Friday, November 04, 2011

14 Days

Another depressing post ...

Doctors are often wrong. There were wrong about my brother, and they may well be wrong about my mother. They give her 10 to 14 days. She is not eating and can't use her hands, so is only having water fed to her through a straw. How long can she go on with only water to sustain her? We don't know yet if she will refuse her dialysis treatment, but now that she is no longer receiving anti-depressants, this is likely.

Of course, I am left to think about my father and my mother, because I will soon have no parents. I was always closer to my father. He was the gregarious, funny, joyous one in the family. He loved to have a good time and he liked to laugh and make jokes. He liked traveling (to beaches, mostly), making wine, operating the BBQ. My mother, on the other hand, was always quiet, reserved, and--let's face it--depressed. If I try to summon up a visual image of my mother, it is this: she sits at table or in a living room chair with a cigarette smouldering in an ash tray with a cup of instant coffee, reading either a Harlequin novel or a magazine such as True Romance. 

She never got any exercise, never had any hobbies (aside from a short-lived effort at numismatics, cut short by my brother's thievery), and a brief foray into the bizarre world of liquid embroidery. She did accompany my father on trips to the Caribbean, but I really have no idea if she liked these excursions. Other than that, she was a couch potato, but she did read, unlike my father.

She once told me that she first became aware of her depression when was was a teenager, which might explain why she took up smoking at age fourteen. I have read that there is a link between smoking and depression. She also told me that she was careful never to reveal her depression because she legitimately feared that she would be placed in a psychiatric hospital, something she did have to face as an adult when I was away at University. One of the things I am grateful for is not having inherited her depression. I think I am clear of that one, but I do worry about Alzheimer's, which afflicted her mother, and is creeping into my mother's brain. I hope I dodge that one too.

Anyway, the plan is to head out to the far reaches or rural southern Ontario this weekend and visit with her. It's not going to be pleasant.

1 comment:

Super Happy Jen said...

So sorry that you're having to go through this. I wish we could all be healthy and happy until we are hit by buses at age 100. Good luck with your visit.

BTW: This post prompted me to look up liquid embroidery. What fun!