Too Much of a Good Thing
Last night Mom and I went trick or treating with my niece and grand nieces (Mom’s grand daughter and great grand daughters.) It was the first time we had gone with them, and I was pretty excited cuz I just love them all to pieces and so does Mom.
Knowing there would be a lot of walking, I loaded Mom’s wheelchair into the Jeep and off we went. Mom is itchy about being pushed in the wheelchair. It makes her feel old and infirm and her vanity won’t allow that. She’s just like her own mother, in that sense. My grandmother was in her ’70s and called a friend of hers in her ’80s, “the old lady.” I guess you are only as old as you allow yourself to believe.
So, I didn’t hold out too much hope that Mom would just cave and let me push her the entire time. I would be happy to have her just lean on the wheelchair and push it along. And that she did. I tried several times to get her to sit, but she’s stubborn and I’m a pushover. In any event, after about a half hour, we peeled off from the kids, who soldiered on, and she let me push her back to the house. I could tell it was getting to be too much for her, no matter how much she denied it.
She Paid For It Today
I hear Mom call my name from the other side of the house a lot. It’s almost always in the same tone of urgency because at the end of the day Mom is and always has been melodramatic. Until I get to where she is, my heart in my throat, I don’t know if she’s fallen and cracked her head open or can’t get the back of her earring on. To date, it’s only once been her flat on the floor. And for that I’m grateful. But assuming she’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf is not something I entertain. In my mind, she’s always in some sort of danger.
This morning she wasn’t in danger, but she was in pain. I found her standing in the bathroom, bracing herself against the sink, and she told me she couldn’t walk. She had a shooting pain down both of her legs, starting just above the knee and to her ankles.
I helped her to the couch, put an ice back on her lower back, put her feet up, and slathered her with peppermint and Deep Relief essential oils. Then I diffused lavender and kunzea, and got her a big glass of water and something to eat.
An hour later she was reporting no pain, and was feeling good enough to make a second attempt at her shower. I checked in on her twice, and by the third check-in she was feeling good enough to give me shit for the fact that I haven’t done her laundry, and she’d have to wear black underwear under a light-colored dress.
No More Mr. Nice Guy
All’s well that ends well, I guess. But I should have insisted she let me push her. I walk a very fine line between being her daughter and her mother, her caregiver and her companion, her need for independence and my need to keep her safe and healthy. And it’s not as though I can, the next time, say, “Remember Halloween when you wouldn’t let me push you and you hurt so bad the next day?” She won’t remember.