Today was a beautiful day in our neck of the woods. Sunday is always a good day in my book. Breakfast for the family and then what to do?
Mom has cancer and very bad arthritis and my younger son, 17, just had ACL/Meniscus surgery on his knee. What do you do in this situation? You sight see.
I suggested a short day trip to Devil’s Den State Park in Arkansas. It is beautiful there. Here is a glimpse….
The park is gorgeous with a lot of hiking possibilities. We were not able to partake in hiking but we were able to enjoy a nice picnic outdoors. Plenty of places to park and enjoy the scenic surroundings. If your careful and don’t speed by it as I almost did, there is a scenic overlook with much to offer…as seen here…
Now to the unpleasant part of the day. This post should just be about what a beautiful day in Arkansas it was, but for me it was a stressful day. A day that I realized, no more day trips for my mom. It’s not because of the lymphoma, it’s because of her pain. Her kidneys had failed and now she can’t take the arthritis medicine she was taking prior to the lymphoma flare up. Now she is in constant pain. She will not acknowledge it, denial is a powerful thing. If you ask her how she feels, she will say “I am fine”.
I swear “I’m fine” is going on her headstone. Stubborn as the longest summer day. I thought it would be nice to enjoy the beautiful sites but my mom was in so much discomfort, despite her testimonial saying “I’m fine” that it affected the day. She would not converse in the car. I was riding alone. I would point to something of interest and while looking the other way, she would say “oh yes that’s nice”. So is she in pain, or was she lost? I will never know. All I know is that my mom and I were best friends for years and we hiked Pike’s Peak together just 7 years ago. When my mom was 66 she hiked 26.2 miles to the summit of Pike’s Peak and back down. Now at 73, I can’t get her to have a conversation. I point to things and they don’t seem to register. She looks for what I am speaking about but never seems to find it. She really seemed miserable the entire day, but if we had left her home, she would have been angry at that. My mom has become very childlike and very selfish, we can’t win with her. I know this isn’t my mom. I know that the dementia is causing this along with all the pain. She is hurting and angry and most likely scared, but will never speak of it or admit it. Strong German woman that she is and always has been for as long as I can remember.
This post is about a beautiful place in Arkansas, Devil’s Den State Park, but it is also about me slowly losing my best friend. Thank goodness gas doesn’t cost $2,009.00, but I sure wish we drove internet speeds. My first post will give you the reference on that.
How do we as a society deal with our aging parents? As they become children and we become parents to them, what is the path? I chose mine and it is living here with my mom. As hard as it is daily to watch my mom deteriorate, I would not be anywhere else on earth. This is not my duty or my job, it is my pleasure to try to help her any way that I can as she has done so much for me through my life. So while today was not the fun enjoyable day I had hoped for, it was another day with her and even though she was in pain, she saw a place she had never been before and we did have one more adventure, followed up with ice cream….that make’s everything perfect.