A getaway back home, for Mum

A getaway back home, for Mum
Over the decades of life and living for us humans, there is one point I have learned time and time again. Do not desire anything desperately, as one can never achieve it, if it is not meant to be. Just because there is a desire, it seems to elude the desirer and that is what is happening with my mother. Ever since she broke her leg and was confined to a wheel chair, a decade ago, her life became difficult and unfortunately for her never improved at all. A strong achiever who was a role model for us kids, overnight became dependant and helpless.

She never learned how to walk ever again and even though she ran her own home from her wheelchair for a few years, over time it broke her spirit and she just gave up. Servants seeing her incapacitated took advantage and slowly she realised that she needed to be put into a home for the aged where she was assisted 24 hours.

Old age,I have realised,if you are incapacitated, with illness and lack of mobility, that can be a surefire killer. Slowly the spirit dies as you find you are a prisoner of the chair and sadly all the fun you were used to in your life is over. That finally is what seems to kill the spirit of our elders. It happened with Dad though he was mobile to the end. But when his eyesight began to give way he sort of began to lose the will to live. He could not read, he could not garden, he could not walk to Johnson Market to his favourite Durga bakery to scoff his specials and sadly also his greatest joy of eating hot dosas at a small darshini and slurping down the sambhar, also stopped.

But as my son Andrew says -- one cannot just decide to die. The body will not cease with the flick of a switch. He said that in response to my saying why cut back on all the good things in life, I can eat it all and then just die. No such luck Mum he said -- for a diabetic it could mean the slow death of all the vital organs in the body and you can still be living with a bad heart or the loss of sight. Diabetics can also lose the lower limbs and that and be devastating for the person. A diabetic will die a slow and painful death if they are not careful.

Sadly for Mum death is taking its time to claim her, meanwhile we sit and watch her pain and suffering and ask God why? Why must a good woman suffer so much pain and indignity. Have servants handle her roughly and rudely, because we still need to earn a living and get on with life with our own families.

Parkinsons has claimed even her throat muscles as I write this and she cannot swallow. So after nasal feeding which caused a horrific pneumonia, a tube has been fixed in her stomach called a PEG. Now we will have to organise liquidlising her food to pour down the tube.

Thankfully Mum is unaware of anything around her and of her condition. It has been very difficult looking after her as she is totally and completely dependent on us for everything. Thankfully her hospital bills which could crush us, have been well provided for by her and Dads savings. All I can say is, that old age comes upon us in a flash, and I ask death to please take us with grace and with speed and don't let us suffer like my Mum is, hanging onto life by a thread.
Marianne de Nazareth




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