The Anxiety That Follows


The Anxiety That Follows

foot-538324_640It's taken me too long to figure this out myself, so I shouldn't wonder why the nurses at the facility are still struggling with this. The last two weeks were busy for all of us. My brothers being in town, they took Mom and Dad to the grocery store, to Kohl's department store, on long rides around the area where they had lived, and ... to the storage unit to pick up some more of Mom's stuff. Blessings being abundant last week, the older of my brothers also helped rearrange some furniture in the apartment to, at least, give the appearance of not being filled quite to overflowing.

It must have included a miracle - like the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, only in reverse. (Think what it would have been like for Jesus to have thousands of fish and thousands of loaves of bread and only five people to feed. Where would he put all the food? It would take a miracle.)

One brother left a week ago, the other one left last Friday. Saturday morning I got the first call from my dad to say Mom needed me to come. She was very sick. When I got there, as I explained in my last post, she was doing well and visiting with my cousins. Dad called again on Sunday night. Mom was sick and probably wouldn't be able to go to her eye doctor's appt on Monday. Monday morning, I got a call from the nurse at the facility. Mom was complaining of numbness on one side of her face and numbness in one foot (same side). The nurse said I should take Mom to the doctor right away. She was thinking stroke.

I explained. Mom had her two sons in town doting over her for the last two weeks. She was kept busy and didn't think too much about her anxiety. Now they had gone home, she was really down and her anxiety was boiling over. The numbness in her face - she has chronic sinusitis. The numbness in her foot - she has peripheral neuropathy. In anxious moments, she forgets all this and "can't figure out why this is happening". Add to that, her mouth was really dry... like it's been for the last seven or eight years because of her medication.  "But," she says, "it's worse this time." This is her mantra -- and her physical and emotional reaction to stress.

The last time this happened at the facility, they sent her to the ER in an ambulance, only to find out she was in perfect health and would probably live for years.

Okay, we'll skip the last remark and my panicked reaction to it. Anxiety is not perfect health. Anxiety is crippling and frustrating, and after many false alarms, maddening for me. Anxiety paralyzes her and sometimes forces her to stay in their apartment. Pay attention docs! Anxiety is serious stuff! That said, she's been on so many medications for depression and anxiety, they don't work so well anymore. She was taught some tools for dealing with anxiety, but it was too little, too late. Cognitively, she doesn't remember or really get how to use them.

We're going to go through these ups and downs on a regular basis. Several of the nurses are leaving the facility soon. This means I'll have to train some new ones. Hopefully, I can be proactive enough to avoid someone panicking and sending Mom off to the ER when it's not necessary.

I'm tired. Tired of flying down to the apartment whenever Mom's anxious enough to worry the nurses. To be painfully honest, I'm tired of dealing with anxiety. This is not a good thing when it runs rampant through my family. Our daughter, daughter-in-law, and grandson all have significant anxiety issues. It takes a lot of energy. And, of course, I do too, though thankfully, not much any more. I learned early on to not admit it or show too much because Mom didn't really allow us to show emotions.

Okay, I do show it at times and I'm sure others get sick of dealing with me. I'm trying to be patient with all my wonderful wonky family. I hope they can be patient with me, too.

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I gotta admit, if I were that nurse, my own first thought would also be \"stroke\".\r\nYour Mom is very fortunate, and blessed, to have you.


Wow, Goldie, I'm struck by all you know about managing things for your mom and your family. You really are an \"orchestra director.\" Your parents and your entire family don't know how lucky they are, and what a gift you are to them. If it were me, I would really need a significant break after family being there, siblings, etc. But it sounds like in the aftermath you're being called on to give even more just when you need to rest. No wonder you are tired. I hope things settle soon and you are able to get a break and time to rejuvenate a bit.


The aftermath just sucks.\r\n\r\nIt's nice to have the visits and the family togetherness. But, it would be nice if they stayed behind (even for one day) if only to witness what it's like after they go home. It's a ton of work to manage the impact of all that activity.\r\n\r\nI feel for you as I think about you training the new nurses about your mom and her needs. It's endless, isn't it? It seems like there's always someone to educate and update. And, the out-of-towners don't understand that impact, either. \r\n\r\nYou are gold, Goldie. :)