Patience, the hardest virtue…

I had planned my first day back from vacation carefully. I was going to choose photos, write blog posts, and get all caught up before leaving at the crack-of-before-dawn on Wednesday to teach in West Houston. I even had dreams of sewing! Dang. None of that happened.

Instead, I answered some email and then took mom to two doctors. Her primary Dr.’s associate saw mom for a UTI, swollen leg, and an open (but not infected) wound. While not great, this is not unusual medical stuff for an 84-year-old diabetic.

Cue up a happy sky photo because so far, so good.

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I took mom home for a nap after doctor #1, where she could rest and put up her leg. That didn’t happen. Instead, she was playing bingo when I came back an hour and half later to pick her up to go the eye doctor.

My mom has seen every eye doctor in Sherman over the last 5 years and she still can’t see as well as she wants to (this is after cataract surgery, in case you are wondering). I admit it — I lost patience long ago. Every doctor said ‘use drops’ and they tweaked her prescription. I figured my mom’s age was the problem and that her eyes were never going to be as good as she thought they should be.

Well, not so much. Last month, she saw Dr. Long who, with his associates, figured out that mom was seeing double. Did you know that they make glasses for that? Yes, they do.

The new glasses came and we all thought the problem was fixed. Except that it wasn’t. Damn.

Mom’s 2nd doctor visit today was back to the eye doctor. I figured that her glasses needed to be tweaked. Again, I was wrong.

It was a long visit. I admit that I was less and less patient as we waited, but I didn’t lose it and remained nice throughout. My younger self would not have stayed as nice. Does that indicate growth that comes with age? I can only hope.

Long story short is that her eyes are changing, too much and too fast. The doctor wants an MRI of her midbrain. Mom was a nurse and I know enough physiology to know that he suspects something stroke-like. Damn, again.

Mom was not thrilled, but she was calm. Nothing had really changed. She has trouble seeing and she has been a stroke risk for a long, long time. Life goes on. And we will try to remain gracefully patient, no matter what comes. It’s time for another happy picture, right?

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To those of you who find yourselves taking care of parents, children, or grandchildren, I hope that you find graceful patience when you need it. And if you have any to spare, please do send it my way :-).

35 thoughts on “Patience, the hardest virtue…

  1. I am a retired nurse also and last year I got five infections over a short period of time which lead to antibiotics over short period of time then developed eczema then psoriasis. To make a long story short I was very ill and sick. Now I’m 78 years old, love your web site and stories. I also started,losing my hair in December. I went and saw a functional Doctor as my regular doctor and dermatologist couldn’t get me better. I am just now beginning to feel better but you have to be your own advocate in everything you do and she sounds like she’ s trying everything she can do. I saw a different dermatologist also. The doctor I saw was a functional Doctor, she did a genetic work up and found cause which was I wasn’t absorbing protein. Now I’m on mend and much better but took lot of time, etc. keep plugging away, I’ll say prayers for your mother and for you. Thinking of you all.

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  2. Patience is hard, my 60 year old son had a mild stroke and can’t drive ,maybe by the end of the week. fingers crossed and prayer. God is good. Did you notice the lion in the pile of rocks in the foreground of your picture?

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  3. Thank you for the update on your Mom. Especially thanks for the happy photos! It is good to share and know we are not alone with the caregiving that is done for parents. Quilting has been such a joy and therapy for me as I care for the elderly and disabled in my family.
    Warmest Regards.

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  4. I know how you feel I’ve been taking care of my mom for the last five years and what a pistol. She had breast cancer and had a mastectomy 3 years ago, thank you God for getting her through that. But now she thinks she’s a princess, I waited on her for ever and just realized that she’s going to ride this for as long as you can lol. I mean I did everything until I saw her with her friends one day playing poker and carrying on like she didn’t have a care in the world right, well she didn’t. But about a year ago I started to wean her off of being to much of a princess. We still laugh about it she calls herself Pollyanna I don’t know what that means but I love her so much and I’m glad she’s here to laugh with. I mean she still is a princess but now she can get her own coffee take her shoes off ya know? Lol. Becky you are a good daughter and God blesses us for taking care of our parents. God Bless you.

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    • Mothers… they can make you a little crazy and I know that because I am one and sometimes make my own kids crazy. I’m lucky that mom is both dealing with this latest news well and that she can still think clearly, and that she has a sense of humor.

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  5. Becky, it is a blessing to be able to take care of our parents, and many times it is frustrating. Will pray for your mother, and also to ask God to bless you with patience.

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  6. I know exactly how you are feeling, as I i imagine many women our age are feeling who have an aging parent. I am dealing with a 91-year-old mother who has decided she can no longer walk. After a fall out of bed, a trip by ambulance to the ER and multiple tests it was determined there is absolutely mothing wrong with her. Sigh…… Since the $6,900 a month local nursing facility is out of the question, I just have to deal with it somehow.

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    • Isn’t it stunning how much nursing homes are?! I understand why, but how can the average individual ever hope to afford them? Medicaid is a Godsend when we run out of money but still need a nursing home. It’s scary to think that that safety net could disappear.

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  7. As one of the doctors told me one time…we are the sandwich generation, we are in between taking care of parents and children. His Mom was in a room across the hall from my Dad. He is a well respected surgeon in the hospital. (I am a retired nurse). So true but the top of my sandwich is now gone.

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  8. taking mom to see her cardiologist Wednesday, took husband to see cataract doctor today. Hoping her appointment goes well as he has surgery Monday. She had stent 3 years ago. also two mastectomies 5 and 6 years ago.. during that time dad was on oxygen and needed full time care so I was her and his caregiver. lost him 3 years glad she is here at 85 Patience is a virtue

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  9. Loved your sharing. Where was the second photo taken? I guess it reminds me of two things. Every time we think we’ve solved one problem, there’s another one right in front of us or coming up. Also, you’re showing your sons and daughters-in-law how to give with love over and over.

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  10. Dear Becky,
    I find as I grow older and I’m the one experiencing the health issues I understand my mom a little better. Some days are harder than others. I will say a little prayer for you and your mom I hope her issues get better for her sake and yours. Here’s a hug because we all need one. Barb

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  11. So sorry to read this blog. Sight is SO important for us all but especially the elderly. I hope your Mum comes tthrough this okay. My 98 (99 in Sept) father had glasses for 70 years until cataract surgery last year and now only needs them for small print. Amazing. However he seems to be finally succumbing to some TIAs and can get a little confused. Best wishes at this difficult time.

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  12. I will pray that something can be done to help your mom – and patience for you. Way back in 2010 my mom (just turned 84) was diagnosed with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis (a death sentence) The doc said she had 6 months to a year – maybe a year and a half if we were lucky. Suddenly I saw my mom in a very different way. It came home to me that she wasn’t going to be there forever. I started visiting more often and staying longer. I treasured every moment with her even when I was cleaning up things I’d rather not think about. I was with her the day she died some 3 1/2 years later. It was so hard to watch her struggling to breath that her death was a blessing. But I miss her terribly. I’m just very grateful that God gave her the time to see her favorite granddaughter (my daughter) get married. And my daughter, Alexis, says that her twins are due to the work of my mom from heaven above. I wouldn’t doubt it. God bless you and mom. When you want to lose patience, remember – it could be worse. She could be gone!

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  13. So sorry to hear about your and your mom’s trials. Diabetes is a terrible illness and I will be praying that her sight improves or at least stabilizes. I, too am a retired RN and have seen many good things happen along with the bad, and will be thinking about you and your mom often.

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  14. In your mom’s trials and your walk with her, I hear your desire to grow in gracious love. What a blessing for your mom.

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  15. Always seems that reality hits you smack dab in the face after a vacation. So sorry that your mother is having vision problems. We rely on our vision so much. Know this has been trying and frustrating for both of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang in there, girl. I waved when you went through NM.

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  16. Blessings to you and mom. In the long run you spent your time on much more important work than sewing. I know it’s hard to see that but having cared for my dad in my home I can tell you it’s worth it. Looking back a few years from now this day was time better spent than sewing. And we love your work so we’ll wait patiently for your next creation.

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  17. I understand what you are going through. I have been on ‘mother care’ for several years. She recently passed so you are welcome to the little bit of patience I still have left. Take care and hold your mom and memories close.

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  18. It’s tough! Been taking care of my mom since last October when she fell and broke her leg. She stayed with my DH and I for a while, but is back on the nursing home for the 3rd time around. We are now looking at long term care because she needs more care than I can give her. She has vision problems, too, not solved by cataract surgery. It’s a tough road and I would like to say I have always remained calm and collected, but I would be lying. Good luck to you and all who are dealing with this.

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  19. Sending prayers your way for you and your mom. Remember to take good care of yourself and time for yourself. And last, ask for help when you need it.

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