Friday, March 19, 2010

Neurotic Fears and Growing Pains

It's been an interesting week.

Last week, my mother had a mild heart attack. This week, today in fact, she went into the hospital for a catharization (Sp?) diagnostic and they found an area in her heart that had 80% blockage. They're putting a stent (and the Blogger software is again having issues with my spelling!) in and she should be feeling pert in no time, but wow...

It would seem the halcyon days of my parents' good health are shifting into what is inevitable with aging, but hard to accept, which I believe is also par for the course (and I really hate it when I can't think of a better phrase than a golf-related one, for crying out loud). I've always told my dad (who's older than my mom by 6 years, I think) that he is way too much of an asshole to ever die young. Sheer ornery stubbornness will keep him going into his late 90s, barring any freak accidents with fence posts, shot guns, or wild animals - just to list a few possibilities in his skill range right now. But my mother, that's another story.

I have this horrible fear that she has given up on living - I know, that sounds terrible doesn't it? Maybe not so much as give up on life, and not giving a damn about confronting her mortality and trying to boost her odds with maybe giving up or reducing her cigarette habit, and getting regular exercise. It scares me, the idea of having a heart attack. I imagine it to be a claustrophobic squeezing of your chest; your heart sputters, your lungs close up, and you drown in a sea of stagnant blood. Sorry to be graphic, but nightmares often are.

What is worse than imagining my own heart attack, is to contemplate my life without my mother in it. It's not like I talk to her every day, or have Sunday dinner there every week, but I do rely on her, not only for advice on sick kids, or what's missing from that recipe she gave me last week, but you know, to be there. The last little piece of my childhood is still intact, that from-birth sense of continuity that all is as it should be, as long as my mother is in the world. I know I can't have it that forever, all things yield to Time's erosion, but maybe just a little longer, please?

8 comments:

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

I just teared up at the office, that last line got me. What can you say to that? That it will all be okay? No, because that rings false, and ultimately cliche. But I will say that your mom may surprise you, she has a fair share of ornery in her as well. I know, Ive been there for a few of the times she more than proves it.

we_be_toys said...

And that, Bea, is exactly the right thing to say.

FairiesNest said...

I agree with C. And look at our grandparents...they had all the worst habits and lived to ornery old age too. She'll be kickin ( and driving us crazy) for a long time yet.

tysdaddy said...

I don't know your mom, but if she's anything like you in the ornery department, you've got nothing to worry about . . .

Tipping my hat, and thinking good thoughts, on behalf of your mom today.

slow panic said...

how did we get to the age that our parents are at the age that the inevitable finally is really inevitable. my mom, 74, is convinced she is going to live forever, but i see her growing frailer and her mind not what it used to be. it's scary. i'm not ready to deal with all of that.

hope the stint does the trick and she is soon back to feeling well.

flutter said...

a heart as big as yours will always be strong

A Free Man said...

Sorry to hear about your Mom. That's one of my big fears as well. My parents are getting older and I'm soooo far away. In fact, when I start thinking about it I verge into the panic attack realm. OK, going to stop now.

Arizaphale said...

That was perfect. What you said is EXACTLY what I have always felt about my mum...and dad....that continuity. I can't bear to think of it....but
I know they can do great things with stents so, be of good cheer and get her to give up the fags for God's sake!!!
Thinking of you.