Important relationships are key to the well being of those of us with rheumatoid arthritis, or any autoimmune disease. My mother was one of those relationships. And frequent phone calls were a big part of our relationship. I’ve been in an alternative universe for the past 3 months because of this precious relationship. The FRESH concept has been tested to the max.
It took less than a nanosecond to realize my mother was not doing well. I visited her in May to celebrate her birthday and was shocked when I walked in her front door. She was sitting in her favorite chair all bundled up under a heap of blankets. It had been a long winter. In fact, the buds on the trees still had not popped out. It was cold and dreary. That was the beginning of an intense time figuring out what was going on with mom and caring for her. This is why you haven’t heard from me.
Mom’s wish was to live in our childhood home independently. My brothers and I did everything we could to honor that wish. We had physical and occupational therapy assess her home and her abilities and make modifications and adaptations to allow her to stay in her home. We hired home healthcare help to assist and keep her safe. It wasn’t enough.
Ultimately, my mother was diagnosed with a fast growing, devastating cancer. She was sweet, gracious and very much at peace with all that was going on. There was a lot going on that challenged me and my siblings in every way. Much travel, appointments, brainstorming, physically assisting and loving my mother took place. We had very little, but very important time to share with mom before she passed away.
I’m operating in a daze because everything happened so fast I couldn’t process it at the time. I know I tried my best to adhere to my FRESH concept because the last thing I needed was an arthritic flare. I do believe being mindful of eating well, meditating, moving around as much as I could, getting the best sleep I could and staying hydrated helped in a big way to prevent my body from melting down with a huge flare. I was even expecting a major flare after all was done and I returned home, but it didn’t happen. I’m very thankful for lifestyle habits that help avoid my disease getting the best of me.
So, at this point I am pretty much just going through the motions, mostly numb to what is happening around me. I’m allowing myself to grieve so it is authentic when I return to a normal day-to-day life.
What hasn’t been normal at all, I noticed right away phone calls from one of the most important relationships in all my life, my mother, stopped. I haven’t yet dialed the phone number that rings at the home I grew up in since my mother’s passing. The phone number I learned when I went to kindergarten many many years ago. That would be too painful when nobody answers the call. I sure do miss those calls.
I’m glad to be back writing at Arthritis Wisdom. It is therapeutic. Thanks for stopping by.
photo by fancycrave at Unsplash