Thirty Days of Thanks, the theme for this month’s project, could not have come at a better time.
Last month was a trying time for my family. My 87 year old mother was rushed to the emergency room at UCLA not once, but twice. The first time it was because she was dehydrated and suffering with a kidney infection. The second time it was because her heart rate was beating too fast. My mother has a pacemaker and suffers from Atrial Fibrillation (aka A-Fib), which if not treated could cause a stroke or heart attack.
I’m thankful my sisters and I know our mother so well, we could detect things weren’t right with her the first time. She was not eating as she normally would, she was losing too much weight, and her sharp memory was basically non-existent. Because of these and other symptoms, we knew we had to take her to the hospital. It was right on time, too. If we had waited any longer, the story could have been different today.
Because of her first stay in the emergency room, she was assigned a visiting nurse. I took her home with me because I work a part-time job and I could be with her most of the day and could be there when the nurse came to visit. This was a good for the second time she ended up in the hospital, it was the nurse who noticed her fluctuating blood pressure and fast-beating heart rate.
I offer up a simple “thank you” to God for allowing us to have her back home on the road to recovery, and for awakening us to the fact our mother is no longer the young, independent, sharp-minded woman we’re used to, but an older, frail version of herself — one who needs constant attention and tender loving care.Deborah A. Mitchell