, I liked hot chocolate in the morning at the time, and that would be in the mug ready for me to just pour the water in for example with me not having to go hunting for the hot choc container.  She was even like that when she was ill, which obviously  I didn’t expect from her at all.

But the thing I miss most of all about my mum and why it hurts so, is that I could trust her, not in the sense of being a confidante as she wasn’t a friend, but it was in the sense I could trust her regarding me, she always had the right motives concerning me, I knew she would do me no harm.  If she did give me advice it was always with my best interests  at heart, no guile no deceit just pure love.  Of course I trust people but not in the way I could trust my mother.  It has made me more cautious, and yes this is what hurts the most.

At the same time I’m grateful that a support network materialised through one thing or another which has helped me come to terms with her loss, but yes it’s changed me and yes it still hurts.  I wish a happy mothers day to those reading this, but my thoughts are with those who have no mother or are not mothers themselves.  So to those who still have mothers or have children don’t take either for granted you don’t know if it’s the last shopping trip or outing you will be on or the last bunch of flowers you can buy your mother, or toys you can buy your child embrace and enjoy every moment you spend with your child.  If you can please spare a thought for those of us who can’t enjoy doing what your doing, and if any of us look sad or far away, don’t think we don’t want you to enjoy this special day just know for us it just still hurts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not just an ordinary day

Last Wednesday, I had made plans, voluntary work in the morning, an interview with an employment advisor in the afternoon and a relaxing evening as it had been a busy week after the funeral I went to on the Monday and a friend coming round with a new TV on the Tuesday.  However my relaxing evening didn’t transpire.

As usual I went to the hospital to carry out my voluntary work, had a mixed morning, then had to navigate travelling from the hospital to our city centre by 2:30 in the afternoon I left a little earlier to compensate for the time as I finish by one normally, if I remember rightly I didn’t have to wait long.  I arrived at my appointment early got served my coffee and got on with the conversation, took my bus home about 3:45ish but it was late, and I think  I was in a traffic jam.

By the time I got home I was ready for a relaxing evening but it wasn’t meant to be, something wasn’t right. It all started on the Sunday, unusual aches in the far right of my body, I thought it was a bit of trapped wind to be honest or constipation, it would come and go, sometimes I get constipation before my cycle, everyday I was getting some discomfort then it would wear off until Wednesday.

By 5pm I was experiencing unusual pain ordinary pain, followed by fiery tearing shafts of pain, long and short of it I ended up in our local A&E (Accident and Emergency) for non UK people.  I was there from 7pm until about 2am before I got seen too, the first set of nurses weren’t that great.  Also in the meantime I’d been physically sick, and there had been one rather aggressive drunk woman, shouting her head off.  At the same time a woman next to me who worked in a care home passed me some tissues.

At 2am another waiting room greeted me and eventually a lovely nurse dealt with me, I had trouble understanding her, but she really went to the ends of the earth to help me. I found it difficult to talk the pain I was in.  She gave me morphine that did nothing, but eventually gave me liquid paraceatamol that did the trick.  I think before she did that I had a CT scan as they thought it might be a kidney stone, I then got seen by a lovely doctor who asked me a lot of questions its horrendous business being asked a lot of questions when your dealing with a lot of pain at the same time.  It turned out I had something on my ovary which is what the CT scan had picked up, so I would need an ultrasound to show more details.  Still in A&E I was put in a side room overnight, with a drip hanging out my arm, because the drip stand wasn’t great I had to have my arm at an awkward angle on a narrow bed, so I barely slept.

Thursday morning I hadn’t been given enough water for my scan so I had to drink more to get a proper one, much better.  oh yes, blood tests too. The day staff weren’t as nice and helpful, I had to drag my drip stand into the bathroom with me for the loo, the night staff made sure I had the stand right next to me before they shut the door on me, but the day staff just got me inside and slammed the door behind me.  I was concerned I would pull the drip out.

I then got moved to the surgical assessment unit, where again mixed experience, one ward assistant training to take bloods was great at getting the needle in without really hurting me, someone else staff trained was very rough the night before.  I was finally allowed to eat, earlier in the day, another examination and questions from a female doctor who was lovely.  I had difficulty getting comfortable to go to sleep although my main pain had decreased considerably I was left with bad constipation and stomach spasms, my best position was on my back with my head turned slightly to the right, well on the Thursday night at 1:30am I had just got into a comfortable position to be told I was going to be moved again.  This time I was moved to a plastics ward, which at least was more modern.

The consultant came to see me to say I was going home that day, and they would operate, that I would have another appointment and once I moved my bowels I could go home, and then disappeared, which hardly gave me any time to ask questions.  I didn’t go home till the following day, I saw  a much kinder consultant, who answered questions, who didn’t think what I had was ominous, but they do have to do further tests to make sure.

Now I’m at home recuperating from my ordeal, the strange thing is at no time was I frightened, in fact I was very peaceful, even though my BP at one point had been at a staggering 157, I don’t know what the bottom line had been.  I’ve always been used to what my former GP described as a disgustingly normal BP.  I still have to take meds and more tests to follow.

Upon reflection I’m glad I came through it, I have a deeper appreciation of what being in hospital is like as the last time I had been in I was only 10.  I can take what I’ve learnt and hopefully make patients that I see in hospital have a better and more comfortable experience than I did. For now I’m putting my feet up before I face that particular world again.